Faces on Fifth Online Video Series Unveils New Episode
July 9, 2020
Veteran restaurateur Luca Di Falco of BiCE Ristorante shares business philosophy
Naples, FL: (July 9, 2020) . . . “Whatever we do, we create together,” says Luca Di Falco, managing partner of the BiCE Group in a new Faces on Fifth video unveiled today by the Fifth Avenue South Business Improvement District (BID) in Naples. Video is online https://www.fifthavenuesouth.com/face/bice/
“Faces on Fifth was created to build the business community culture by spotlighting business owners and the reasons why they chose to locate their business on Fifth Avenue South,” explains Bruce Barone, Jr., executive director of the BID. “The campaign has been successful attracting loyal followers because the videos present real business people sharing their personal values and beliefs,” he adds.
Twelve award-winning profiles include notables like Phil McCabe, CEO & general manager of Inn on Fifth; Chef Vincenzo Betulia, owner of Osteria Tulia, Bar Tulia and The French Restaurant; Deanna Wallin, founder and CEO of Naples Soap Company; Bryce Alexander, CEO/Executive Artistic Director of The Naples Players; Veljko Pavicevic, general manager of Sails Restaurant; Jarred Kaplan, general manager of Provident Jewelry; Ross Parker, owner of Call of Africa’s Native Visions Galleries; Christina Payton, owner of The House of Blondes; Eric Tancredi, general manager of Vergina Restaurant; and Rick Giannasi, general manager of Ocean Prime Naples.
With sounds of Italian music and visions of pasta and his Italian restaurants, Di Falco recounts arriving in “the most beautiful city in America” in 2009 and immediately recognizing Fifth Avenue South in Naples was “a top place to run his business and bring his family to live.”
Based upon strong family roots, Di Falco says his business philosophy is simple: he surrounds himself with people who understand and share his vision to bring traditional Italian cuisine, wine, and cocktails to Southwest Florida. “My goal is to ensure every single guest when dining at BiCE Ristorante, Caffe Milano or La Trattoria feels like they just traveled to Italy by offering exceptional customer service and authentic Italian cuisine,” he says, proudly noting that when Italian tourists visit his three Fifth Avenue South restaurants and take photos, he is very proud of his team.
Born in Italy (Catania, Sicily,) Di Falco began his career at 15 working at his brother’s restaurant in the Centro Storico of Catania while studying at the Hotel Management School. His passion for the hospitality, service, and food industry continued to grow, when at just 18 years old, he began travelling outside Sicily, working for a very large Bagaglino Vacanze company in Porto Cervo (Sardinia). While working as a server in one of its finest hotels in Italy, he was promoted to Chef de Rang. Following several hot summers in Sardinia, he was transferred to the cold winters at Madonna di Campiglio, the exclusive ski palace for the “Alta Borghesia” of Italy.
A few years later, he relocated to London to the luxurious Grosvenor House Hotel. “One of the best experiences of my life was working in a different country, learning another language, and meeting international chefs and maitre d’s,” Di Falco says. He returned to Sicily to work at the five-star Grand Hotel Excelsior in the heart of Catania overlooking the volcano, Mount Etna. In 2002, he was recruited to Disneyworld in Orlando, Florida where he began his American dream.
At the age of 23, Di Falco moved to California to work in La Jolla at an elite restaurant on Prospect Street. One year later, he joined global leader Princess Cruises. While at sea, the BiCE Group, operator of 40 fine-dining and mid-scale dining facilities on five continents including a dozen namesake Italian eateries, persuaded Di Falco to return to land and open a new restaurant in Orlando.
Now in management with the BiCE Group, Di Falco opened BiCE Sunny Isles in Miami at the Le Meridien Hotel by Starwood. Two years later he was promoted to Corporate Maitre D’ responsible for training future managers at locations worldwide. After opening BiCE San Diego and BiCE Chicago, he returned to Florida to manage BiCE Naples in 2009 overseeing a staff of 75 employees.
In 2015, he conceived and designed a new casual Italian restaurant called Caffé Milano on Fifth Avenue South in Naples and just four years later, realized a lifelong ambition and opened La Trattoria, a rustic Italian restaurant and pizzeria reminiscent of the cafes he dined in while growing up in his native Italy.
BiCE Ristorante is located at 300 5th Avenue South and is open daily Tuesday through Sunday from 11:30 am. Closed on Mondays. Visit online www.bice-naples.com or call (239) 262-4044.