Friday, February 01, 2008

Go Directly to Jail

Do you ever daydream about going to prison? Me too! Whenever I run past the concrete pier (above), I think about jail and imagine what it would be like to live there. Being able to read and write and work on my computer all day long. I just googled "Go directly to jail," and the following came up:

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 tableware is common — paper plates and plastic silverware, a concession to safety — but the food is all southern Italian goodness.
Mary Jo Manzanares