Urbino

Rumored McDonald's opening in Urbino causes controversy

Golden arches could open in a church-owned building in center

Rumored McDonald's opening in Urbino causes controversy

Urbino, January 22 - The possible opening of a McDonald's fast-food restaurant in the historic center of Urbino is stirring up lots of controversy in this Italian town. While not yet official, rumor has it that the golden arches will soon be opening a location on the city's Piazza Duomo, a few meters from the historic Palazzo Ducale. While some local officials have howled in disgust at the prospects of burghers and fries being made and sold in the city center, others - notably the owner of the building which might host the restaurant - are more interested in the economic benefits. In a somewhat ironic twist, the location of the future McDonald's - until recently a branch office of a bank - is owned by the church. McDonald's has already successfully found home in other elite, historic Italian locations, like Rome's Piazza di Spagna and near Florence's Santa Maria Novella church. While realizing the potential economic benefits a McDonald's restaurant could bring to the city, Federico Scaramucci, the president of the city government's culture, tourism and productive activities office, says: "Urbino is an international city whose architectural, cultural and artistic characteristics have made its inclusion (UNESCO's) list of world heritage cities possible... The presence of a McDonald's in the center would be inappropriate. There are many other suitable locations".

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