Holy Big Mac: Vatican’s first McDonald’s opens

Source: The Guardian

Fast-food franchise opens on Borgo Pio, just steps away from St Peter’s Basilica, despite outrage from some quarters

A sign for the Vatican’s first McDonald’s restaurant, seen with the cupola of St Peter’s in the background.
A sign for the Vatican’s first McDonald’s restaurant, seen with the cupola of St Peter’s in the background. Photograph: Tiziana Fabi/AFP/Getty Images

McDonald’s has opened a franchise just steps away from the gleaming white marble dome of St Peter’s Basilica, giving indigestion to some cardinals and local business owners.

There was no fanfare for the 30 December opening of the US fast-food firm’s new venue behind a subdued exterior on the picturesque Borgo Pio, just outside the spiritual home of the world’s 1.2 billion Roman Catholics.

When the plan emerged last year, one of its most strident critics was Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, who said McDonald’s fare was far removed from Roman gastronomic traditions and not the healthiest of foods.

“The mega sandwich shop on Borgo Pio is a disgrace,” Sgreccia told La Repubblica newspaper at the time.

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