Would you like fries with your hostia? That’s the word from a McDonald’s that just opened outside the marble dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, and it’s nauseating cardinals and locals alike.
Nobody seems to be celebrating the golden arches’ new home alongside Borgo Pio, literally steps away from the home of the Catholic Church in Vatican City.
The location stirred controversy among the Cardinals when it was announced last year. Cardinal Elio Sgreccia, perhaps the most ardent critic, called the burger joint a disgrace and far removed from Roman gastronomic traditions like ungodly amounts of Carbonara.
“It would be better to use those spaces to help the needy of the area, spaces for hospitality, shelter and help for those who suffer, as the Holy Father teaches,” Sgreccia told the Italian newspaper La Repubblica at the time of the announcement.
This opening isn’t the first bout between the fast food giant and The Belpaese. Cities across the country have been fighting fast food restaurants. Last June, the city of Florence turned down a McDonald’s application to open one of its restaurants there.
But none have drawn the ire of so many. Even local businesses are calling on Pope Francis to keep the chain out.
Perhaps, though, a few too many glasses of church wine may change the country’s mind.
Tom is a travel writer, part-time hitchhiker, and he’s currently trying to imitate Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego? but with more sunscreen and jorts.