Raggi calls for suspension of McDonald's project at garden centre between Baths of Caracalla and Aurelian Walls.
Rome mayor Virginia Raggi has sought to stop the ongoing development of a McDonald's fast food restaurant at a privately-owned garden centre beside the Baths of Caracalla.
Although fully authorised by local authorities in the city's Municipio 1 council, Raggi allegedly only became aware of the project after reading about it in the local press on 25 July.
The mayor is now seeking a suspension of the project and has called for a meeting with the interested parties to rethink the development in relation to its surroundings, "evaluating all the criticalities and risks that such a plan could generate at a very delicate site, bound by UNESCO".
Raggi, of the populist Movimento 5 Stelle, has written to the president of Municipio 1, Sabrina Alfonsi, of the centre-left Partito Democratico, outlining her concerns for "decorum, the image of the city and the balance of the historic centre's delicate urban fabric", according to Italian news agency ANSA.
McDonald's is 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.
This includes a 3,000-sqm area dedicated to children and families with a playground and educational botanic garden, and the company says the restaurant will create 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.
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Rome mayor seeks to stop McDonald's from opening beside Baths of Caracalla
Viale Guido Baccelli, 85, 00153 Roma RM, Italy