A Drive-Thru Ancient Rome

Posted by Ritu Kumari on April 11th, 2017

Rome, the mecca of renaissance and neo-medieval art and architecture, is a sprawling city that showcases the best of a 3000 year old culture and the influence of it in modern culture and civilisation. The city is a mirror for some, a memoir for others and a post-modernists living dream to understand and explore culture, from growth to progression to decline. Amidst all of this culture are spaces that showcase a civilisation long gone but not forgotten. Recently, a 150 feet long stretch of basalt road was cleared and opened for public access. And on this ruin filled roads, lies a place to enjoy a very deserving Happy Meal.

Yes, McDonald’s has in fact, opened the first drive-thru in the world in an architecturally significant spot, a museum that showcases the ruins that garland this basalt road. When you visit   Italy’s Frattocchie McDonald’s restaurant, you will have the opportunity to access a 2 millennium old road, from late roman civilisation, underneath the restaurant.

The unveiling of the road allows people to access and experience the old culture and by letting people access the road while having a meal is proof that public and private partnerships can go a long way, when done right. During the excavation of this road, three skeleton of ancient males were also unearthed which will also be on display on the road. The oldest of the three has been estimated to be about 35-40 years of age at the time of his death, information that was shared by Pamela Cerino, an architect who was part of the dig.

The best part about the new restaurant is that a visitor doesn’t have to order at McDonald’s in order to visit the unearthed road. The road is accessible from the parking area as well, so visitors can detour around the restaurant to visit. However, it would surely be a much more fun experience with a Big Mac and a side of cola as one basks in this road, a window to an ancient time.

McDonald’s has always seen opportunity in being different. While being the world’s first drive thru in a museum is a big achievement, it’s certainly not the only feather in its hat. From Dallas, Texas where an outlet is shaped like a Happy Meal Box to Negev Desert in Israel, which is situated in the middle of a desert or in Taupo, New Zealand where a McDonald’s is located inside a decommissioned plane, McDonald’s has never been afraid to push the limits of conventional restaurant practices in order to stay relevant as well as be more attractive to people.

McDonald’s launched in Italy in October 1985 with its first outlet located in Piazza Walter, Bolzano. Ever since then, McDonald’s has introduced and reimagined American cuisine for an Italian audience. By finding the balance between burger sauce and pasta sauce, McDonald’s Italy has managed to bring new appreciation of American cuisine in a country where food is one of the many things it is known for.

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Ritu Kumari

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Ritu Kumari
Joined: May 23rd, 2016
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