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Unique McDonald’s Atop Ancient Roman Road Opens

Joelle Grosso (March 22, 2017)
A one-of-a-kind McDonald's has officially opened in the Eternal City where visitors can discover the magic of ancient Roman engineering while eating their lunch.

The new McDonald’s burger joint that has recently opened its doors in Frattocchie, a neighborhood located in the south of Rome, is unlike any other. It is the first one in Italy to feature an extraordinary piece of history: an exceptionally well-preserved stretch of paved road that was once connected to the Appian Way.

A Museum Restaurant

Back in 2014 amidst the construction of a new McDonald’s, workers surprisingly came across this incredible road that once formed part of the Appian Way. When the fast food chain realized they were building atop this impressive piece of history, they decided to contribute to the cause instead of grieving over lost time and money. They put a halt to the construction of their new location until the road could be completely excavated. McDonald’s even donated 300,000 Euros to the three-year restoration of the site and thought it would be a great idea to actually incorporate the historic structure into the restaurant.  “This is our first museum-restaurant,” said Mario Federico, the head of McDonald’s Italia.

Take a Glimpse into the Past

The Appian Way, or Via Appia, was one of the earliest and most significant Roman roads that proved to be the framework for the glorious ancient republic. Linking the center of the empire in Rome to the city of Brindisi in southeastern Italy which lies on the coast of the Adriatic sea, this enormous path played an imperative role in transportation, trade, and culture. At approximately 350 miles long, the road was successful in helping the Roman army move military supplies quickly and efficiently, resulting in several victories. It is known for being so well built that historians say it was nearly impossible to stick a knife between the stones since they fit so perfectly together.

Even if you’re not grabbing a bite at the McDonald’s restaurant, the road is accessible from the parking lot so that visitors can still explore the newly-opened historical site. Signs in both English and Italian are available which explain the fascinating history behind the road as well as the incredible discovery of it thousands of years later. 

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