Italy’s Alcatraz-style island prison to become tourist attraction and hostel
An Italian prison that is on an island is going to be renovated and turned into a tourist attraction with a museum and private tours.
Similar to Alcatraz in the United States, the prison will no longer be used and there will be hostels and a bar on site.
The small island is located in Santo Stefano and is currently only accessible to divers and fishermen.
There is no main dock for tourists, and the waters around the island are filled with rocks and wreckage from WWII.
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It was used in the 1930s and 1940s to house prisoners by the fascist government, meaning some inmates were tortured and others drowned.
In the decades after the war, the island became a regular prison with a theater and football field, bakeries and even shops.
Prisoners were allowed to work in trades such as masonry and cooks and had their own currency to buy things.
It was closed in 1965 and then abandoned.
Now, 56 years later, a huge 70 million euro renovation is underway to create a dark tourism hotspot.
You can currently take a tour of the island, but this involves a 40 minute hike and is often canceled when the seas are rough.
The renovation could be difficult to carry out as there is currently no electricity, no running water and access is difficult.
The island is also in a remote area.
But, Silvia Costa, the Italian official overseeing the reconstruction, has plans for an “open-air” multimedia museum and a traveling exhibition.
In addition, he wants to convert the former prison director’s house and football field into a 30-room hostel.
He also hopes the horseshoe-shaped building can become a performance space and open a cocktail bar by 2025.
Views will include Mount Vesuvius and the beautiful blue waters of the ocean.
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Silvia said: “We want the island to attract visitors all year round, not just during the crowded summer months.
“Tourism must be sustainable, but Santo Stefano will be more than that.
“It will be a hub for academics from around the world uniting on key issues such as green policies, human rights, freedom of expression, European citizenship and Mediterranean dialogue.”
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