“Wherever you go, go with all your heart”



Baccanti came to be in 1999 in London, the brainchild of Filippo Bartolotta, “grapetrotter” with contagious enthusiasm and boundless love for excellent food and wine. Three years later Filippo met Vanessa Held, an entrepreneur and agronomist working in Tuscany. With Vanessa’s initiative the project was transformed in an Italian based tour company specialized in luxury travel and incentive trips built around wine, food, and art as well as team-building and entertainment events. Filippo and Vanessa’s goal? to bring part of the world to Italy to discover the best it has to offer in wine and food and help tailor trips and projects in Italy and beyond.

The undertaking combines Vanessa’s excellent organizational and business skills with Filippo’s creative inspiration and expertise with the incredible, wide-ranging skills of an international team. Le Baccanti Tours organizes leisure travel throughout Italy, crafting dream trips and tailor-made experiences for major partner agencies around the world and for clients the caliber of Emma Thompson and Dustin Hoffman.

Executive Team

Le Baccanti | VANESSA HELD



Drawing on her natural empathic sense, she has spent years building a strong team and crafting dream Italian vacations for the most sophisticated clients in the world. Vanessa holds the secret to creating the best incentive and corporate events in the finest places in Italy has to offer, from the Dolomites to Sicily. Nowhere is beyond knowledge.




Filippo has been the core of Corporate Events for over 15 years, serving as a Master of Ceremony and motivational speaker, sharing his knowledge and boundless curiosity with others. Filippo’s solid, long-standing relationships with producers, restaurateurs, and hospitality professionals throughout Italy are at the essence of Le Baccanti events.

“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”
Winston Churchill


Vip Travel Advisor 

Originally from South Africa, Colette lived in London for years before moving to Florence to follow her dream to study the Italian language and culture. She worked for a small tour operator organizing bike tours in Chianti, and for many years, she worked for a major company, planning and organizing meetings and conferences throughout Italy. She is currently responsible for planning incentive trips and is a VIP Travel Advisor for Le Baccanti Tours, tailoring dream trips for discerning guests.

Le Baccanti | NINA


Vip Travel Advisor 

Born in France, Nina has enjoyed a bi-continental existence for the entirety of her life. She grew up in an “academic” family which had a significant impact on her appreciation for cultural exploration and language immersion. Educated between Italy and the US, Nina decided to make her permanent home in Florence where she lives. Before joining Le Baccanti in 2011, Nina worked with Apicius and was responsible for organizing, overseeing and implementing student travel programs. Her sense of logistics and planning are impeccable and her knowledge of location immeasurable.



Vip Travel Advisor  

Viviana is one of our most eclectic team members. Her first passion was biology which she studied in Pavia. In truth she realized that her love for natural science, nature and environment was a story that she wanted to share with others. Ultimately she shifted her focus to scientific journalism. Eight years later the winds of tide changed once again and she found herself at the helm of a thriving destination wedding planning company. After years of consulting helping clients plan their weddings but also vacations of a lifetime, Vivana joined Le Baccanti. Her professional experience and her gift for personal relations are the perfect combination for the perfect vacation.

Le Baccanti | ELENA PONTIL


Corporate Travel and Events 

Though Elena Pontil was born in the Dolomites mountains, she loves the sea. After having worked side by side with some of Italy’s top chefs and sommeliers, she left for London and spent 12 years abroad: In England, Spain, Turkey, and Sweden where she graduated and taught Italian and organized cultural events. In 2011 she came back to Italy and after a period working for one Italy’s leading wineries, she joined Le Baccanti. She has since been organizing incentive trips to Italy’s best destinations and creating team-building and entertainment events in Italy.

Le Baccanti | CAREN CORSO


Travel advisor & Travel Networker 

Born and raised in the US, Caren is a dual citizen and has lived in and out of Italy for the past 20 years. She is happy to have called, Rome, Milan, Los Angeles, Miami, Providence and now Florence home. Before entering into the world of travel she followed a career path that included journalism, public relations, business development. As a travel specialist she has been scouting and planning the most authentic travel experiences possible throughout Europe for over a decade.



Operations & Travel Advisor 

Chiara was born and raised in Florence. After receiving her masters degree in Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology from the University of Bologna, she decided that she didn’t want to pursue the life of an academic. With that decision she moved to Madrid where she worked for a student travel agency specializing in cultural travel for students from Central and South America. Apart from logistics and planning she also had the opportunity to work as a tour leader. According to Chiara, Anthropology, Culture and Travel are inseparable.

Le Baccanti | TANIA BOIDO


Operations & Travel Advisor 

Tania was born in Torino to a British mother and Italian father. She decided to move to Florence permanently after finishing her studies in Media and Journalism at the University of Florence. Following her passion for her studies, Tania worked for more than 10 years in journalism while simultaneously indulging her other professional calling: corporate event planning. Her love of Tuscan food and traveling won her over in 2018 when she was presented with the opportunity to the Le Baccanti team as operations assistant and join MaMa Florence as booking manager.

Le Baccanti | ELENA RUSCA


Accounting & HR 

Elena was born in Romania. After transferring to Italy in her early teens she began her studies in the language arts. Beyond her native Romanian, she is fluent in Italian, English and French. In addition to her love for language Elena always had a love an appreciation for numbers and hence choose to pursue a career in accounting. Before entering into the world of tourism and travel Elena worked specifically in the software development industry. “I love my work, the intensity and the challenge of keeping everything on the right track in an environment that is stimulating, complex and culturally rich.

Unione Europea
Repubblica Italiana
Regione Toscana

This company beneficiated by the financial support of the Tuscany Region for the development of internationalization initiatives
bando POR CREO FESR 2014-2020 – Azione 3.4.2 "Incentivi all’acquisto di servizi a supporto dell’internazionalizzazione in favore delle PMI” per la concessione delle delle PMI toscane operanti nei settori del manifatturiero (sub azione a) agevolazioni a sostegno dell’export - anno 2017