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The Ancient Baths Are Just About the Only Part of Rome Where You Won’t Find a McDonald’s

Plus, more unlimited pasta from Olive Garden, and other news to start your day

Signage for a McDonald’s near the Vatican City
Getty Images

You’ll have to live out your Lizzie McGuire Movie x McDonald’s fantasies elsewhere

It’s Italy versus fast food icon McDonald’s, as the burger giant has been banned from opening near the Baths of Caracalla in Rome’s ancient quarter. The baths are close to 2,000 years old, and a McDonald’s was slated to be built right next to them. However, the city of Rome was not jiving with this particular iteration of “something old, something new”, and asked the Italian Ministry of Culture to block the construction.

Of course, McDonald’s isn’t exactly known for its sensitivity to local cuisines and cultures (read: “localized” dishes like the Savory Ranch Burger from Mexico or the oh-so-Spanish Grand McExtreme Bacon Burger). Rome’s mayor expressed concern that the planned McDonald’s would go against “decorum, the image of the city and the balance of the historic centre’s delicate urban fabric”. The Baths of Caracalla will be just about the only historic attraction in Rome without a McDonald’s in stone-throwing distance: there are approximately 40 in the city, including locations next to the Parthenon and the Spanish Steps.

And in other news...

  • The Times has a great profile of Georgia Gilmore, who helped fund and feed the Montgomery bus boycott. [NYT]
  • If you like copious amounts of chain restaurant pasta with some goopy sauce slopped on top, Olive Garden’s pasta pass is returning this year, offering unlimited pasta at the chain for a few hundred dollars. [Insider]
  • It turns out that Swedish oat milk magnates Oatly weren’t expecting to do as well as they did in these here cow-lovin’ United States of America. [Bloomberg]
  • Following trials in just a few cities, Burger King’s Impossible Whopper is about to become available across the country. [CNN]
  • Since Mayor Pete Buttigieg unveiled South Bend, Indiana’s minor penchant for ranch dressing mixed with salsa this week, a poll suggests that 36 percent of Americans either have tried it or would try it, while 47 percent are against it. [The Takeout]
  • After a few scandals, Grubhub’s CEO is still saying his company has done nothing wrong, while accusing competitors of price gouging. [Restaurant Business Online]
  • French’s and Coolhaus have paired up to make mustard-flavored ice cream, so, thanks for that, guys? [Newswire]
  • Jimmy Fallon sped around Manhattan on a speedboat with the Queer Eye guys. Somebody puked. [YouTube]

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