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McDonald’s defies ban on opening driveways through ancient Roman archaeological site

McDonald’s is protesting the ban on building a drive-in store next to one of the Romanancient attractions.

The Italian capital has rejected initial plans to place a branch of the fast food franchise next to the Baths of Caracalla.

Dating back to the third century, the archaeological site has 36m-high walls and a series of underground cellars, where an oven is used to heat the water.

Work to convert the neighborhood garden center into a McDonald’s restaurant began in 2019 but was halted by Italian authorities following public and media backlash.

The mayor of Rome at the time, Virginia Raggi, supported the ban, saying that “the wonders of Rome must be protected”.

The global brand appealed the decision in a lower administrative court, but it was rejected.

It has now escalated its appeal to the state council, where the case will be heard on December 21, reports La Repubblica.

McDonald’s said in a statement: “Whenever McDonald’s operates near historic sites in Italy or worldwide, our aim is to respectfully adapt to the local environment.

“As always, and in this case, McDonald’s has met all national and local laws and policies related to doing business at this location.

“This project, near the Baths of Caracalla, is part of a broader urban regeneration plan, including educational playgrounds and botanical gardens, to provide tourists and local families with a place to stay. to enjoy quality food and service.”

The giant burger has its former shape when it comes to the controversial Roman opening.

It opened a The franchise is just steps away from the sparkling white marble dome of St Peter’s Basilica in late 2016, in a move that angered local restaurant owners and cardinals alike.

One of its harshest critics, Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, told La Repubblica newspaper at the time: “The big sandwich shop on Borgo Pio is a disgrace.

“It would be better to use those spaces to help the needy in the area, spaces to host, shelter and help those who are suffering, as the Holy Father taught.”

https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/news-and-advice/mcdonalds-rome-drive-thru-ancient-baths-b1967742.html McDonald’s defies ban on opening driveways through ancient Roman archaeological site

JOE HERNANDEZ

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