Antipasto platter

A Progressive Dinner in Florence

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.


A Progressive Dinner in Florence

Ponte Vecchio



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.


A Progressive Dinner in Florence



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.

A Progressive Dinner in Florence


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.

A Progressive Dinner in Florence


Main Course

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!


A Progressive Dinner in Florence




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 Progressive Dinner in Florence


A great finish to this fabulous progressive dinner tour.



Curious Appetite

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

A Taste of Belfast with Taste and Tour

Tasting our Way through Prague 


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20 Responses to A Progressive Dinner in Florence

  1. Jackie Smith March 6, 2017 at 10:07 pm #

    Looks like you had a fabulous taste of Florence. Always fun to read the back story on drinks and how they came to be. I love the snacks we are served – gratis – with drinks in Europe. That would be an additional $25 in the US!

    • Jenny Freedman March 10, 2017 at 11:58 am #

      We had a great tour thanks Jackie. Yes, aperitivo is brilliant in Italy….you just have to be careful not to eat too much and ruin a fabulous dinner!

  2. Janice Chung March 6, 2017 at 11:09 pm #

    I got hungry looking at the photos of the food and it’s only 10 am. The antipasto platter alone would fill me up. What a perfect place to do a food tour. Florence is a lovely city and it would be fun to take a tour where you can really try some unique foods and drinks.

    • Jenny Freedman March 10, 2017 at 11:55 am #

      Even though Florence is a relatively small city Janice, it has so many food spots scattered far and wide so it’s always great to to be shown these spots on a food tour. It was a great tour and I agree, the antipasto platter would have filled me up too had I not shown some restraint! I would have hated to have missed the bistecca and gelato!

  3. michele peterson March 7, 2017 at 12:53 am #

    Curious Appetite sounds like a fantastic food tour company to contact in Florence. On one of our recent trips to Florence we headed out on our own for Bistecca alla Fiorentina and had the WORST meal ever – such a disappointment as we were in town for just a short time. We tried agin the next day and got lucky at another restaurant but it would have been so much better to have had the guidance of a local expert. That gelato looks delicious too

    • Jenny Freedman March 10, 2017 at 11:51 am #

      Oh no…I hate to waste a night on a bad restaurant! As well as learning all about the fabulous local food on a tour, I also love being able to get recommendations as to where else to go in a city! Definitely contact Curious Appetite on your next visit! Coral has so many fabulous tours and now one on Bologna as well.

  4. Carole Terwilliger Meyers March 7, 2017 at 7:34 am #

    I love the idea of a progressive dinner in a city you’re visiting. And I am surprised at how simple a traditional Negroni is to make–I’m going to try it at home. An aside–I had one of the best steaks ever back when I was exploring Florence with my sister, in a little spot that as I recall made only steaks. I’d so love to go back.

    • Jenny Freedman March 10, 2017 at 11:48 am #

      A progressive dinner is a great idea for a tour Carole! I loved moving between courses and seeing some of the city. Yes do try making a Negroni. They are very easy to make and are so delicious! What a shame you can’t remember the name of the steak restaurant. It’s always good to have a personal recommendation!

  5. Sue Reddel March 12, 2017 at 8:39 am #

    I just love this idea of a progressive dinner while traveling. Experiencing different spots and enjoying all that wonderful food. Those photos made me so hungry! We’ll definitely check it out next time we’re in Florence.

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2017 at 3:42 pm #

      it’s a very clever idea isn’t it Sue. Florence has so many fabulous restaurants and bars, it was great to learn of a few new ones!

  6. Nathalie March 12, 2017 at 7:36 pm #

    Sounds like a lovely way to see the city. We were there over the winter and stayed near Santo Spirito, great neighborhood.
    We stopped in at Rivoire and while the bartender told us the story of the Negroni, she gave us a sampler of their Negroni jelly, so tasty. Their head bartender wrote a book about the history of the drink that looks very interesting. Sulle Tracce del Conte: La Vera Storia del Cocktail Negroni by Lucca Picchi.

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2017 at 3:45 pm #

      I love winter in Florence. I spend a month there at that time many, many years ago! Negroni jelly sounds wonderful! Did you try and make it yourselves? The little I know of the story of Negroni is interesting so the book could be fun to read.

  7. alison abbott March 13, 2017 at 2:45 am #

    What fun. We used to have progressive dinners in the neighborhood when my kids were younger and I loved each and every one of them. A clever idea for tasting a destination, and couldn’t think of a better place to renew the concept than Florence!

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2017 at 3:46 pm #

      Yes, progressive dinners were all the rage here too many, many years ago Alison. it’s a great idea for a food tour and worked perfectly. I’m surprised that more companies don’t use the concept

  8. James Barry March 28, 2017 at 3:48 pm #

    Wow what a pictures!! Looks really tasty! Wanna try!

    • Jenny Freedman March 30, 2017 at 2:04 pm #

      Thanks James. The food was fabulous. If you’re ever in Florence, you should take the tour!

  9. Celine June 18, 2017 at 7:43 pm #

    Glad we found your site, as the information is invaluable. This dinner list is right on point. Good recommendations! I must commit to discovering more. I wish I could quit my job and just travel, but I simply cannot do it. I am not getting any younger. Thanks for the fantastic advice.

    • Jenny Freedman July 10, 2017 at 2:49 pm #

      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed reading the articles on the site Celine. This dinner tour is perfect for discovering more about Florence but not having to do it yourself. We love food tours for this reason and it combines our too loves of food and exploring!

  10. David July 26, 2017 at 3:43 pm #

    I swear your photos are just making me hungry! The food looks great. Awesome photos.

    • Jenny Freedman August 6, 2017 at 11:16 am #

      Thanks David. The food in Florence is always fabulous!

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