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McDonald's Denied a New Restaurant at This Famous Historic Landmark

The ancient Roman ruins will not be adorned with the Golden Arches any time soon.

McDonald's prides itself on occupying some pretty unique real estate around the world. There's the Freeport, Maine location, situated inside a Victorian-era mansion, or the one in Bray, Ireland which also blends in with local history by occupying the town's Tudor-style City Hall building dating back to the 1800s. And who could forget the Mickey D's in the heart of historic Rome, at Piazza di Spagna 46 near the Spanish Steps?

RELATED: 10 Major Changes McDonald's Made in 2021

So it comes as no surprise that the megachain attempted to secure another one-0f-a-kind location that would immediately shoot to the top of the list of most interesting McDonald's locations around the world. According to Highsnobiety, McDonald's applied for permits to move into Italy's Baths of Caracalla, a UNESCO-protected site boasting ruins of what was once Ancient Rome's second-largest public thermae (baths).

baths of caracalla
Marek Poplawski/Shutterstock

The famous baths date back to around 211 and 217 AD and are considered to be one of Rome's most impressive remnants of Antiquity, having been relatively well-preserved throughout history. And it's going to stay that way because the popular fast-food chain was denied those building permits for the second time.

Artnews reports that McDonald's had plans to build an 8,600-square-foot restaurant complete with a drive-thru in the ancient ruins. However, Italy's Council of State denied the chain's request to move forward with the buildout in 2019, a decision which McDonald's appealed in 2021. A final ruling came on December 28 when the Council of State decided to reject the appeal due to the "pre-eminence of the needs for the protection of cultural heritage."

"We go forward with the culture minister to stop fast food construction in the archaeological area of the Baths of Caracalla," then-mayor of Rome Virginia Raggi said in 2019. "The wonders of Rome must be protected."

It looks like the hundreds of tourists who visit the baths daily will have to find food and refreshments elsewhere. Or simply head on to the magical Golden Arches location near the Spanish Steps, where they can try menu items unique to that restaurant.

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Mura Dominko
Mura is ETNT's Deputy News Editor, leading the coverage of America's favorite restaurant chains, grocery stores, and viral food moments. Read more about Mura