The Donnini family has had a culinary presence in Melbourne for over 60 years.

Fernando and Elena Donnini along with their extended family opened the University Cafe on Lygon St in 1952.

The cafe fed and housed many post war Italian migrants whose grandchildren continue to patronize DONNINI'S to this day.

Tiberio Donnini continued the family business and opened DONNINI'S on Drummond Street in the late 70's. This small 48-seater established itself very quickly as Carlton's first true Italian Eatery.

It won many National & International awards including the 'Ciao Italia Award' for the best Italian Restaurant in Australasia. This award was presented to the Donnini Family by the Italian President in 1982.

Expansion was inevitable and Melbourne's first fresh pasta outlets were opened in five locations around Melbourne. Life-long friends now own and operate the DONNINI'S Pasta franchise.

In 1985 the family opened a modern Italian Bistro in the Melbourne CBD. DONNINI'S Pasta Bar on Spring Street tested the boundaries of modern Italian with an innovative menu and wine list.

In 1993 DONNINI'S Ciao Italia opened in Cairns, Far North Queensland. This eating-house quickly became a locals favourite and a popular tourist destination.

2002 signalled the beginning of a new and exciting venture with Marco and Riccardo Donnini along with Chefs/Partners, Vito De Nino and Mario Messina opening DONNINI'S on Lygon Street, across the road from where it all began.

Follow @donninis