Italy Bans Australian Travellers' Favourite Food From Roman Landmark

Food for thought.

Whether you see it as a colossal tragedy or an overdue resurgence of respect, Italy’s culture ministry has officially banned a key feature of most Australian backpackers’ diets from an ancient Roman landmark.

That’s right: Maccas. Your go to source of grease, as reported by, “won’t be setting up another shop in Rome… [after] a proposal for a new restaurant to be built next to the ancient Baths of Caracalla has been squashed.”


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Why? According to the Mayor of Rome, Virginia Raggi, because it would be disrespectful to serve quarter pounders and fries so close to archaeological wonders.

“The wonders of Rome must be protected,” Raggi said on Twitter.

As The New York Post reports, “McDonald’s has more than 40 outlets in the Italian capital, some of them in the vicinity of landmarks such as the Piazza Navona, Piazza di Spagna (Spanish Steps) and the Vatican, but not hitherto in the midst of its revered ancient quarter.”

“In 1986, intellectuals and television personalities fought, ultimately in vain, against the opening of the first McDonald’s in the Piazza di Spagna, calling it an offense to Italy’s traditional food culture.”

Now it seems, to the disgust of convenience-seeking shoestring backpackers (and presumably to the delight of everyone else), the Italian municipality has drawn a line in the cobblestones, enforcing laws that state “new construction must meet strict criteria to reflect historical tradition,” (The New York Post).


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For those interested in visiting the area, “the former garden centre that would have hosted the new McDonald’s is located between the baths and the ancient Aurelian walls, a few hundred meters away from the Coliseum and the Circus Maximus,” (The New York Post).

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