Perhaps one of the most overlooked pavilions of World Showcase in Epcot of Walt Disney World is the Italy Pavilion. Some guests absolutely love the pavilion, while others take a quick glance as they are passing by.
Really, the Italy Pavilion has a lot to offer. From architecture, to shops, to eating (including a brand new restaurant), the pavilion is definitely worth spending some time at. However, for those die-hard attraction lovers, Italy does not have any rides or movies to take in.
Original plans did call for the pavilion to have a dark gondola ride, however. In addition to that ride, a walk-through of the Roman ruins was considered. Both of those options were scrapped along with several other expansions planned as part of the “Phase II” construction of Epcot which never really materialized.
Still, the structures of the Italy Pavilion are quite nice. They are designed with nods to Venetian, Florentine and Roman architecture. Most notable among these is the reproduction of Doge’s Palace in Venice. Attention to detail on the reproduction is astonishing right down to the gold leaf on an angel perching 100 feet in the air.
Shoppers will want to spend some time in Enoteca Castello which offers some culinary delights including wine, chocolate, espresso, etc. More tangible items including scarves, jewelry, apparel, wallets, etc. can be found in Il Bel Cristallo. Decorative ceramics and glasswares can be located in La Bottega Italiana.
Finally, the new restaurant mentioned before is known as Via Napoli. It offers Italian fare through the eyes of the well-known Patina Restaurant Group. Inside the 300-seat facility are three wood-burning pizza ovens complete with imagery over them representative of three active volcanoes in Italy – Etna, Vesuvius and Stromboli.
All in all, the Italy Pavilion is worth a portion of your day, if not for the food, then to absorb the architecture.
Thanks to gpturner0924 who provided the video shown above of the show.
For other must-sees and dos of Disney, see the All Things Mouse Disney World Virtual Tours and Reviews page