Industry Insiders: Filippo Bartolotta, Your Italian Pal

Filippo runs Le Baccante Tours, pretty much the finest custom tours in Italy. He’s a wine fanatic — easy to see if you get him started on the topic, as his dark eyes get wide, and he starts emphasizing his words with fist pounds on the table. He’s a portable concierge, knowing exactly who to call if you want to stay in a private villa for a month, sample the best aperitivo in Milan, hit the hottest clubs in Turin, or the imbibe the newest wine bar in Florence. Le Baccante caters to a variety of interests: shopping, eating, partying … whatever your pleasure, he knows how to feed it. He’s also supremely connected; he’s hosted private dinners in Salvatore Feragammo’s home, and can get you into the kitchen of any restaurant you care to name. You want this guy on speed dial if you’re in Italy.

Point of Origin: Florence, Italy. He spent five years working in London (hence his charming British English accent) and one year studying in Holland, which he touts as “the year of my life” — perhaps due to the fact that 85% of the students were “beautiful women.”

Previous Occupations: Filippo started as a wine journalist for Decanter, still writes for the Guida di Vini di Italia, and created Tira Busio, a “children’s book about wine.”

Other Projects: Having grown up with a father who loved antiquing, Filippo spends free time sourcing antiques.

Favorite Hangs: All in Florence, of course. For discotheques, it’s Meccano (Viale degli Olmi 1, 055 331 371) and Central Park (Via Fosso Macinante 2, 055 35 35 05). YAB in Piazza Strozzi for the scene, Hemingway (Piazza Piattellina 9r, 055 284 781) for a cozy winter bar, Otel Ristotheatre and Boston T (Viale Europa) for aperitivos and music, and Joshua Tree Pub for daily happy hours (plus he’s friends with the bartender, Max).

What are you doing tonight? “Going to Joshua Tree for a beer with Max, then meeting up with friends in town from San Antonio, Texas.”

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