When you think of desserts in Italy most people tend to think of gelato or tiramisu...beyond that Italy isn't exactly known for its desserts (it's hard to compete with a country like France). However, after moving here I was pleasantly surprised to learn that there is a real variety of desserts (beyond gelato and tiramisu). I recently took some of the students I work with on a dessert crawl through Aviano. On the crawl we stopped at three different places to get what are (in my opinion) the best desserts they have to offer. It inspired me to compile this list to share with you in case you would like to do your own dessert crawl.
Stop #1: Ristorante San Giorgio (aka "the Spaghetti House")
Desserts: Profiterole & Scroppino
Profiterole is a French pastry filled with cream covered in a chocolate pudding like sauce that is served with whip-cream and a thick chocolate syrup. It is probably my favorite dessert in all of Aviano (with a close second being the dark chocolate gelato at Scian but we'll get to that in a minute)
Scroppino is a blended drink that falls somewhere between a smoothie and a Popsicle (with a sorbet taste). At San Georgio the lemon one has vodka but the other flavors are non-alcoholic. I personally like the lemon one best but with the students we ordered strawberry ones and they were also very refreshing.
Desserts: Alpini Gelato Bar & Dark Chocolate Gelato
The Alpini Gelato bar is a frozen gelato bar made with dark chocolate gelato, a layer of crispy cereal and a thin layer of fruit cake (don't be turned off by this, it's delicious!) all covered in a crispy chocolate layer. Scian easily makes the best and freshest gelato in Aviano (you can tell it's the freshest because it's kept fresh under the metal lids) and their best gelato is the fondente (dark chocolate); creamy, delicious and well worth the stop.
Stop #3-Gelato 86
Dessert: Reece's Spaghetti Ice
I'm going to be honest and admit Scian has better gelato but what 86 has that Scian doesn't is peanut butter gelato. Peanut butter isn't exactly a common flavor in Italy but as 86 tends to cater to Americans (and Italians who don't mind Americans) they serve a decent peanut butter gelato. I recommend getting it in the form of the Reece's Spaghetti Ice to get the full experience.
(Bonus) Stop #4-Stradella
Desserts: Nutella Cream Puff & the Fruit Topped Custard Cup (and if you are there before noon you should get a cappuccino to go with them)
I know that people have different opinions on which coffee shop is the best one in Aviano but this is my blog and I like Stradella so I'm including Stradella as a bonus stop (I will be fair and say that Desiree is a close second). This is a bonus stop because I didn't make it to this one with the students but I can still recommend it from personal experience. Also it's more of a breakfast dessert stop...but dessert for breakfast feels like a win right? The Nutella cream puff comes in a small bite size so it is just the right amount of sweet and doesn't feel over indulgent as a breakfast dessert. The fruit topped custard top is also not overly sweet and is definitely worth trying. And since you're at a coffee shop get a coffee and enjoy all of the sweet Italians who have gathered there for coffee and a chat.
Have a favorite that I missed? Or want to make a recommendation? Let me know in the comments section.