IF TRAVELING CLOCKWISE UPON ENTERING
A showcase of
Italy featuring Italian architecture of including statues, Roman ruins,
grapevines, olive trees, container gardens, gondolas, a great restaurant,
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of the most interesting parts of this area is the forced perspective
that is created, Darden explains. While most of the others
are closed in a horseshoe shape, the Italy pavilion is open in the rear,
drawing your eyes to the trees in the background. This architectural
sleight of hand, along with the help of carefully planned landscaping,
tricks the eye into believing the area is larger than it really is.
Container gardens bring the architecture to life here. Grapevines on
the trellis and near the statue in the rear further enhance the Italy
theme. Olive trees also can be found just outside of the Delizie Italiane,
but no fruit is produced by these trees because of Floridas humidity.
Near the gondolas, rows of navel oranges and kumquats are planted to
represent the Mediterranean region of Italy.
"I can make peace between nations, just with my fettuccine,"
insisted Alfredo DiLelio. L'Originale Alfredo di Roma Ristorante at
Epcot, under the supervision of longtime DiLelio family associate Guido
Bellanca, serves le originali fettuccine all'Alfredo according to the
"We're using fresh pasta made on the premises and the same brand
of Parmesan cheese imported from Reggio Emillia we've used for more
than 50 years," says Bellanca. The pasta-making process is on view
behind large windows looking into an area of the restaurant's Italian-tiled
Decorated in the warm earth tones characteristic of Florence and Siena,
Alfredo's red-brown walls and deeply upholstered armchairs create an
inviting atmosphere in which to sample pasta specialties such as trenette
al pesto Genovese (imported linguine with Alfredo's pesto sauce), scaloppine
con funghi selvatici (veal sautéed with demiglace, wine sauce
and wild mushrooms) and ziti alla Mediterranean (ziti with fresh mozzarella,
Sicilian olives and fresh tomatoes).
Perhaps World Showcase's weakest pavilion, Italy has little in the way
of attractions or entertainment value. Aw heck, it is World Showcase's
weakest pavilion. With the thousands of years of Italian history
and art, they couldn't think of anything to put here?
To be fair, I'm sure the creative guys did think of several
things they could do. Tattered historical documents refer to upcoming
'Roman Ruins' and representation for southern Italy (the pavilion as
it is remains strictly northern). Unfortunately when EPCOT was
built these were relegated to "Phase II" status and we know
what happens to those things.
With today's management, you can be darn well guaranteed
they aren't going to put any money into the pavilion for the sole reason
of actually improving the guest experience. No, if anything appears
in the Italy pavilion anytime soon it'll probably be "Herc's Wacky
Ferrari Test-Drive Spin". Pull G-forces, hurl, and experience
poor attempts at contemporary self-referential anachronistic humor at
the same time!
So, while there isn't much to do in EPCOT's Italy, it does
feature one of the park's most popular restaurants...
di Roma Ristorante
...but you can call me Alfredo's. When I was a lil'
kid this was my favorite restaurant in World Showcase. The food
was familiar and accessible, and just exotic enough to be interesting.
Today I still love to drop by every few years or so but it's no longer
a must do. It's very pricey for what you get, and while it is
very good there's nothing here you probably can't find at an Italian
restaurant in any medium-sized urban area. But... fettuccini and
The restaurant features large rooms that can be somewhat
crowded, as this is one of EPCOT's most visited restaurants. The walls
are painted with trompe l'oeil; these are ultra-realistic paintings
that create the illusion of various vistas and scenes through nonexistent
windows and doors. Dinner entertainment can include wandering
musicians and singers.