Florida Guide > Disney Parks
WORLD SHOWCASE - ITALY
Eleven countries each with their own pavilions - that is what you will find at the wonderful and spectacular ‘World Showcase’ at Epcot, Orlando, Florida. Quite unique, this eclectic mix of countries provides a fascinating snapshot of each region. There are few rides here but it is well worth stopping off for a gentle stroll round the beautiful lagoon, which provides the setting for the World Showcase, as well as the location for the spectacular firework and laser show each evening.
Walking round the World Showcase lagoon in a clockwise direction, the fifth country you will come to is Italy, which opened in 1982 and was inspired by the beautiful city of Venice. Indeed, you may well feel that you have stepped into Venice itself, with a scaled down version of the Campanile of St Mark’s Square, the pink Doge’s Palace, Venetian bridges, a sculpture of the Lion of St Mark on top of one column, and St Theodore on another, plus colourful barber’s poles and gondolas. Sadly the gondolas are not in use, but the whole pavilion is elegant and stunning, and it is easy to forget that this is just a replica of these wonderful places. The paving is even patterned after St Mark’s Square, and there are sculptures which include a version of Bernini’s Neptune Fountain – based on the original in Florence and Rome’s De Trevi Fountain. The Campanile (Bell Tower) stands at eighty three feet, and the angel which sits atop it is covered in real gold leaf.
But don’t look too closely as the marble is not real – Disney Imagineers created marble by using fibreglass covering brick supports. Painted and specially treated to recreate the real thing, it is very authentic. The statues on the Doge’s Palace are actually hollow, and are held in place by steel rods which run through the middle of them. However, it is still spectacular, especially with its delightful gardens featuring olive trees, cypress, pines, grape vines, citrus trees and kumquat trees.
Of course there is authentic Italian food, at the full service Tutto Italia Restaurant, which replaced the original restaurant, L’Original Alfredo di Roma Ristorante. Here you can sample Spaghetti Al Fiocco Di Pomodora Saracene, which is made from freshly made pasta and a special sauce made from fresh plum tomatoes. If you enjoy veal then try the Bocconcini Di Vitello Al Funghi, which is veal sautéed in a mushroom, tomato and wine sauce. The restaurant is very popular so go early or you might have to wait.
A cart sells Italian pastries and wines as well as Italian Margaritas. Add to this live singers from Naples – ‘I Cantanapoli, ’ live statues and the juggler, Sergio who entertains every day from Monday to Friday in the courtyard and you will find plenty to interest you. It is also a perfect spot to watch the fireworks during the evening.
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