Wine and Punishment


Prisoners in the big house serve top Italian wines and fine food!

Massimo Sestito knows how to put together a compelling Italian wine lineup.

As maitre d’ of one of Milan’s newest and trendiest restaurants, InGalera, he has carefully curated an 80-label list that is sprinkled with 90-plus-point gems and spans from Sicily and Calabria up to Barolo and Friuli and most everywhere in between.

Fair enough. But what really distinguishes the restaurant is its location—inside the gates of the Bollate penitentiary, a medium-security facility near the Milan fairgrounds that holds more than 1,000 inmates. The waiters, cooks, dishwashers—everyone except Sestito, chef Ivan Manzo, the hostess who greets customers at the prison gates and the restaurant’s creator—are long-term inmates.

“We have murderers, bank robbers, everything,” says Silvia Polleri, 65, a retired kindergarten teacher turned caterer, who in September 2015 opened InGalera as Italy’s first public restaurant in a the full blog (free) at