Florence has always had a place in my heart. It is one of my favourite Italian cities. I can trace this back to the many fabulous meals we have had in the city over the years.
It had been some time since we had last visited, so, in search of some quintessential Florentine food I reached out on Instagram for some suggestions of new places to try! When Coral Sisk, an American-Italian gourmand from Curious Appetite asked us to join her on a progressive dinner, we were the curious ones and happily accepted the invitation.
Although Coral was unable to guide us on our evening journey, she did join us for a drink at our first point of call and introduce us to our wonderful guide. At this superb bar in the centre of Florence we started the night with a classic Italian aperitivo, the Negroni. A traditional Negroni comprises a third each, gin, campari and vermouth rosso, on ice. Legend has it that the negroni was invented in 1919 when Count Negroni asked his barman at the Cafe Casoni in Florence for a stronger version of his usual drink, an Americano. Gin was added instead of soda and the Negroni was born.
Our Negroni was made with a secret recipe of spiced vermouth giving it a fabulous unique flavour. Over a generous platter of delicious nibbles, we chatted to our new dinner friends…..the start of a fun night.
What’s a progressive dinner without progressing so it was on to our next stop for antipasti!
We crossed the River Arno and headed to Santa Spirito, the area known as Florences’ Left Bank. Piazza Santo Spirito is the heart of the Oltrano, a square overlooked by its stark fronted Church of Santo Spirito. Day or night, students decorate the steps of the church while others sit under the trees or in the cafes and watch the world go by.
Our table in the square was waiting for us. With drinks arranged, a huge antipasto platter was bought to the table. Tuscan salami, finocchiona, a fabulous fennel flavoured salami and Parma ham covered the board together with pieces of aged pecorino and parmesan cheese, a selection of olives and marinated artichokes. It was tempting to tuck right in, but I knew there was more to come.
What meal in Florence would be complete without eating Bistecca alla Fiorentina. A true Bistecca uses Chianina beef, and is always served rare. Chianina is a large, muscular, slow-growing breed of cattle from the Chiana Valley in Italy. The steaks are enormous and designed to be shared, one steak serves two to three people.
The ristorante that we were dining at certainly knew how to truly cook and serve this amazing cut of meat. Served with crispy potatoes cooked in duck fat and a delicious green salad….Wow…delizioso!
And, of course, how could any Italian meal finish without a gelato. Like the rest of this tour, it’s not just any gelato. This specialty store, (which by the way we returned to the following day because we hadn’t had enough) serves the most delicious flavours of gelato I’ve seen in a long time. What would you choose?
A great finish to this fabulous progressive dinner tour.
Curious Appetite is definitely on a winner here with their progressive Tuscan and Florentine dinner crawl. It’s perfect for those travelling alone, first time travellers or if you just want to have fun in to Florence with a new group of friends!
This is just one of many Florence food tours that they have available. Curious Appetite can also arrange wine tours and cooking lesso. They also offer a brand new food tour in Bologna!
You can see all their tours on the Curious Appetite website: Curious Appetite Travel
Disclaimer: I was a guest on this tour… thank you Coral. All opinions are solely mine. I was not influenced by the best negroni, wonderful antipasto, amazing bistecca and brilliant gelato.
Other food tours you may enjoy:
A Taste of the Bosphorus
A Foodie’s Tour in Istanbul
Tasting our Way through Prague