If you were a 140-year-old Italian gelateria, where would you set up shop in Melbourne? Lygon St, obvs. The unofficial gelato capital of the universe, where cones outnumber people 4:1.
Welcome to Lavezzi, a traditional Italian gelateria that’s just opened in Carlton. Well, we say traditional. But we dunno if they had free-flowing chocolate fountains 140 years ago where you could dip your waffle cones before loading them up with artisanal Nutella Swirl.
Yep, these guys do gelato a little differently.
For one thing, nearly everything is done in-house. They roast their own hazelnuts on-site, make their own waffle cones etc. And the produce is second to none—they even import fresh lemons from hills above Sorrento (Italy, not Mornington). Word has it the original Mr Lavezzi used to hike up Mt Vesuvius to get the ice to make sorbets. You can’t buy that kind of history.
Here’s how to do Lavezzi right. Pick your waffle cone (they do a gluten-free variety), hold it under the dark or white chocolate taps until it’s coated nicely, then top with your choice of gelato or sorbet. Boysenberry, butterscotch, watermelon, cookies & cream, green tea—the range is pretty extensive. Flavours rotate according to the seasons, but keep your fingers crossed for the handmade ricotta and fig gelato—that stuff is out of control.
Need a cherry on your sundae? All the gelati are gluten-free and the sorbets are 100% vegan. Nice!
Until now Lavezzi has only been available in Eastland Shopping Centre. It’s nice to see it take its place among Lygon St’s sun-dappled plane trees. Welcome home, guys.
Image credit: Jenna Fahey-White