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Italy's first prison restaurant opens in Milan

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Milan welcomes a new, unexpected addition to its expansive restaurant scene: the recently opened InGalera is situated in the Milan Bollate House of Detention. Since open to the public, the restaurant aims to connect the inside and outside with an direct step, creating an effective ground for the social rehabilitation of prisoners. The staff of 9 (5 in the kitchen and 4 for the floor area) is constituted by detainees except for the chef and the maitre, who are external professionals helping employees to maintain quality work.

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Though the idea of a prison restaurant is not new, as for example the Clink in Cardiff is one amongst the most popular gastronomy destinations of the city, InGalera is the first such venture in Italy. However, it is not without any precedents: the Bollate House has always paid great attention to facilitate the social reintegration of its inhabitants. As a part of this aim, a few years ago they launched a catering service, providing training and work for prisoners, that was extremely well-received by the public. This project was now expanded with the restaurant facility, which was also destined for public approval.

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The interior was designed by architect Augusta Comi, who started from the clean and rigorous lines of the typical prison environment, where functionality is the key. Her space operates with simple lines and bright colours: the application of pastel hues creates a pleasant and welcoming atmosphere, that surely eases the regulative vibe of the location. Matching the simplicity, furniture arrived from Pedrali. The Volt chair, designed by Claudio Dondoli and Marco Pocci, is featured in white and beige, without armrests. Its fine linear design harmonises with the white powder-coated, equally geometric Inox tables, as well as Comi’s design principles.

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Restaurant , Prison , Milan , Pedrali

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