Epcot World Showcase - Italy
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The 83 foot belltower in the World Showcase's Italy is an authentic replica of the original campanile in St. Mark's Square. The great attention paid to detail is found on the angel atop the belltower that is covered with real gold leaf even though it is up so high that guests really cannot appreciate it.
The romance of Venice is demonstrated in the Venetian bridges and the gondolas that are moored to a festive striped barber shop-style poles alongside the World Showcase lagoon.
A spectacular replica of the 14th century pink and white Doge's Palace is authentic right down to the marble-like façade similar to that used in the original. In the central plaza area of the pavilion, the Plaza del Teatro, you'll find the "Fontana de Nettuno" a fountain inspired by Bernini's Neptune fountain. Live street theatre and the singers of Naples, "I Cantanapoli" entertain guests in the plaza as well.
The landscaping of Italy will delight gardening buffs with the olive trees, Mediterranean citrus, kumquat trees, cypress and pines found in the formal garden.
Located right off the lobby of Tutto Italia is the Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar. This intimate space seats only 96 people, and is open from 11:30 am - 9:00 pm. Designed to look like an Italian wine cellar, Tutto Gusto features stone walls and floors, rustic wood beams and brick arches. It offers an appetizer-type menu, with six sections focusing on small plates with foods from all around Italy. Various cheeses, mini panini sandwiches, pastas and seafood are just some of the choices available. Guests can select from an extensive drink menu, including more than 200 varieties of Italian wine.
Via Napoli, an authentic Italian pizzeria and restaurant, is designed to be reminiscent of the architecture in Florence, Italy. It features an open kitchen and prep area, where guests can watch their pizzas be made and cooked in one of the massive stone pizza ovens.
The Italy Pavilion also has a cart where you can get Italian pastries, wines and Italian Margaritas.
There are many quaint little shops offering a broad variety of Italian merchandise. You will discover fine Florentine soaps, Illy espresso coffee, and hand-made paper mache Venetian masks. Creamy Italian chocolates, traditional snacks and Italian wines are also found here. The pavilion has a large selection of cookbooks covering Rome, Tuscany, Naples and Italian Farmhouse cooking. If beautiful crystal, fine Murano glassware and porcelain figures are your heart's desires, a stop at "Il Bel Cristallo" is a must. In this store you will also find San Lorenzo Venetian glass jewelry, Antica Murrina jewelry, Pulicati leather handbags, Ferrari merchandise and a nice selection of Italian perfumes.
FUN FACTS: To say “hello”
in Italian, say “buon giorno” (boo-on JOR-no)
HIDDEN MICKEYS: Look at the bottom right corner sculpture to see three leaves in the shape of a distinct Mickey.