One of the wonders of Epcot's World Showcase is what's not seen. Upon entering one of the pavilions, it is quite easy to get lost in the "feel" of each nation. It's just what the Imagineers intended to happen!
This seems to be especially effective in Italy. Perhaps it is the fact that the buildings create a sense of three walls which embrace guests as they explore. Maybe its the gondolas on the lagoon giving a taste of Venice. (It certainly isn't an attraction! Not even a film!) Ah yes, perhaps it's the food! The smell of deliciousness wafting through the air.
The Via Napoli Restorante a Pizzeria is the latest addition to this small area, unfortunately I fear, completing the plans. Could it be more was planned? But of course!
When you look around for Disney concept art in books or on line, you usually find the expect views of Italy from the lagoon glancing toward the pavilion. Instead, as shown above, here's a nice image showing what could have been. A mix of Venice with a touch of Tuscany (off to the right side). The walls and turrets remind me of villages found all over: Siena, Lucca, and San Gimignano (my favorite of all). Trust me, it was easy to spend days lost in the area, going from one beautiful village to another!
Oh, what could have been! But isn't that the story of today's Epcot?
(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)