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Little Italy

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by Julia Hebaiter (aka Julia Svoice) (subscribe)
Owns 'FoodLit'. Highly qualified, established food & lifestyle writer, former restaurateur, founder professional writing business, Articul8. Long, diverse writing history, passion for food culture, the land & inspired food language.www.foodlit.com.au
Published January 28th 2010
It's easy to imagine you're in romantic, faraway Italy when you step onto Carlton's colourful Lygon Street. The traditional home of Melbourne's Italian community is bustling, boisterous and beautifully delicious!

The historic street is the Italian restaurant capital of Australia, and it's easy to see why with over 100 restaurants, bars and cafes lining the street, many set in gorgeous terrace houses and heritage buildings.

So, what are you hungry for? Pizza (wood-fired's the in-thing), pasta, steaks and seafood are very popular, especially when enjoyed al fresco on the street under big umbrellas. Lick your lips, then click here.

The main precinct lies between Victoria and Elgin Streets, but don't forget the side streets, which house plenty of pleasant surprises too.

By the way, the Brunswick East end of Lygon Street is an ever-growing café and restaurant strip. Check out a few of the best to tantalise the tastebuds here.

As well as restaurants, there are plenty of delis, home-made pasta stores, bakeries and delightful gourmet stores. I suggest bringing a trolley if you're shopping rather than dining. The temptations are pretty hard to resist!

Select from all kinds of Italian delicacies including sausages, salamis, prosciutto and salted cod (baccala); antipasti and imported and home-made preserves; cheeses, olive oils, vinegars and hand-made pastas; specialty breads and a delectable array of sweets.

Finish the day with a gelati or an espresso and head home laden with some of the most-loved foods of the world.

Some of you will remember the Lygon Street Festa, which sadly no longer operates. You can still get your fill of all things Italian with La Dolce Italia, a fabulous, one-day festival held on February 28th – but you don't have to wait until then.

Buon Appetito!
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Why? For a sumptuous slice of Little Italy.
When: Anytime
Where: Lygon Street, Carlton
Cost: Depends on how hungry you are!
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