Set deep in the Italian countryside, Ai Pioppi is a family run restaurant with an outdoor area full of hand built rollercoasters and other rides.
|Opened||15 June 1969|
|Season||March to November|
|Owner||The Ferrin Family|
Gardaland (114 miles)|
Movieland Park (115 miles)
Mirabilandia (122 miles)
Fiabilandia (185 miles)
Osteria Ai Pioppi is a family-run restaurant deep in the Italian countryside owned by a man named Bruno, a welder by trade, who decided to build his own homemade rides in the restaurant grounds and open them to the public to experience free of charge.
What Bruno Ferrin has achieved is incredible. He's constructed over 40 rides entirely by hand over a period of four decades. Some of the rides are extraordinary, some are terrifying, but they are all incredibly fun.
It all started when Bruno and his family opened a sausage and wine stand in June 1969, which soon turned into a restaurant. Bruno went to a local blacksmith to obtain hooks to hang his sausages on, but the blacksmith was too busy. Bruno found that he could make the hooks himself. From there, he learnt to weld and was soon welding pieces of metal together to form play equipment for the families who visited the restaurant.
Bruno's engineering is ambitious, with perhaps his most impressive achievement being Pendolo. This is a V-shaped shuttle rollercoaster which reaches high into the air. The car, which seats six, is winched up to the top of a tall spike via a cable attached to a diesel engine. At the top, the car is unlatched and hurtles downwards, before zooming up the other side of the slope. It continues backwards and forwards until it has lost most of its momentum and the car is braked to return to the station for riders to disembark.
Ai Pioppi is not an amusement park for the feint hearted. The metal rides are fun and will fuel the needs of even the most hardened adrenaline junkie, but those who find participation too scary will still appreciate the stunning forest surroundings, and the home cooked food served in the restaurant itself.
Giant V-shaped shuttle rollercoaster
Self driven rollercoaster ride
Serving delicious homemade food and wine