Fact: there is a gelato university. It's in Italy, of course, but there is one place on Lygon Street where you can taste gelato from someone who studied there.
Lisa Valmorbida is a trained chef who travelled to Italy to study at the Carpigiani Gelato University, before returning to Melbourne to open her own gelateria. After serving up samples at her Faraday Street test lab in 2014, the permanent Pidapipó store is in full swing, with queues down the street to prove it.
Fittingly, the store evokes a '50s and '60s Italy aesthetic through terazzo tiles, marble and glass. The focus is all on the silver gelato-filled vats, which Valmorbida makes fresh from scratch each day. Her signature flavours include fior di latte, ricotta and fig, rosemary and chestnut and a rare rhubard and vincotto swirl; but to these she adds a rotating selection of adventurous seasonal flavours. Some of her ingredients – including cheese from St Kilda's La Formaggeria – may not fit with your idea of gelato, but somehow, she always makes it work. Whichever scoop you choose, you can't really go wrong.
If you're a southsider, then good news: Pidapipó has opened a new store in Windsor, on Chapel Street.