Tour Epcot’s Italy Pavilion
Benvenuti amici! How many of you have strolled along Epcot’s World Showcase, glanced in at the courtyard, and continued meandering? Arresto!! I often hear grumblings that there are no attractions or films in this locale, and therefore it is not a worthy stop. However, if you know and love this Southern European country, allow the authentic details of Italia transport you. (Or do you dream of visiting the real Venice, Florence, or Rome in the future?) Welcome to la dolce vita… Here’s a virtual tour of Epcot’s Italy pavilion.
One of the nine original World Showcase Pavilions that opened in 1982, this stop on our tour is modeled after the coastal city of Venice. The pink and white “marble” buildings surrounding Plaza del Teatro are as authentic and committed to detail as you would expect from a Disney endeavor. It was not until our second trip to Italy that I fully appreciated the Walt Disney World “primer.”
|Venetian gondola (See the striped moorings pictured above!!)|
Elements of Rome are present in the plaza’s “Fontana de Netunno”, which is fashioned after Bernini’s masterpiece in the Trevi Fountain. The Florentine style is evident in the newest restaurant, Via Napoli.
Florence’s architects Stefano Nardini and Raffaella Melucci designed this venue for the Patina Restaurant Group. Its wood-burning pizza ovens are named for the three active Italian volcanoes and designed to portray their designated gods: Etna, Vesuvio, and Stromboli.
|Via Napoli’s open kitchen|
|Via Napoli chandeliers are imported from the island of Murano off the Venetian coast.|
|Italian gelato served out of an authentic donkey cart. This is the same mode of transportation used for centuries in the rugged Italian hillside.|
Lasagna alla Bolognese. That’s all I need to say. We most enjoy sitting outside on the patio in temperate weather. (Think people watching- Italian style.) On rainy and HOT days, sit inside in the main dining room, or the enclosed “sun room.” This table service restaurant serves lunch and dinner. DO NOT forget to make your Advance Dining Reservations.
The pizza here is as authentic as you will find in the States. And to guarantee that fact, the water used to make the dough is shipped in from… Pennsylvania! (Evidently, testing shows that it mimics the water found in Naples. Who knew??) San Marzano tomatoes and hand-rolled mozzarella complete the product, and a dozen other toppings are available. The menu includes salads and pasta dishes, but the pizza is delicioso!
No Tour of Epcot’s Italy Pavilion would be complete without the fruit of the vine.
Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar
|An Italian wine cellar selling wine, small plates, AND items from the Tutto Italia menu! A great alternative if you can’t secure a reservation at the other two restaurants on the plaza.|
|Purchase Banfi wines by the glass.|
|Italy’s wine offerings, enjoyed in its piazza.|
Il Belle Christallo (Murano glassware and Venetian glass jewelry, accessories, and perfumes. It’s where my boys buy their cologne. Exclusively!)
La Bottega Italiano (Apparel, Venetian masks, Italian foods)
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth (Now Epcot Forever, and a brand-new show coming in 2020!)
|A premier viewing spot for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Many private parties are hosted there!|
Sergio the mime/juggler
The Flag Wavers of Sansepolcro (A tradition from the Middle Ages)
|Ravioli alla Caprese and Chianti Classico, Placido|
|Lady and the Tramp Topiary|
(During Epcot Festival of the Holidays)
|La Befana, the Italian good witch who brings presents to children on the Epiphany.|
That completes your tour of Epcot’s Italy pavilion. For a touch of amore, a Renaissance history lesson, a good chianti, and a GREAT meal, be sure to wander into the piazza on your next loop around World Showcase. It’s an offer you can’t (shouldn’t) refuse!!