fresh fish in Sestri Levante


In the distant summer of 1983, I made up my mind to purchase a fishing boat with my dear friend Franco. . I immediately had the feeling I was on the right track. Thanks to our new boat, I was going to have daily access to an impressive amount of fresh fish of the finest quality. With its characteristic shape, Polpo Mario was a 16-meter 20-ton boat, and looked so majestic on the blue water of the Ligurian sea. 



The trawler Polpo Mario ensures the daily availability of locally sourced fish – shrimps, prawns, mullets, octopuses, and so on and so forth. Equipped with trammel nets, Polpo Mario is suitable for rocky bottom fishing, ensuring a daily catch of redfish, weever fish, and moray eels, to name but a few. Essential ingredients to make the delicious Polpo Mario fish soup.

I owe Polpo Mario so many happy and unforgettable memories! Fishing 30 kilos of snapper in just one day, our nets tangled in the many shipwrecks scattered all over the sea bottom, even finding and recovering a plane and a range of remnants of war. . A whole book wouldn’t be enough to list all the animal species we fished, or the objects which accidentally ended up on the stern of the boat. . Although I sailed the same sea, day after day, every time I checked the nets I experienced a whole new wave of excitement at the thought of all the unexpected content it would bring along.

Our adventure with Polpo Mario lasted from 1983 to the summer of 1990. 1990 was a turning point for us: that’s when we decided to change approach, to stop trawling, a technique which sooner or later would come to an end, at least in sea bottoms with a maximum depth of 100 m. It was time to make a fresh start, in spite of the sadness and melancholy this would cause – after all, the 48-year-old boat, which was definitely no spring chicken, made its younger 500-horsepower colleagues jealous.

Just like an ever good-looking woman in spite of time passing by, Polpo Mario seduced two Slav fishermen who immediately purchased it and set off on a long and fascinating journey to Split. Shortly after their arrival, they went fishing in foreign waters. And that’s when the tragedy occurred. After surviving seastorms, being neglected by its sailors and worn down by the pass of time, the boat sank along with six other fishing boats due to a bomb going off. An inglorious end, and yet forever bound to the sea.

But that was not the actual end. The adventure was then pursued by the worthy heir of Polpo Mario: “Novantatrè – Polpo Mario 2”, a boat built by master carpenter Mario Po and able to carry up to 1800 meters of gillnet. Every day is a new adventure: many fish, mollusc and shellfish species, essential ingredients of our mouthwatering specialities which we personally fish. It’s when the fresh seafood is removed from its net that most of our dishes come to life, a series of iconic specialities which for the past decade have made our gastronomic evenings so unique.

Rudy Ciuffardi



Our fishing boat is a gold mine of folktales and secrets. And our website aims to gather information, the oldest tales and the latest news concerning the services we provide. This section is all about Polpo Mario and its adventures.

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