Rome: McDonald's loses appeal to open near Baths of Caracalla

Lazio court rejects McDonald's appeal to go ahead with a fast food outlet near Baths of Caracalla in Rome.

McDonald's, the American fast-food giant, has lost its appeal against the city of Rome and Italy's ministry for cultural heritage, which had blocked its plans to open an outlet on a privately-owned site beside the Baths of Caracalla.

The Lazio Regional Administrative Court (TAR) rejected the McDonald's appeal for the construction of a diner near the third-century Baths of Caracalla, reports Italian newspaper La Repubblica.

The story goes back to last summer when McDonald's began works to create a McDrive branch at a large privately-owned garden centre, converting the former Eurogarden shop building into an 800-sqm fast-food restaurant with 250 seats.

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However when news of the development broke on 25 July it attracted much controversy in Rome and soon made headlines around the world.The mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, wasted little time in calling for the suspension of the project despite it being fully authorised by local authorities and not involving any new construction work.

The mayor's call was answered by Italy's former culture minister Alberto Bonisoli, a fellow member of Raggi's populist Movimento 5 Stelle, who revoked authorisation for the project.

McDonald's then took the case to TAR to appeal the rejection of the development which the company says would have created around 60 jobs.

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Rome: McDonald's loses appeal to open near Baths of Caracalla

Viale Guido Baccelli, 00153 Roma RM, Italy