Milan's Hottest New Restaurant Is In a Prison

By Aly Walansky |

© Andrea Guermani

In a place like Italy, it’s pretty hard to find a bad meal.  So much so that restaurants have to go to great lengths to stand out from the pack.

Enter Milan’s new exclusive fine dining hot spot, In Galera, where dinner reservations are so coveted, they are booked a month out. Oh, and it’s inside a prison.

Located inside Bollate penitentiary, which is a medium-security prison right outside Milan, all the servers and staff at the restaurant—from cooks to dishwashers—are inmates of the prison. And this restaurant isn’t just for show, it boasts a seriously elegant menu that could rival any other Milan spot.

Related: There's a Wine Made by Italian Prisoners and It's Really Good

"The main problem has been that they do little during the day, which doesn't help them at the present, nor for their future outside prisons," Alessio Scandurra, who works for Antigone, a nonprofit group focused on the rights of detainees, told the New York Times. A job to go to and to dress for keeps the prisoners busy but also gives them a marketable skill for when they are released.

The restaurant has no problem winking to its setting. In Galera is actually Italian slang for “in prison” and the room is lined with posters from famous prison movies.

Whether it’s the draw of the forbidden world inside a prison or the exclusivity of it all, the restaurant is doing very well. It has 4.5 out of 5 stars on TripAdvisor.