For the love of gelati: Melbourne’s 1565

Real emotion shows on his face when Adriano Acquaro, co-owner of Kensington cafe and gelateria, 1565, speaks of his path to gelato making. ‘A friend of mine actually had cancer,’ Adriano explains. ‘Back then he was number one in Melbourne. He had to teach someone to carry on his legacy so I became his apprentice. I learnt that way.’

A man puts a scoop of ice-cream into a cone.

Co-owner Adriano Acquaro doesn’t tire of scooping his gelato

Traditional methods with modern flavours

Despite ‘falling’ into gelato making, Adriano is passionate about his craft and develops creative flavour combinations while keeping to traditional methods. The 1565 menu is packed with classics such as lemon sorbet and pistachio, as well as more unexpected offerings such as orange and fennel – inspired by a popular Sicilian salad.

‘Some flavours are traditional and some aren’t,’ says Adriano. ‘There are a couple like orange and fennel and watermelon and mint that I have kind of whipped up out of my own imagination. That’s generally what I like to do. I like to go outside the box while staying true to the old ways of doing things.’

Close-up of a sign on a cafe counter, alongside ice-cream cones, small signs and glasses.

1565 combines cafe with gelateria

A family affair

The shop is family-owned and run with Adriano’s two brothers and mum all having a hand in the success of the business. ‘It’s the typical standard Italian sort of thing,’ Adriano says. ‘When you do a business and you put your love into it everyone comes together and does what they can.’

A man wearing a dark t-shirt puts a scoop of pale pink gelati onto a cone.

Adriano Acquaro owns 1565 with his brothers and mum

Gelati is art

Adriano partnered with Bendigo-based artist, Chris Duffy, to bring some quirky pieces to 1565 – all available for purchase on-site. For Adriano, Duffy’s pieces are more than something nice to look at while enjoying a sweet treat; ‘We wanted it in the shop as sort of a piece to say, gelati is art and art is gelati.’

People standing in front of a cafe counter

Weekend patrons peruse the flavours

The city of gelati

If 1565 has left you wanting more, Melbourne has no shortage of gelaterias ready to satisfy those persistent sweet cravings.

Dex2rose is an innovative gelateria using liquid nitrogen to create exciting flavours. They even do a nitrogen charged coffee with a creamy head of foam.

Popstic at Federation Square creates creme anglaise-based ice creams and refreshing sorbets. Skip Friday night drinks and give their wine, beer and cider sorbets a go.

Gelatissimo brings Italian gelati staples to Melbourne, offering flavours such as lemon, Ferrero Rocher and cassata. It is also known for its signature affogato.

Pidapipo on Lygon Street creates authentic, artisanal style gelati, which is handmade daily in-store.

Gelateria Primavera‘s Massimo Bidin uses fresh seasonal fruit and high quality ingredients to create a gelati menu that changes every day.

Award-winning Il Dolce Freddo on Lygon Street is known for its colourful offerings and extensive menu of over 24 delicious flavours, all made fresh daily.