While some of the other World Showcase Pavilions incorporate bits and pieces of national landmarks to represent the whole of each country represented, Epcot’s Italy Pavilion pulls primarily from the architecture of Venice, as it is highly recognizable and distinctly Italian.
Enter the Pavilion between two regal columns. Atop one stands a lion statue—the guardian of Venice—and capping the other is the likeness of St. Theodore slaying a dragon. Both mimic the originals that grace the original Doge’s Palace in Venice’s Piazza di San Marco (or St. Mark’s Square), which was constructed between the 9th and 16th centuries and spans Gothic and Renaissance styles.
A one-fifth scale Campanile clock-bell tower, complete with an angel sculpted from the original and covered in gold leaf, greets Guests with a visual “Buon giorno!” Toward the back of the promenade, the sea god Neptune is featured in the Fontana di Nettuno, a sculpture honoring the work of Renaissance artist Gian Lorenzo Bernini.
Jutting into World Showcase Lagoon is the Isola del Lago (Isle of the Lake), featuring the bridges, gondolas and colorful barber poles for which Venice is so well-known. Horticulture native to Italy, such as Italian cypress trees, olive trees and grape vines complete the scene.
*Photos today are courtesy of Magical Mouse Schoolhouse fan and attendee, Sierra H.! Thank you, Sierra!
I don’t know about you, but when I think of Italy, I think of delicious food, and Epcot’s Italy Pavilion serves some of the best. My family has come to love one particular frozen treat: gelato. Right outside the piazza stands a little kiosk. It’s easy to overlook—I’ve done so myself! Here they serve Italy’s version of ice cream, and although I’m told it doesn’t compare to what you’d find in Italy, this creamy delight will please any sweet tooth.
If you have an ice cream maker in your home (or if you can borrow a friend’s), follow this simple recipe from the Food Network’s Giada De Laurentiis. Learn the difference between traditional American ice cream and true Italian gelato and tantalize your tastebuds!
SCHOOL SUBJECT: Cooking
SKILL LEVEL: Middle Grades / All, with parental supervision