Restaurants with amusement rides in the U.S. tend to be of the Chuck E. Cheese variety, but deep in a forest in Treviso, Italy, the Osteria Ai Pioppi offers a magical playground of handmade, human-powered amusement rides. The documentary “Ai Pioppi” released last week on Vimeo, where it was a staff pick, features a tantalizing peek at the park and an interview with Ai Pioppi’s creator.
“The first big ride I made was that iron slide and that was forty years ago,” says Bruno, who built the rides in his workshop after learning how to weld. “At that time it was big news. There were not many strange rides like that.”
Ai Pioppi’s swings, gyroscopes and roller coasters call to mind the hand-cranked carousels of the earliest days of amusement ride history and the Swingin’ Gym carnival ride of the 1960s. The source of Bruno’s inspiration? “A branch falls, a leaf floats down, a stone rolls. And I say to myself. Maybe I can use this movement. That’s how my ideas are born.”
Beautifully photographed by Coleman Guyon and written by Luiz Romero, the documentary was produced by a team from Treviso-based Fabrica, a communications research center, studio and school.
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