Born in the small town of Carovigno (in the Puglia Region), Tonino Ciaccia graduated at the “Cesare Braico” Cuisine Institute in Brindisi and in 1967 began his career at the Jolanda Hotel in Bordighera. In 1968 he worked at the Cappellis in Lido di Venezia, while in 1969 he moved to the Hotel Excelsior, still in Venice. In 1970 he worked at the Grand Hotel Royal in Stockholm, and the following year at the Grand Hotel Palace in Montreaux. In 1972 and 1973 he worked at the Grand Hotel Royal Evian Les Bains in Evian.
He is then back in Italy, where has been a teacher at the Brindis École Hôtelière from 1977 until 2003. In July 1989 he realizes his life-time dream, opening the Porta Nova Restaurant.