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McDonald's opens in Rome's famed foodie district Testaccio

Rome's newest McDonald's is in Testaccio.

American multinational fast-food giant McDonald's is opening a new outlet in the Testaccio area of Rome, a district renowned for its Roman culinary culture.

The new McDonald's is located at the former site of the Roadhouse Grill on Via Galvani, in front of the local Testaccio market, a popular food tour venue for tourists.

Workers on Wednesday were putting the finishing touches to the exterior of the outlet whose trademark yellow "M" signs were partly concealed by black plastic.

The Rome edition of Italian newspaper La Repubblica reported that the opening of the fast-food joint has sparked a mixed reaction on social media among residents in the area.

Some locals have voiced concerns about "the smell of fried food" and want to launch a petition against the opening while others are happy about the 50 jobs that the restaurant will bring to the neighbourhood.

McDonald's prepares to open in Testaccio. Photo Wanted in Rome.


The new McDonald's is situated in close proximity to the ex-Mattatoio, the city's former abbatoir, which is currently undergoing a major redevelopment.

In times past the families of the workers at the mattatoio, in operation from 1888 until 1975, invented many of the “quinto quarto” (fifth quarter) dishes for which Testaccio would become famous.

The ongoing Città delle Arti (City of the Arts) regeneration scheme will see the vast site host the base of Rome's art academy as well as the faculty of architecture of Roma Tre University and newly opened study rooms.

In 2019 McDonald's was at the centre of controversy over its plan to build a drive-through beside the Baths of Caracalla, with the Italian culture ministry revoking authorisation for the project after a public outcry.

The fast-food chain took the case to court however its appeal was rejected by the Lazio regional administrative court (TAR) in 2020, a decision upheld definitively in 2022 by Italy’s highest administrative court.

McDonald's first opened in Rome in 1986, near the Spanish Steps, and today has more than 50 outlets in the Italian capital.

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