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One 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 Florida's humidity. Near the gondolas, rows of navel oranges and kumquats are planted to represent the Mediterranean region of Italy.

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).

An authentic Neapolitan pizzeria is under construction with opening planned for fall 2010 in time for the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Operated by Patina Restaurant Group, the same restaurateurs who run the pavilion’s Tutto Italia Ristorante, the 300-seat pizzeria is inspired by Naples 45, another Patina Restaurant Group pizzeria on East 45th Street in New York City. The casual pizzeria will feature wood-burning ovens – and will import water from a source that most resembles the water in Naples, Italy, home of some of the world’s best pizza dough. The menu also will feature pastas, salads, sandwiches and Italian wines.

 
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Video: Italy Pavilion

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