Italy Pavilion - Epcot

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The city of Venice was the original inspiration for the Italian Pavilion. The shops and architecture are really the featured attractions in this Pavilion.

The architecture is a reproduction of the Doges Palace in Venice. As it was impossible to find an exact duplicate of the marble, the Disney Imagineers created their own. In this case, the marble is actually fibreglass, it covers brick supports and has been painted and specially treated to resemble the real thing.

The statues on the Doges Palace are actually hollow and are held in place by steel rods that run through the base into the statues themselves.

A smaller version of Campanile includes an angel sculpted using a model of the original and covered in gold leaf. Look out for the sea god Neptune; he is featured at the fountain.

The garden is more like a garden patio: blue, white and pink hanging baskets add colour to the buildings and garden walls. Citrus trees, such as orange and lemon, along with other Mediterranean trees, dominate the landscape. Flowering plants in authentic containers decorate the plaza.

As you enter St. Mark's Square, you pass two massive freestanding columns. At the top of one is St. Theodore, a military leader who played an important role in early Venetian history. On top of the other column are a winged lion, who is the mythical guardian of Venice and the symbol of St. Mark.

Look out for Sergio, the juggler who appears Monday to Friday in the courtyard.

The storyteller in Italy is La Befana and she makes appearances throughout the afternoon. She is the good witch who brings gifts to children on the Epiphany.

On our last visit to Italy we had lunch at Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante the restaurant that is designed in Florentine style. Alfredo's is based on a famous Roman restaurant of the same name.

As it was a cool day we started with soup. Some of the adults had Pasta e Fagioli the thickest Tuscan bean soup I have seen and it was made with borlotti beans. Others had Lobster Bisque, containing tomatoes, cream, shallots, fresh herbs, butter and brandy with the most delicious pieces of lobster and shrimp. The girls enjoyed chicken noodle soup.

All the adults decided on and were not disappointed by Le Originali Fettuccine all'Alfredo. This is the restaurant’s speciality of homemade egg noodles tossed in a special butter and parmigian cheese. The girls also were delighted with their choice of Penne Pasta, with cream and parmigian cheese.

After lunch we had a stroll around the various shops selling Italian chocolates, candies, glassware and gourmet foods and cookware.

An enjoyable visit flowed by a good lunch.

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