This little pocket of Italy is full of places to adventure to! Check out a few of these places while you're in the area.
This is actually a UNSECO World Heritage Site (one of four in Friuli). Head into the town to check out the church and museum. There are lots of frescos in the church and really cool tiling on the floor. The museum will help you understand a bit more of the history of the area...plus it's a fun place to take silly pictures. My friends and I brought a picnic and had lunch across the street from some of the ruins.
I love Trieste! I've even done a blog about how it feels like you are traveling back in time while you are there (you can read that post HERE). In addition to those recommendations you should for sure do a coffee crawl and also check out some of the cool old ruins. The visitor center will give you a map and get you acquainted with the most famous coffee shops.
This is a really cool university town. Its church is very impressive and they have a weekly market. One of my favorite things I did was tour the old university. You can see the room where they first taught medicine using cadavers (which was controversial for Italy as a Catholic country), the room itself is a cool wooden room that looks down on the teaching floor. I definitely recommend the tour.
I love lake Barcis, especially in the summer when the water warms up. Fun things to do include: bringing a hammock and hanging out between some trees, getting a coffee and enjoying the view, doing the three (ish) mile hike around the lake, skipping stones, having a BBQ, or bringing paddle boards and exploring the lake. It doesn't hurt that it's also beautiful there.
This little mosaic town has a really fun medieval fest in late summer/early fall (ask around for dates). It also regularly has markets and you can tour the mosaic school if you go during the hours they are open (you can also take a class there!).
This was one of my favorite places for a weekend getaway. The coffee is dang good there and the cuisine is very up and coming. (Hisa Franco isn't too far either if you've seen the show Chefs Table on Netflix). I for sure recommend taking a food tour with Iva and also a graffiti tour (you can see my post about each of those HERE). In addition, I would recommend a walk up to the castle, trying some of their wine, and having a drink on a summer night along the river. Also their Christmas market is pretty magical if you can make it over in the Christmas season.
7. Lake Bled
This is one of my favorite places in the world! I love the nature and the outdoor adventures. While you are there ride the alpine coaster, do the three mile walk around the lake, rent a boat and paddle out to the chapel, climb up to the castle, and drive over to Vintgar gorge for a lovely little waterfall hike.
8. Lago de Braies
This lake is all kinds of Insta famous. It is an easy hour and a half (ish) hike around the lake and will give you some pretty stunning views. It is quite the drive but lovely once you get there.
9. Sequals/Wine Tasting
This is just a little further down the road from Maniago and has several places to go wine tasting. A fun way to switch it up from the typical wine stops in the Aviano area. And Seuqals has some cool old ruins you can play around on.
10. Prosecco Road
This one seems like a pretty obvious day trip from Aviano and fortunately, it's typically a huge hit! I wrote a post with my recommendations HERE.
This is one of the closer little beach towns, a fun way to cool off in the summer. In the fall (I think only in September) they have a corn maze, and their aquarium is decent for Italian standards. Or go during the Christmas season and check out their Christmas market and Sand Nativity (to read more about magical Italian Christmas towns click HERE).
The ski area here is one of the most picturesque places I have been. Be sure to get a pastry and a drink in one of the lodges. Plus you can mush a dog sled here! For info on how to do that check out my post HERE.
Head here for your ceramics. I always recommend VBC Ceramics as it tends to have a solid selection and isn't too expensive. Be sure to check the hours as I managed several times to head there when it was closed. After buying your ceramics get a coffee at Cafe Roma and consider a trip to Bassano del Grappa (see #14)
14. Bassano del Grappa
Bassano del Grappa is where Grappa comes from! They have a museum dedicated to it and lots of fun places to sit and try some. They have a tiny little Christmas market and a beautiful wooden bridge worth checking out. If you are feeling ambitious in your day trip and want to drive a little further you can head over to Asiago (where the cheese comes from) and do some tasting.
This is a lovely little walled city. It is an easy drive from Vicenza and not too far for a day trip from Aviano. For only a few euro you can walk all the way around the walls, definitely a fun little trip especially if you can catch the city during a fest.
This is a lovely little town that sits on Lake Guarda. It has a castle that you can tour and excellent places to sit and chill on the lovely rock beach.
17. Dolomiti National Park
Dolomiti National Park is pretty expansive and provides some breath-taking views. If you are looking for a waterfall hike I would recommend heading to Feltre (see post HERE) or if you would prefer just a pretty drive you can drive out past Barcis to the visitor center where they will recommend hikes and other activities in the area (including tours of the Vajont Dam).
18. Cansiglio Forest
This is a great place to cool off on a hot day as it's always significantly cooler up there. The top provides a beautiful vista where you can look out over the area and the drive up is pretty magical as you pass through the trees.
19. Pyramidenkogel in Austria
This slide is crazy! One of the tallest in Europe, plus the top has really beautiful views (it's the tallest wooden observation deck in Europe). I would probably add it to a trip you are already doing in the area (or through the area) but it is worth a stop for sure! I think it's seasonal so be sure to look up the hours before heading out.
20. Ai Pioppi
I think this little self-powered amusement park in the woods is wonderfully quirky and I for sure recommend it for both kids and adults. Feel free to check out my post about it HERE.
21. Grotte de Pradis
This is another place to check out some waterfalls. The hours for this place are a bit strange (it took me a few tries to get there on a day it was open) but it was recommended by an Italian friend and I think it was pretty cool. I kind of snuck off the path and played in the waterfalls and you can read more about how to do that (at your own risk) HERE.
Venice is a classic day trip from Aviano but I always have fun. Since I've been so many times I actually wrote a post (complete with a map) of some less-common things to do there. Check that out HERE.
23. Grotte Gigante
If you want to feel like you are on a journey to the center of the earth you can check out this crazy cave in Italy. Tours run regularly, just be sure to check the hours. This would be an easy thing to tack onto a trip to Trieste.
24. Grotte de Caglieron
This is another cool medieval town and even has a castle with a moat. They also have a balloon festival in September so if you have the freedom to make it over it is worth checking out.
Looking for more things to do? Check out my post of 101+ things to do in Aviano!
And since Easter is just around the corner you can learn a bit about those giant Italian chocolate Easter eggs HERE
Have other places you think are worth checking out in the Aviano area? Let me know in the comments section! And if you like this post please share it on social media!