Primo Italiano

May 2008

Where was Sydney’s first Little Italy? This excerpt from my book Beppi A life in three courses (Murdoch Books) tells you: “That part of Sydney from Yurong Street, east to Palmer Street was Sydney’s first Little Italy. Number 71-73 Stanley Street was home to the first known Italians in the area, Luciano and Maria Rizzi, who lived there from 1903 and set up a macaroni factory there in 1911. In 1952, it became La Veneziana — that name can still be seen, set in brass and terrazzo, on the doorstep of what was until recently Pello. In 1914, Vince Lopez who is, despite the name, an Italian from the Aeolian Islands, opened a fruit shop at 82 Stanley Street, a business which, in the hands of another Lopez, Felice, lasted until his death in the 1950s. In 1928, George Famosa began a café that is today The Arch café and No Names restaurant at 81 Stanley Street, and in 1933 Bartolomeo Callose established a pasta factory on the corner of Palmer and Burton Streets.”

Curiously enough, it was where Beppi Polese opened Beppi’s (cnr Yurong & Stanley Streets East Sydney 9360 4558) in 1956 — without even knowing the history. Even more curious, it was where his father had lived in Australia in 1929. In honour of this little piece of Australian migrant history, the City of Sydney has initiated Primo Italiano, which turns Stanley Street into a piazza for the day on Sunday May 25. There’ll be pizza, panini, pasta, gelato and vino. And we hope it’s as joyful as that street eating scene from the brilliant Fellini Roma — if you haven’t seen it, get it on DVD. And see you at Primo Italiano.

  • OR

Join our Newsletter!

Join other Sydney foodies and sign up for the Eatstreets Newsletter

Subscribe Now

The guide reviews each restaurant, lists some of the more memorable dishes and provides a sample of their prices.

Buy Now!