Go Directly to Jail. Have Dinner.

I do a lot of reading about travel, and a lot of research and planning for future vacations.  From the practical to the silly, and from the certain-to-try to the it’s-never-going-to-happen, most of it captures my attention and imagination.

While most of my travel blogging here at Flyaway Cafe involves personal experiences and recommendations, occasionally I read about something that I want to share with you — even if I haven’t yet experienced it myself.

As I’m reading and researching about Italy for an upcoming trip, I heard about an usual, yet special dining experience.


No bread and water here, and in this case getting into jail is nearly as difficult as getting out of jail.

Fortezza Medicea in Volterra, Italy is a high-security prison restaurant.  In order to get a reservation you need to plan pretty far in advance, generally a minimum of two months.  It’s not so much that the tables are hard to come by, it’s the time needed for a background check and for the Department of Justice to issue a security clearance.

Approaching its second anniversary, the restaurant was conceived with the idea that reformed inmates, with proper training, could find work in the restaurant business upon their release.  While it’s too soon to tell how Fortezza Medicea is doing in the job placement business (they have placed only four workers to-date), there’s no doubt as to the popularity of the restaurant.

Make no mistake about it, though, the waiters, sommelier, and even the piano player, are convicted murderers, armed robbers, and worse.  The decor is wooden tables and benches, there is no art on the wall, nor flowers on the table.  The table ware is common — paper plates and plastic silverware, a concession to safety — but the food is all southern Italian goodness.

For more information contact:  011-39/058-886-099.

Photo credit:


Technorati Tags: b5media, Flyaway Café, flight attendants, travel, vacation, travel information, travel tips, travel blogs, travel & tourism, travel blogging, prison, restaurants, Italy, Volterra

Mary Jo Manzanares is a traveler, travel blogger, and podcaster. In addition to her blog, Traveling with MJ, she hosts the Where Else to Go podcast, and is the founder and the editor-in-chief of The Traveler’s Way, an online travel magazine. Her travel ethos is value luxury - luxury for real people - and her goal is to help travelers know when to splurge and when to save. Mary Jo has been a speaker at various industry events around the world. When she’s not traveling, Mary Jo likes lingering over a cup of coffee, wandering in a museum, sipping wine at a cafe, and sharing it all with friends and readers. Her most recent travels were to Stockholm, a Baltic cruise, and Universal Orlando Resort.

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