Giant McDonald’s plan sparked controversy in Rome

A McDonald's Big Mac value meal a arranged for a photo in New York, U.S., on Friday, July 23, 2010. McDonald's Corp., the world's largest restaurant chain, posted a 12 percent gain in second- quarter profit after attracting more customers with its frappes and smoothies. Photographer: Jin Lee/Bloomberg via Getty Images

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In comparison to how proud Italians are for their cuisine, McDonald’s is surprisingly successful in the country. Italy has the fourth largest number of us in Europe: 578 stores were operating in Italy in 2018, with more in Germany, France and the UK. Of course, this can also be explained by mass tourism, but it seems that


The i. s. Next to the Caracalla Baths, built in the early 3rd century, they are planning to build one of the largest fast-food restaurants in the capital of Italy, which can accommodate up to 250 guests, at the site of a large ornamental plant shop called Eurogarden. The Caracalla Baths are one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, so it’s a good deal to build a restaurant next door, but there would be few more depressing symbols of Rome’s commercialization. Large-scale Roman ruins have been surrounded by gardens for centuries, surrounded by greenery within the city wall. Ornamental plant trading continued this traditional use of land – but McDonald’s would give the area a feel of, say, an outer section of the road to the airport or an American suburb on the San Diego exterior.

District I municipalities nevertheless issued a building permit for the privately owned land, but Mayor Virginia Raggi vetoed the plan, which he said was not announced, only read in a local newspaper on July 25. The mayor urged investors to rethink the idea

considering all the hazards that their plan poses in such a sensitive World Heritage Site.

In a letter to the district mayor, Raggi points out that “the dignity of the city, the image and the fine urban fabric of the historic center” could be jeopardized.

There are several who operate in the historic center in Rome, though their presence has caused great tension from the outset. The chain’s first restaurant opened in 1986 in the city’s most elegant square, Piazza di Spagna. Famous fashion designer Valentino, along with several other local businessmen and cultural figures, has been suing for years to close, but in the end, all he has got is a better hood. It was a symbolic defeat: the capitulation of old Europe to unstoppable globalization. The first was followed by a series of new restaurants, and in 2017, a hamburger arrived on the corner of St. Peter’s Square, so outrageous to the local shopkeepers and restaurateurs that they directly requested Pope Francis to prevent it from opening. Although several prominent cardinals stood by them, their protest did not succeed.

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