Italy in Epcot: The 'Campanile di San Marco'
The design of Epcot's Italy Pavilion was created to showcase hallmarks of Italian architecture. The pavilion is modeled after St. Mark's Square in Venice with the large tower in the central plaza representing a one-fifth scale model of the 'Campanile di San Marco', the Bell tower of St Mark from the classic Italian city of Venice.
In Epcot the 'Campanile di San Marco' is surrounded by potted flowers and herbs, as well small tables where guests can sit and enjoy a glass of wine from Enoteca Castello as they watch the people bustle to and fro. It's simple lower form, a square fluted brick shaft, lends to the puzzling sparsity many associate with the Italian pavilion. My top tip for getting the most out of visiting the lovely Plaza del Teatro at Epcot is to stand back, and look up.
The 83-foot tower's belfry is topped by a cube, with alternate faces depicting the Lion of St. Mark and the female representation of Venice. Capped by a pyramidal spire, at the top sits a golden weather-vane in the form of the Archangel Gabriel. The angel was made from a model of the original and like it's inspiration is covered in real gold leaf. A significant variation to the Epcot Tower is the addition of a lightning rod to the archangel.
The original Bell Tower's construction began in the 9th Century to be used as a lighthouse and watch tower for the dock. The 'Campanile di San Marco' is one of the most recognizable symbols of Venice; in Epcot, as in it's original home, it overlooks romantic bridges on World Showcase and canals full of gondolas.
Have you taken a moment to wonder about this piece of Italian architecture in the Italy Pavilion? Do you enjoy sitting beneath the tower and people watching in the Plaza del Teatro? Leave a comment and let us know what your thoughts are about this classic structure.