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McDonald's Slammed by Italian Court for Attempted Construction on Historic Site

The fast-food chain had been planning to build the 8,600-square-foot location for several years.


Looks like the Italians are not, in fact, Lovin’ It.

Roberto Finizio | Getty Images

Italian courts have officially banned McDonald’s from building a new location on what was once the site of the Baths of Caracalla in ancient Rome.

The fast-food chain has been planning to build the restaurant, which was expected to be around 8,600 square feet in size, including a drive-thru lane and massive parking lot, for several years. 

The courts ruled against the construction on the grounds of “protecting cultural heritage” and also said that Italian government officials are granted permission to block “future development projects” on, in or near other historical sites.

The Baths, which existed during the years 212 to 216 under the emperor Caracalla, featured elaborate, gauche decor and received up to 8,000 visitors on an average day, per Art Newspaper.

This is not the first time a McDonald’s project has been blocked on such grounds in Italy. 

In 2016, the chain was forbidden from constructing a McDonald's at arguably the most famed tourist attraction in Florence, Italy — the Piazza de Duomo.

“As always, and in this case, McDonald’s met all national, regional and local laws and regulations. McDonald’s has 54 restaurants in Rome and 2,500 employees, as a proof of the long-term and positive relationship between our company and the city,” the company said in a statement following the ruling. “That’s why we will continue to invest on this area."

The company currently has 630 locations in Italy, per Reuters.

McDonald’s was up 27.98% year over year as of Tuesday afternoon, thanks to an increase in drive-thru and takeout sales amid the pandemic.

Emily Rella

Written By

Entrepreneur Staff

Emily Rella is a news writer at Previously, she was an editor at Verizon Media, covering entertainment, pop culture, lifestyle, entrepreneuership and business. She is a 2015 graduate of Boston College and a Ridgefield, CT native.