Buongiorno! Today we take a look at EPCOT’s Italy Pavilion. Join me on a tour of one of the most-visited pavilions in World Showcase, and enter our GIVEAWAY for an EPCOT passport.
The Italy Pavilion opened with the park on October 1, 1982, but it wasn’t officially dedicated until October 14, 1982.
The pavilion doesn’t have any rides, so what makes it one of the most popular to visit? There is dining, there is shopping and entertainment, but we think it is the amazing recreations of some of Italy’s most famous architectural sites that draw the attention of visitors. The Roman and Florentine architecture, including the Venice waterways, makes for perfect photo ops.
The entrance to the Italy Pavilion is marked by an 83-foot-tall campanile (bell tower) intended to mirror the one in St. Mark’s Square in Venice.
Left of the campanile is a replica of the 14th-century Doge’s Palace.
The Neptune Fountain is reminiscent of Rome’s 18th-century Trevi Fountain as famously depicted in Federico Fellini’s 1960 movie La Dolce Vita with Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni. Many more films include the famous fountain in their flick, so it is no surprise that the Italian Post Office issued a Trevi Fountain postage stamp. The name of the fountain derives from the Latin word trivium, meaning three streets. The fountain is located in the center of Via De’Crocicchi, Via Poli, and Via Delle Muratte, hence the name. Did you know that every year tourists toss about 3,000 euros in the fountain? Have you thrown coins in the EPCOT version of the fountain?
Streets and courtyards in the Italy Pavilion are among the most realistic in the World Showcase. You really do feel as if you’re in Italy. Because there’s no film or ride, you can tour anytime.
Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria is hands-down our favorite ristorante! The authentic Neapolitan pizzeria features wood-burning ovens and imports water from a source that most resembles the water in Naples, home of some of the world’s best pizza dough.
The 300-seat pizzeria has both indoor and outdoor seating. While there are various entrées on the menu, including little plates to start your dining experience, we suggest you go for the pizza—you won’t regret it.
The pizza is Neapolitan and is perfectly cooked in three wood-burning ovens, carved with faces to represent the three volcanos of Italy: Stromboli, Vesuvius, and Etna.
Authentic Italian cuisine from Italy’s different regions is served at Tutto Italia. The table-service restaurant is perfect for a night out for mom and dad. We love the Carpaccio di Manzo, charred Wagyu beef paired with arugula and Parmesan cheese as a starter. Our favorite main dish is Gamberi, shrimp scampi, and fresh linguine with herb-butter sauce. Vegetarians should go for Involtini di Melanzane alla Parmigiana, an eggplant dish with ricotta, mushrooms, Parmesan, and tomato sauce. When it comes to dessert, there is no arguing: Go for the classic Tiramisù. Indulge in a good coffee or cappuccino paired with a Limoncello Flight. Tutto Italia is available for lunch and dinner.
Attached to Tutto Italia is the Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar. We would recommend that you enjoy a flight of Crisp Italian Whites (Sauvignon Terre di Bacco 2018, Il Pecorino Feuduccio 2018, Gavi Batasiolo 2018; $16) before dining at Tutto Italia.
You can, of course, make Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar your wine and dining experience, as the lounge also offers quite a selection of dishes served at Tutto Italia. Brick arches, stone floors and walls, and wooden beams are meant to recreate a traditional Italian wine cellar. This is a perfect spot for grown-up time!
FOOD AND WINE ON THE GO
Gelateria Toscana is a Quick Service stand offering gelato, sweet treats such as Tiramisù, and drinks. Near the Fountain of Neptune, there is a cart selling wine, beer, and treats. If you are looking for pizza on the go, walk up to Pizza al Taglio, the pizza window right next to Via Napoli Pizzeria e Ristorante.
We hope that this small overview of the Italy Pavilion’s culinary delights is helpful. Buon Appetito!
At Il Bella Cristallo, Murano Glass, San Lorenzo Venetian Glass jewelry, and fine porcelain are undoubtedly the stars. Inside the store is La Gemma Elegante, a smaller shop featuring leather goods, perfumes, and Venetian masks. Just across from Bella Cristallo you’ll find La Bottega Italiana tempting visitors with Italy-themed souvenirs. What would be a visit to the Italy Pavilion without picking up a new cookbook? At the Enoteca Castello, go for wines, olive oils, vinegars, coffees, and other gourmet specialties.
ENTERTAINMENT AND SPECIAL EVENTS
As you stroll the piazza at the Italy Pavilion, make sure to enjoy the antics and impressive skills of Sergio, the juggler. He usually sets up his show right in front of the campanile. And don’t be shy—join him when invited!
During the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival in the spring, be sure to check out the adorable Lady and the Tramp topiaries found at the Italy Pavilion.
During the holiday season, meet La Befana, the good witch who brings gifts to children on Epiphany. La Befana tells her story in the middle of the plaza. She’s not to be missed!
Did you know that in Italy, Mickey Mouse is called Topolino?
And now it is time to enter our giveaway. Good luck!
For all there is to see and do at Walt Disney World, check out The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World with Kids. If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe to our YouTube channel and sign up for our newsletter here. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube.