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Roll Out the Welcome Mat! Italy Plans to Turn Prisons Into Hotels

© Flickr / Kate Ter HaarIn prison
In prison - Sputnik International
A number of historic buildings used as prisons in Rome, Milan and Naples may soon be converted into apartment houses and hotels. The Italian authorities plan to sell the buildings and use the proceeds to build modern penitentiaries outside the cities, Reuters reported.

A police car is parked in front of Jamioulx prison (File) - Sputnik International
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The list of old prisons to be sold to private developers includes Rome’s Regina Coeli prison. Built in the 17th century on the banks of the Tiber in Rome's popular Trastevere tourist neighborhood, the prison now holds an estimated 600 inmates.

Also slated for sale are Naples' Poggioreale, dating back to 1914 and with almost 2,000 prisoners, and the San Vittore prison in Milan, built in 1879 and holding about 750 inmates.

In a newspaper interview on Saturday, Justice Minister Andrea Orlando said that talks about the sale of the prime real estate could begin immediately after next month’s mayoral elections in Rome, Milan and Naples.

According to recent reports, almost 67,000 inmates are currently housed in Italy’s overcrowded prisons that were originally designed to hold only 45,000.

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