North Melbourne’s own slice of Italy

North Melbourne’s own slice of Italy

Melbourne is arguably the home of Italian cuisine in Australia, and in the heart of North Melbourne, you’ll find Rosa Cucina – a warm and welcoming Italian restaurant offering fine food, wine, and amazing service.

‘Sosta’ is an Italian word meaning ‘to pause, to stop’. So, at my restaurant, I want people to take a break from their everyday life to enjoy the regional and seasonal Italian cuisine from our kitchen, our Cucina,” owner Maurice Santucci smiled.

“There’s also a nice coincidence that the restaurant overlooks the number 57 tram stop!”


For more than 15 years, Maurice and his team have been serving up the finest Italian food and wines from their elegant Errol St restaurant.


The interior decor is simple and understated, punctuated by a wall of black and white family photos.

“My background is Italian, and I’ve always enjoyed food, so it all just comes naturally. My parents come from the north of Italy; my father hailed from La Spezia, while my mother mi-grated from Treviso,” Maurice said.

“I grew up learning cooking from my mum. The recipes we use are a mix of family recipes and those I have learnt over the years - I started cooking commercially when I was fifteen years old. Our produce is mostly sourced from nearby Queen Victoria Market.”

When you visit Sosta Cucina, you must not miss Maurice’s favourite antipasti, the lightly fried local calamari, or the selection of hand-made pasta.

Customer favourites include the spaghetti al granchio, a fragrant spanner crab spaghettini and the signature hand-cut pappar-delle with slow-cooked lamb ragu.

You might also find modern Italian-inspired dishes such as the vodka-cured salmon with blood oranges, thinly sliced pickled beetroot, goats cheese and finger limes, a seasonal special.

“It’s a dish that is not straight-down-the-line traditional Italian; it’s very inspired by Italian ingredients and techniques. It’s a modern interpretation of gravlax, but with Italian elements." •

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
Like us on Facebook