Giovanni’s Gelato Café brings a slice of Italy to Oro Valley

Dec 07, 2015 759

by Logan Burtch-Buus

Sicilian native Giovanni Rizza and his wife, Agnes, own and operate Giovanni's Gelato Café in Oro Valley, an establishment that offers a wide array of both traditional and intriguing flavors of the classic Italian dessert. Giovanni's is authentic to the core, according to Rizza, a point in which he takes great pride. From the gelato case to the espresso machine, and even the architect who laid out the design for the beautiful store — it all came from Italy.

Rizza himself made it to the United States in 1967, having left behind an Italy in which he said he, and many others, faced little or no opportunity for work. He followed his relatives before him and settled down in Chicago. To make a living, he bought, sold and developed real estate. Though the café just opened in mid-August, Rizza and his wife have wanted to open the business in the Tucson area since 2007. He said they were interested in Tucson because of the favorable weather.

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