McDonald's to take legal action after Italian culture ministry blocked McDrive project near Rome's Baths of Caracalla.
American fast-food giant McDonald's intends to fight the decision by Italy’s culture ministry to block it from opening an outlet near the Baths of Caracalla in Rome, according to a statement released by the company.
McDonald's stressed that the project had been fully authorised by local authorities, in a bureacratic process begun in 2015 together with the owners of the privately-owned garden centre site.
The fast-food chain is now taking the case to the administrative court of the Lazio Region to "safeguard a project and an investment that would have involved the redevelopment of the area and the construction of a restaurant, reconverting the existing building and therefore without any new construction.''
When news broke of a McDrive being developed near the Baths of Caracalla, Rome's mayor Virginia Raggi called for the project to be suspended. Her calls were soon answered by Italy's culture minister Alberto Bonisoli, a fellow member of Raggi's populist Movimento 5 Stelle.
The project involves McDonald's converting the former Eurogarden shop building into an 800-sqm fast-food restaurant, with seating for 250 inside and outside, as part of a redevelopment of a 10,000-sqm area of the sprawling 35,000-sqm garden centre.
The scheme includes a 3,000-sqm family area with a playground and educational botanic garden, along with the creation of about 60 jobs.
The site is located near the start of the busy Cristoforo Colombo road, between the third-century Baths of Caracalla and the city's ancient Aurelian Walls, with car access from both Via Guido Baccelli and Viale delle Terme di Caracalla.
In recent days local media also reported that McDonald's is to return to the area in front of the Pantheon, near the location of a fast-food outlet, now closed, that it operated until several years ago.
Photo La Repubblica
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McDonald's fights suspension of fast-food outlet near Baths of Caracalla in Rome
Viale Guido Baccelli, 85, 00153 Roma RM, Italia