I am hoping to make amazing, home-built amusement park, aka theme park, part of my next travels.
I hail from the USA, the land of amusement parks. I grew up loving every family trip to Coney Island, Adventures Inn and another local “park” full of rides. And I frequently lobbied my parents to take me to Palisades Amusement Park.
Osteria al Pioppi (in Italy) is THE amusement park I want to visit!
Although I have yet to get there, I beleive it is what I wish every major town had for children and adults alike.
The magic of Osteria al Pioppi and it’s playground or park
THIS is a park built by one man, Bruno, over the past 40 years. (With the support of his wife Marisa.) It’s not a corporate-run over-priced park. In fact, it’s free to guests of the man’s family eatery.
But more than that, the rides are run by — the riders! Yep, no electricity! Riders actually participate in making their fun, in creating their ride!
And THAT is important! Active, not passive! Participating in an experience makes it a part of you.
It’s a fascinating story. Bruno opened his restaurant in June 1969. It seems he started building the rides a few years later — learning how to weld in order to make this happen. He really designed and built these human-powered rides. He didn’t hire anyone. He built it! And now there are at least 40 rides, nearly 50 by one report.
The story of Pioppi — their official 11-minute video on YouTube, is below. But first, this visitor’s video will give you a great idea of what it’s like to be there. Of course, I’d rather you be watching me on those rides, or better, that you be with me on them. But for now, I am home enjoying family, so that will have to wait.
I would love running that circle thing but I really want to ride his roller coaster!
Here’s a good article you can read about the park as well.
Exactly where is this home-made amusement park and restaurant?
Look at the Adriatic Sea, that inlet on the right side of Italy, and follow the sea to its top. Pioppi is inland from there. It seems perfect as part of travels from Austria or from Venice, and I highly recommend continuing along the coast into Slovenia and down through Croatia and Montenegro. You can also take one of several ferries between Croatia and Italy to circle back for your flight home. (This is a link to a Google map which will open in a new tab/window to give you an idea of what I mean.)
You can look for Treviso, Italy or you can type Ai Pioppi into Google Maps to find it.
It seems to be open in the spring, summer, and autumn — March through October, but for 2016 there seems to be a summer restaurant closing. The hours and other info is on the homepage of their site, at aipioppi.com.
Here is the contact info in English, translated via Chrome.
Via Eighth Army, 76
Nervesa of Battle (TV)