How a Self-Trained Italian Blacksmith Built Himself an Amusement Park

Nov 30, 2022 330


When, in 1968, Bruno Ferrin first set foot in the poplar forest on a hill near Treviso, Italy, he knew he had found a good spot. “I was looking for a way to work in my spare time,” he says. “And thought I could open a casual food stand in the woods.” Fifty-three years later, that patch of woods on Montello hill is home to something a fair bit larger and more unexpected.

At first, Osteria Ai Pioppi (Tavern at the Poplars), located off a country road along the Piave river, looks like many other low-key rural restaurants in the area. At large wooden tables, customers can order traditional dishes from the Veneto region: cod with polenta, sausage, grilled cheese. 

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