Vatican City is one of the world’s smallest countries, and it’s about to get one of the world’s biggest restaurants. The whole Catholic country fits inside 110 acres with a population hovering around 900. But don’t be fooled by how small it is: What’s basically the size of a small farm in most of America hosts about 25,000 people per day in foot traffic. The perfect spot, some would say, for a Mickey-D’s!
McDonald’s is moving into the Vatican adjacent Borgo neighborhood on the ground floor of a building that houses many of the Vatican’s higher-ups in the church (including former Pope Benedict XVI when he was a cardinal). And the cardinals are not happy.
The cardinals started raising a ruckus when they found out their building was losing an elevator to a flue that’s necessary to the restaurant’s ventilation and they’d be footing the bill. While that doesn’t seem to be the case since the Holy See runs and pays for all their housing, that doesn’t seem to be tempering their rage. Maybe the cardinals were just pissed at having to live with that undeniably distinct McDonald’s smell every one of the chain’s restaurants seem to have? You know, the one that’s both disgusting and appetizing at the same time
Additionally The Committee for the Protection of Borgo thinks the addition of some golden arches will permanently scar the neighborhood’s Roman aesthetic. Given the amount of garish stands and corner shops already selling religious trinkets, they called the restaurant’s addition a “decisive blow on an already wounded animal.”
The biggest winners here seem to be McDonald’s for scoring a killer location, the Holy See who’s renting the space for “a few tens of thousands of euros per month,” and the 25,000 daily tourists. If we’ve learned anything from this summer’s Olympics, it’s that tourists love McDonald’s. And let’s not get into why you’d need McDonald’s when you’re in Italy of all places.
(Via The Guardian)