Italian Officials Banned a 8,600-Square Foot McDonald’s Near Ancient Roman Baths

Aug 16, 2019

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It’s no secret that even the savviest travelers eat at international McDonald’s — but some Italian officials aren’t really fans of the Big Mac and McNuggets.

Reuters reported that construction of an 8,600-square foot McDonald’s that was set to open next to Rome’s Caracalla Baths, or Terme di Caracalla, had been halted. The famous ancient baths have been around since the 3rd century AD, and could accommodate up to 8,000 people at one time. With amenities like hot and cold pools, gymnasiums, libraries and mirrors that reflect the sunlight, it doesn’t sound like a bad place to spend a few hours. Today, the baths are one of Rome’s most popular tourist attractions.

The construction (or lack thereof) resulted in weeks of heated controversy, with officials such as Virginia Raggi, the Mayor of Rome, tweeting, “The wonders of Rome must be protected” after Alberto Bonisoli, Italy’s Culture Minister, “revoked authorization.”

As Lonely Planet said, it’s a “huge victory for preservationists” since the baths are considered one of the wonders of the ancient world. If you’re planning a trip to Italy, be sure to visit the ruins and explore the underground tunnels.

For travelers who simply must try the Asiago and speck nuggets (that’s a thing, really) there are still more than 40 McDonald’s venues spread across the Italian capital city. And yes, you can even dine under the Golden Arches alongside other iconic attractions such as the Piazza di Spagna, or Spanish Steps. (Just don’t even think about sitting down on the steps to snack on your McChicken Delicato with dried tomatoes from Puglia, grilled zucchini and provolone.)

McDonald’s or no McDonald’s, you can never go wrong with a trip to Italy — especially when you’re able to do it for free. Use a card that earns you bonus points when dining internationally, too, so that all the pasta, pizza and gelato you eat will be putting you one step closer to your next trip.

Feature photo by Shutterstock.

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