In Italy, there is a proverb that goes, “A chi vuole, non mancano modi”. The translated version is one most of us know well, “Where there is a will, there is a way”.
Signore Bruno Ferrin, owner of Osteria ai Pioppi, had an idea for a restaurant, but his drive turned the location into so much more. Almost half a century later, a passion for welding converted an initial shack and a couple picnic tables into a tavern with indoor and outdoor seating, a beautiful restaurant, and an amusement park all around the premises and handcrafted by the owner himself.
The story begins in the late 1960s when Bruno Ferrin was in his early 30s. With his wife by his side, Ferrin built a shack in the Lombardy region of northern Italy. A few tables and seats were placed around the “premises” and Ferrin hung sausages from the trees. He also purchased two bottles of wine (one white and the other red). And thus, the restaurant was born.
A few people stumbled across his shack-style restaurant in the woods, and soon a few visitors became a few more, and the numbers continued to multiply. Wanting to hang more sausages, Ferrin visited the local welder to request the creation of 4 hooks. The welder, however, dismissed the job as too trivial for his time and pointed Ferrin in the direction of the welding machine with his blessing. Hours later, Ferrin went home with his hooks, a sore and red body, burning eyes and a growing passion. Slowly, he started welding more often.
The Amusement Park
The first creation that would ultimately contribute to the amusement park was a slide. Inspired by the nature all around him (the trees, leaves and birds) Ferrin soon began building some unique and eclectic rides. Now, 16 rides exist including antiaircraft (a canon purchased by Ferrin), a 3-lane water slide, the Vitruvian man (inspired by the famous Leonardo da Vinci drawing), cages (an attraction of cages that relies on body weight to function), and the pendulum (which is among the newest attractions, built in 2010).
While some of the rides are more recent (and others are purchased), most of the attractions are as old as the restaurant. To ensure customer safety, the attractions have all been certified by licensed engineers and undergo routine checks.
How did a shack snowball into a venue?
Due to the popularity of the location, Ferrin expanded his restaurant in 2004 to distinguish the Tavern (which boasts a lighter, budget-friendly menu) from the Restaurant (which has fixed menu selections).
Osteria ai Pioppi is now a family-run establishment. Ferrin’s daughters each play an essential role in the venue’s management and running of the kitchen and the hall.
Welding was the glue that made a vision come together.
Welding is a great skill to master with many positive rewards. In addition to the fact that no college degree is necessary to weld, the ways to use knowledge of welding are numerous. It can lead to a plethora of job opportunities including underwater construction, engineering, and building inspections, just to name a few.
For Ferrin, it was a spark that grew into a passion and helped him exceed his hopes of a restaurant where people can come together to relax, eat, and enjoy each other’s company.