Il Piccolo Gelato, Ballarat

Cooped up with the coronavirus lockdowns in Melbourne, it looked like we would miss out on the 2021 Ballarat International Foto Biennale. But miracle of miracles, the organisers were able to extend the dates and so we caught the very last few days of the BIFB.

Totally enjoyed our weekend. Saw almost everything we planned, plus a range of serendipitous delights. From the blockbuster Linda McCartney Retrospective to some tiny shows with just a handful of photographs. Special mentions for Linda McCartney, Number One | Gudinski, Photosynthesis and The World is 9.

Loved the exhibition The World is 9 from Ethiopian photographer Aida Muluneh.
Loved The World is 9 from Ethiopian photographer Aida Muluneh, one of the outdoor exhibitions at the 2021 BIFB.

And of course no visit to Ballarat is complete without copious amounts of gelati from one of our favourite artisan gelaterie, Il Piccolo Gelato. Plus catching up with all the gelati news from Anthony, Il Piccolo’s friendly proprietor and gelato maker.

Mango, peach and dragonfruit gelato, paired with hazelnut gelato from Il Piccolo Gelato.
Mango, peach and dragonfruit gelato, paired with hazelnut gelato.

Il Piccolo is right in the centre of Ballarat, next to the town hall. The signature lime green interior is airy and spacious. Want to sit outside while enjoying your gelati? Perch on one of the stools at the front of the gelateria and watch the world go by. 

The gelati was just as good as we remembered. All made onsite each morning, using fresh natural ingredients and absolutely no artificial colours or flavours. With both dairy and non-dairy (vegan) options, there are over one hundred flavours in Il Piccolo’s repertoire, with the menu changing each day.

Something a little different? Mango, peach and dragonfruit gelato. Or the lime sorbetto, with extra pizazz from pieces of candied lime peel. Or mango and pomegranate gelato. Summer is definitely the ideal time for mangoes. 

Chocolate peanut gelato, paired with a fruity strawberry sorbetto from Il Piccolo Gelato.
Chocolate peanut gelato, paired with a fruity strawberry sorbetto.

Prefer the classics? Then try the super intense chocolate sorbetto (definitely one for dark chocolate tragics), a zingy lemon sorbetto, luxurious French vanilla gelato or one of the outstanding nut gelati – pistachio or hazelnut. All done exceptionally well.

A gorgeous lime sorbetto, paired with a classic pistachio gelato from Il Piccolo Gelato.
A gorgeous lime sorbetto, paired with a classic pistachio gelato.

Over three days in Ballarat, we worked our way through quite a few of Il Piccolo’s flavours. All were fantastic – silky smooth textures, great tastes and generous serves.

We were also impressed by the gelato paddle expertise of the friendly servers. We’ve been on the receiving end of some less than elegant efforts from other gelaterie (as you can see from the photos in some of our posts), but the staff twirled and swirled the gelati onto our cones with great dexterity and panache. Properly served gelati definitely enhances the eating experience, and the staff’s skills are a great credit to Il Piccolo.


Our rating: outstanding

Ballarat locals are lucky to have a first-class gelateria in Il Piccolo Gelato. Superb gelati, friendly service, you can’t ask for anything better. Definitely one of our favourite artisan gelaterie. Not to be missed when visiting Ballarat.


Il Piccolo Gelato
217 Sturt Street
Ballarat Vic 3350

T: (03) 4310 6437
W: www.ilpiccologelato.com.au

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