McDonald’s is blocked from building a drive-through at Rome’s historic Baths of Caracalla.

Italy’s supreme court has banned McDonald’s from building a 10,000 square meter outlet in the shade of the 3rd-century Baths of Caracalla, one of Rome’s most famous ancient sites. The State Council ruling, released Dec. 28, upheld a lower court ruling that barred the fast-food chain from using land adjacent to drive-thru restaurants and parking areas. It also stated that government agencies have the right to block future development projects in or near other important heritage sites.

The court reached a verdict on the basis of “The importance of protecting cultural heritage,” according to the court decision. Because the ancient baths were located in areas including the Caffarella Gardens, the Appian Way and the Roman aqueduct protected by regional and national landscape plans—including within Rome’s historic center protected by the Unesco— Any development project “Landscape planning is expressly required, a privilege” that has not previously been granted. The trial continues.

In the future, the Lazio region and the Italian Ministry of Culture can “Suspend work aimed at changing the landscape” both on the heritage site and the existing heritage site that the authorities “Intends to protect”. Effectively “protect an area or real estate that has not yet been declared of cultural or landscape interest”. The verdict points out

“This clarification is critical to protecting our cultural and archaeological heritage in the future,” said Heritage Protection Organization Italia Nostra. said in a statement The Ministry of Culture should not “Extreme intervention” in future cases Rather, it should work towards a more coherent joint plan between states and regions. “Across the territory of the country”

The Baths of Caracalla were built between 212 and 1616 and were open to the public during the reign of Emperor Caracalla. It is believed that between 6,000 and 8,000 visitors visit every day, it’s free to join.

McDonald’s has begun building a drive-thru next to an ancient bathhouse. After the Ministry of Culture has carefully reviewed the project. and the City Council that allows But the project was stopped in 2019 when the then mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggie, intervened following a media outcry. The Ministry of Culture therefore changed its stance and stepped into the fight against development.

In 2016, the development of another McDonald’s in Florence’s Piazza del Duomo was thwarted by the city’s mayor Dario Nardella, who at the time said he didn’t want the fast food chain in his Renaissance hometown. Italy time.

Dario Baroni, the new chief executive of McDonald’s in Italy. It said it plans to open 200 new restaurants in Italy by 2025. republicThe group, which now has more than 600 branches in Italy, sees the country as “It’s one of the markets with the greatest potential on a global scale,” Baroni told the Italian newspaper.

McDonald’s said in a statement: “As always, and in this case McDonald’s has complied with all national, regional and local laws and regulations.
McDonald’s has 54 restaurants in Rome and 2,500 employees, which is a testament to the long-term and positive relationship between our company and the city. That’s why we will continue to invest in this area.”

UPDATE 1 January: This article has been updated to include a statement from McDonald’s.

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