Take Some Time to Explore Epcot's Italy Pavilion

The Italy Pavilion has always been a favorite place to spend some time exploring during any trip to Epcot. Perhaps it's because the pavilion is as close as I'm getting to Venice any time soon.

The pavilion is, after all, modeled after St. Mark's Square in Venice, complete with a replica of Venice's fourteenth century Doge's Palace and the Campanile di San Marco (the bell tower of St. Mark).

Doges PalaceDoges Palace

If you walk down to the World Showcase Lagoon you'll find yourself peering out into what should be the famous canals of Venice, complete with gondolas moored to the "barber poles." The area might seem a bit detached from the rest of the pavilion, but it adds an authentic touch to the Venice-vibe.

Other landmarks in the pavilion include two large columns at the front of the square. One is topped with St. Mark's Lion and the other is topped with the statue of St. Theodore. As you stand in the middle of the square, and look out toward the World Showcase Lagoon you can almost imagine that you're standing in the heart of St. Mark's Square in Venice, looking out toward the Venetian Lagoon.

The columns in Epcot's Italy PavilionThe columns in Epcot's Italy Pavilion

While you're in the center of the square you might have a chance to see some of the entertainment, including The Ziti Sisters. This comedy troupe share the culture of Italy through music, dance, and humor. You can usually find the sisters entertaining the crowd on most afternoons. Be sure to check the Times Guide for more information.

The younger members of your group might be interested in stopping at the Kidcot Fun Stop, which can be found near La Bottega Italiana.

As you head toward the back of the pavilion you'll see the piazza's fountain featuring a model of the sea god, Neptune. The fountain is always a good place to take a family picture, and don't forget to toss in a coin and make a wish!

The Neptune FountainThe Neptune Fountain

By now you might be wondering why we're in Italy and not talking about food. Well, wonder no more. There are great dining choices in the Italy Pavilion.

At the back of the pavilion you'll find Via Napoli, which serves what is probably the best pizza in all of Walt Disney World. The restaurant features large dining areas, whimsical pizza ovens named for Italian volcanoes, and bright, colorful decor. And the food and aqua fresca is pretty amazing too. The menu features pizza, of course, but you can also choose from pasta dishes. Our friends at the Disney Food Blog have a great review if you want to know more!

The pizza ovens in Via NapoliThe pizza ovens in Via Napoli

The other table service location in the pavilion is Tutto Italia. This location recently went through a renovation and now also features the Tutto Gusto Wine Bar. The restaurant features a more formal atmosphere than Via Napoli, but don't worry you can still drop by in your park touring gear. The menu features traditional pasta dishes, in addition to fish, steak, and chicken. For a full review, visit our friends at the Disney Food Blog.

In addition to the great dining options, you'll also find some incredible shops in the pavilion, selling Venetian masks, Italian chocolates, wine, and more. You can definitely find something special during your visit to Italy.

Tell us, what is your favorite thing about Epcot's Italy Pavilion? Leave us a comment!

Thanks to our friends at the Disney Food Blog for the use of their photo!

Bob wrote on Tue, 12/03/2013 - 01:28:

Bob's picture

Tutto Italia Restaurant, One of EPCOT Best. Not only the food, but the service is top's

lisa fields wrote on Tue, 12/03/2013 - 12:40:

lisa fields's picture

It's as close to Venice as you can get...minus the dirt!!!

alicemouse wrote on Tue, 12/03/2013 - 20:15:

alicemouse's picture

Yesterday we were the recipients of some grade A Disney magic as the Ziti Sisters did an impromptu vow renewal for us for our 10th anniversary. Love Italy!

alicemouse wrote on Tue, 12/03/2013 - 20:17:

alicemouse's picture

Oh and Sergio the juggler! Great show!

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