Renowned for it’s food and culture, Carlton has been termed Little Italy and appropriately given the sister city Milan, which is also known for its high end restaurants. A walk down Lygon Street through Carlton will help you discover everything that’s on offer, and not limited to just food.
Although predominately Italian, other cuisines have managed to successfully squeeze their way in between the pizza and pasta. You won’t struggle to find what you’re looking for here when it comes to mealtimes. If you’re eager to learn about the authentic ways to create dishes, that too can be done here. Learn to create the best pasta sauce and pair it with a fresh gnocchi or spaghetti.
Offering an eclectic range of shops, boutique and high end food fashion stores, Carlton attracts a wide demographic of people and housing prices draw an upper class population. Along with Melbourne Uni, which sits on the border of Carlton and Parkville, students live alongside families.
Fortunately, the picturesque campus of Melbourne Uni isn’t the only good place to catch the sun or discover what architecture is on offer. During the summer, Carlton Gardens is the place to be. As the population flow down to enjoy the sun and soak up all the rays they can. The tree lined pathways so recently transitioned from autumnal oranges to leaves of green. It’s a celebration by all, an indicator of warmer seasons.
Sitting in the middle of the gardens is the Royal Exhibition Building, an attraction to locals and tourists alike. Built in 1880 and as one of the last remaining heritage exhibition buildings in the world, it was the first building in Australia to be awarded UNESCO World Heritage Status.
And, it’s really pretty.
Looking like a rubix cube half stuck in the ground, the IMAX and Melbourne Museum stand proud next to the Exhibition Building - make a day of it while you’re there and visit them too! Cinema Nova on Lygon street is the perfect way to end an evening, whether with a commercial film or an Australian or international art-house film, they should have you covered.
Explore what’s around, take in the nature that sits alongside the terraced streets. Wander through the park or Little Italy. Enjoy a coffee or wine (hey Brunetti’s), meet some locals and learn about such an imperative element of Melbourne’s multiculturalism.
Catch Tram 1 or 8 from the CBD to Carlton and make a day of it.
Words & Pictures by Sarah Caust