You won’t believe the vision, craftsmanship and work by this Italian restaurateur-turned carpenter and inventor.
I’ve never been particularly fond of amusement parks; I just don’t like rides. Call me a pessimist, I don’t care – but all I see are a bunch of nuts, bolts, cables, and welds that are loose, worn, or cracking or soon will be. The last time I was on a ride was about 4 years ago and it had been about fifteen years before that. I’m good for another fifteen years. But when I came across this story about an amusement park in Italy I had to investigate further. And I discovered a park that I might actually enjoy. It also seemed to be of interest to you all given the story behind how it started and what it is.
The amusement park grew out of one restaurateur’s love for building things, using tools, and welding. In the beginning of the video you’ll meet Bruno, the inventor and creator of the free park in Italy that consists of 40-50 rides. Bruno built the entire thing himself, by hand. He started a restaurant on the property called Ai Pioppi (The Poplars) – located in the foothills of the Dolomites, a mountain range in northeastern Italy. Upon teaching himself how to weld, he built some simple playground equipment – a slide, a swing set – for kids who visited the restaurant. Well, 40 years later, he developed his welding skills to create some pretty sophisticated rides.
All of the rides work manually; there aren’t any motors. As he says, “if you want to play, you have to push and sweat; otherwise the rides won’t work.” Check out an interview with Bruno below. Also on video, Tom Scott, a tourist, illustrates how one of the rides, called the Bicycle of Death, works. If you want to brush up on your Italian, you can check out the Ai Pioppi website.