The Crew


Le Baccanti Tours Ltd based in Florence, Italy is a licensed tour operator specialised in luxury vacations to all destinations within Italy and unique wine and gourmet events for both corporate and private clients. The company was first established in 1999. Owner-operators Vanessa Held and Filippo Bartolotta organise and direct the activities with the help of a team of qualified wine, food and art experts.

Some of our valued clients include: Dustin Hoffman, Emma Thopmson, Simmons & Simmons, Saab, Glaxo, Ibm, Ferrari Team, Ducati, Ford, JP Morgan, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Mazda, Unicredit, Fiat, Calyon Bank, Wachovia Securities, Gates Corporation, Starwood Hotels, Adobe, Cisco System, University Bocconi of Milano, University of Florence, Washington University, University of siena, Siena Tourist Board, Chianciano Tourist Board, Golden Apple Restaurants, Viatris, YPO Young President Organization, Club Enophile Asseblee National Francaise (French Parliment Wine Club), Fiorentina Footbal Team, Moscow Fashion Expo, Bit Expo, Macef Expo, Ilica, Touring Club, Associaz. Naz. Bandiere Arancioni, Associazione Nazionale Città del Vino, Consorzio Vino Vernaccia di San Gimignano.


About Filippo Bartolotta

Filippo Bartolotta, wine journalist, holds an M.A. in Economics from the University of Florence and a Diploma from the Wine and Spirit Education Trust of London. He is an extremely passionate wine and food lover born in Florence. His career in the wine world started at London's Vinopolis, the world's largest wine museum. Now he he teaches various aspects of wine lore at the University of Siena, writes for major European and American wine publications including Decanter Magazine. He tastes a few thousand wines per year and he can still walk straight! He is one of the ten members of the L'Espresso Italian Wine Guide, among Italy's best selling wine guide. Combining fun and expertise, Filippo loves working as a motivational wine speaker, teaching and sharing his passion by implementing empowering Fine Wine Events or as a guide.

About Vanessa Held

Vanessa H. holds an honours M.Sc. in Agronomy from the University of Florence and the status of specialist in extra-virgin olive oils from the University of Pisa. In 2001 she qualified as a taster for Extra-Virgin Olive Oil Selection for the Florence Chamber of Commerce. She worked for years as a agronomy consultant in Tuscany and adjacent areas. She is passionate about good, healthy food, Italian cuisine and fine wines.



Our Philosophy & Mission


It is our belief that wine and food are keys to discovering and understanding lands and regions. Food and wine harbour secrets of local history, of centuries-old crafts and methods, of cultural and often religious conventions, of the produce of the surrounding countrysides. Recipes, ingredients and tastes all change with changing times and conditions, and countless cooks throughout the centuries have written, as it were, coded histories in their pots and pans. Wine and food have always signified cumulative experience and skills, conviviality, manners, family relationships, entertainment and social sharing, not to mention life and ethnic survival. We pay very careful, highly personalised attention to the needs and interests of our clients in relation to these considerations and to the various Italies there are many? they'd like to explore. We are constantly searching for new and original paths to your adventure, fascination and satisfaction.

All too often, wine and food are matters talked about in flat, pompously learned, dogmatic and usually quite unenlightening ways. Ours are ways that we like to imagine might be those of a sprightly and benevolent field goblin with a discriminating palate and a nose for delicate aromas: we seek to lead you to intriguing, rich and memorable pleasures for your taste buds and stimulation for your intellectual curiosity. Our success derives from fascinating historical sites, unusual personages, wines and foods of wonderful quality and a sense for good fun and entertainment, all blended by our plurilingual, finely-tuned judgment and long experience.

Finally, by means of donations and providing voluntary activities, Le Baccanti is active in ecological programmes dedicated to the preservation of the countryside, to furthering the advance of developing nations, and to minimising the use of non-recyclable materials. All our activities keep ecological and rural-preservation needs sharply in view at all times. We favour the use of products with bona-fide ecological qualifications. We plan to become Italy's most important, efficient, best qualified and ecologically most aware wine-and-gastronomic-tour agency, an ambition that can be fulfilled only by providing you with superb service and excellent value whilst never abandoning our cultural and environmental obligations.