You just finished watching The of Spirit America Fife and Drum Corp. while eating a funnel cake, where to next? Italy. Our journey through the World Showcase continues into the and all it has offer. Let’s see what secrets we can find behind the scenes here.
- The Italian Pavilion features a plaza surrounded by a collection of buildings evocative of Venetian, Florentine, and Roman architecture. Venetian architecture is represented by a re-creation of St Mark’s Campanile(bell tower) and a replica of the Doge’s Palace.
- The pavilion’s design is inspired by other hallmarks of the Italian architecture, such as teh Neptune Fountain (reminiscent of Rome’s Trevi Fountain) and Il Bel Cristallo shop (which was meant to resemble the exterior of The Sistine Chapel).
- If you wander around behind the shops (where the fountains are) look around for little red press-buttons that say “press for a surprise” (or something to that effect). If you press the button, water squirts from a different location.
It’s always fun to see where the water will come from and then wait for an unsuspecting tourist to walk by.
- The original plans for the pavilion called for an expansion that would be built in “Phase II” of the construction. That left a wall with nothing behind it at the rear of the pavilion. There were talks of it including a dark gondola ride and a Roman ruins walk-through. When “Phase II” was cancelled, the pavilion was left incomplete.
- There are pillars that surround one of the building, and they are decorated with several kings. Each king is holding a crystal, cannon ball, and sword, except one. One of the kings is holding a bowling ball and of course the holes are shaped like Mickey.
The Imagineers were allowed to put something of “themselves” in the design and one was a bowler.
For those that a difficulty finding it, walk to the right corner of the left building (while facing it) and it is the 5th column from the front. It is to the right of the door to shop with fish handles.
- The water used to make the pizza dough in Via Napoli is flown in from Pennsylvania to make it as close to authentic Neapolitan dough.
- Via Napoli’s three wood burning ovens pay tribute to the three active volcanoes in Italy: Etna, Vesuvio, and Stromboli.
To do this, each of the three ovens are sculpted in the shape of the face of the god that their corresponding volcano is named after.
- The long communal table in the center of the room was built in Florence and features hand painted tiles depicting iconic monuments in Italy.
Have you spent time wandering the shops of Italy? Did you find the Hidden Mickey bowling ball or get an unsuspecting tourist with the red buttons? Join us next time as we head over to Germany and see that there is more than German beer and lederhosen to be seen.
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