Rafaelle “Lello” Lavezzi’s ancestors have been making italian gelato for four generations. We’re talking real old school: climbing up the Gulf of Naples’ Mount Vesuvius to retrieve ice, which was then paired with lemon juice or coffee to form gelato.
The family’s legacy lives on. Today it runs a italian gelato store named Lavezzi in the Italian coastal city of Formia.
Lavezzi himself lives in Italy, but after working with Melbourne-based Angelo Sperlinga for years exporting Italian products to Australia, the two paired up to bring the Lavezzi name and italian gelato to Melbourne. The first outpost opened at Eastland Shopping Centre in Ringwood in 2015. Now the team has opened a store in Melbourne’s Italian heartland: Lygon Street. Lavezzi has crossed hemispheres for the launch.
“People ask, ‘Why would you open a gelato store where there are about eight other competitors?” Sperlinga says. “But it’s really about opening a store where visitors will really value the product.”
Almost a century and a half of experience in the italian gelato business has resulted in strong principles. First: non troppo (not too much) sugar. Lavezzi says it kills the flavour.
Another element Lavezzi and the Sperlinga family are firm on: you can’t beat the pozetti system to store gelato. That is, the refrigerated metal wells with lids on them.
“In the pozetti, gelato doesn’t oxidise,” Sperlinga says. “You reduce the risk of contaminants by keeping the lid on, and even the UV from lighting, which changes the colour.”
Seasons play a huge role in italian gelato making. Not only as to what produce is used, but the temperature it’s made at, too. “In summer, people usually want a gelato that’s quite cold,”
We Serve Delicious gelato
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