How might a McDonald’s restaurant change the Piazza del Duomo?
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Florence Cathedral: ©Gabriel Bouys/AFP/Getty Images. McDonald’s sign: Shutterstock.
Fast-Food Fight
McDonald’s battles to open a restaurant in the cultural heart of Florence, Italy

At the Piazza del Duomo (pee-AT-suh del DWOH-moh) in Florence, Italy, visitors can marvel at a 721-year-old cathedral and see masterpieces by Renaissance artists like Michelangelo. But tourists won’t find a McDonald’s in the historical square. City officials recently turned down a proposal to open a McDonald’s at the site. Executives at the company are now fighting back by suing the city.

The new McDonald’s would have been located directly across from the Piazza’s famed Santa Maria del Fiore (fee-oh-rayh) cathedral. The building is one of many examples of Renaissance architecture in the square. City officials say they rejected McDonald’s restaurant application because of city regulations that aim to preserve the heritage of this cultural center.

Representatives from McDonald’s argue that the proposal included design changes to meet the city’s guidelines. Waiters at the restaurant would have served customers at tables instead of offering food to go. Officials at the American chain also promised to obtain 80 percent of the product ingredients locally. They believe the city is discriminating against the company, so they filed a lawsuit for $19.8 million to compensate for the loss of future earnings.

“We don’t have any prejudice [against McDonald’s],” Florence’s mayor responded in a statement. He noted that the chain already has nine McDonald’s in other parts of the city—a fact that prompted more than 24,000 Florence residents to sign a petition against the new McDonald’s. Some protesters also organized a march through the city’s center. They argue that tourist-friendly businesses like McDonald’s alter the character of cultural-heritage sites.

What do you think? Do fast-food restaurants detract from historical sites?

CRAFT AN ARGUMENT
1. Why did Florence officials turn down a proposal for a new McDonald’s restaurant?
2. What is McDonald’s reason for suing the city?
3. Should fast-food restaurants be allowed to operate near cultural-heritage sites? Why or why not?


I don't think there should be a McDonald's there because it is such a pretty place that they should not and that place to mess it up. They could put it somewhere different so they can still have a McDonald's in Italy but not in front of a very pretty place. I think that there should not be any fast food restaurants in Italy it is such a nice place with all these pretty restaurants that they should add an ugly place.
Posted by: Summer M. | February 9, 2017 at 7:05 PM
Yes because waiters serve people instead of to go food.
Posted by: veronica d. | February 9, 2017 at 7:06 PM
Yes,Fast food restaurants don't belong anywhere near historical sites.Fast food restaurants bring are a lot of distractions next to historical sites.
Posted by: Joscelyn R. | February 9, 2017 at 7:06 PM
1.City officials say they rejected McDonald’s restaurant application because of city regulations that aim to preserve the heritage of this cultural center. 2.Representatives from McDonald’s argue that the proposal included design changes to meet the city’s guidelines. Waiters at the restaurant would have served customers at tables instead of offering food to go. Officials at the American chain also promised to obtain 80 percent of ?the product ingredients locally. They believe the city is discriminating against the company, so they filed a lawsuit for $19.8 million to compensate for the loss of future earnings. 3.I believe fast foods restaurants shouldn't be allowed to operate near cultural-heritage sites because the fast food restrooms ruins the historical culture and doesn't make the buildings as artistic.
Posted by: Odalis S. | February 9, 2017 at 7:07 PM
I think that mcDonalds should not be in middle of beautiful arts and churches because it dose not fit in and it destorys the art work
Posted by: marisol v. | February 9, 2017 at 7:07 PM
I think that the McDonald's should not be located there . Many people think that it would be good for money profits . It damages the beauty and it ruins the beautiful feeling of having one of the most historical cathedrals in the world . It does not look good in the old school vibes . I would not put a McDonald's next to one of the worlds most historical feature .
Posted by: Ashley S. | February 9, 2017 at 7:07 PM
I think that a McDonald's will look bad because there culture is to go to fancy restaurants not go to a fast food place and they will just give you their food.Also another thing is that people don't just want to pick up their food they want to go to a fancy restaurant talk and dress nice.
Posted by: Melanie O. | February 9, 2017 at 7:07 PM
I think Mcdonalds shouldn't be placed there because that church has been there for many years and is now history and I don't think they should take that church just to put a Mcdonalds there.
Posted by: Gildardo S. | February 9, 2017 at 7:08 PM
I think they should'n put a McDonald's because it would destroy the art. Another reason I think it's bad because it is history and McDonald's would ruin it.
Posted by: Estevan G. | February 9, 2017 at 7:08 PM
I think that they shouldn't put a Mcdonalds in front of cathedral because it's destroying the architecture and the designs and it's just in the way.
Posted by: Juan G. | February 9, 2017 at 7:08 PM
Yes,because when people visit there they could be hungry. Also after they could visit the others sites. Also after church they could eat if morning or night.
Posted by: christopher A. | February 9, 2017 at 7:08 PM
Yes because there are 9 other mcdonalds in other parts in the city
Posted by: cash m. | February 9, 2017 at 7:08 PM
i think there is nothing bad because when workers go on their break where will they go to get snack
Posted by: luis g. | February 9, 2017 at 7:08 PM
if you put a because it would destroy the art. also it is destoring the architecture and the disigns and it is also just in the way
Posted by: Kassidy H. | February 14, 2017 at 9:43 PM
No. I think that they should not put a McDonalds across from the cathedral because it is disrespectful to the society AND the cathedral. Plus if people want to go to McDonalds they can walk a few blocks, do some cardio. I would if I was that desperate.
Posted by: Hailey C. | February 14, 2017 at 9:43 PM
I think yes because there are nine other McDonalds in other parts in the city
Posted by: Ashton S. | February 14, 2017 at 9:45 PM
I think that it is going to actually help if 1.They keep it from producing smells 2. they have some Italian food on the menu and 3. they should make the building pretty with stone walls and stuff as i have seen them do this before 4. NO PLAYPLACE i'm not against them but think you vesit the cathedral when you here some toddlers screaming well thats all
Posted by: Stephen ;. | February 14, 2017 at 9:51 PM
I think that there should not a McDnalds right there because it will destroy everything.It will destroy are too.
Posted by: Braylee M. | February 14, 2017 at 9:51 PM
There should not be a McDonald's because the city already has nine restaurants and the it would detract from the ancient beauty of the landmarks closest to it.
Posted by: Megan A. | February 22, 2017 at 8:42 PM
I don't think it should be there because for one the color does not fit in and it is disrespectful to the society to have it across from the cathedral. And Aaliyah said it was to tall.
Posted by: Alma A. | February 22, 2017 at 8:42 PM
There should not be a McD's in a historical site where many things have been there a long time,, you are ruining ancient history.
Posted by: Ashtein . | February 22, 2017 at 8:42 PM
We agree with the officials that their should NOT be a McDonalds near that historical site. We also think that it is stupid that McDonalds is trying to sue them. We mean there is already 9 other McDonalds in the city.
Posted by: Rainey a. | February 22, 2017 at 8:43 PM
We feel as if it degrades the value of all of the surrounding historical features to have a McDonalds down town Florence Italy. It is not that we are against eating McDonalds but it is not a very proper place, trying to be put in a very proper place. So at the end of this very long day we choose to say that McDonalds dose not belong in a historical place such as Florence Italy.
Posted by: Mystoragen W. | February 22, 2017 at 8:43 PM
I dont think they should cause it will destroy the beutiful art work.
Posted by: Nevaeh p. | February 22, 2017 at 8:45 PM
I think that they should put it there because its not fair to have to drive so far away from your home to get to McDonald's......So in all I think that we should have one in that city.....
Posted by: Elizabeth Z. | February 22, 2017 at 8:45 PM
i think that they shouldn't put a McDonalds there because it could change everything we think about Italy and its culture
Posted by: aleea . | February 22, 2017 at 8:45 PM
I do not think they sould bcose it does not look good, at all.
Posted by: terra b. | February 22, 2017 at 8:48 PM
I think that it would be a nice edition but it would also be disrespectful to the society but you can also move it some were else.
Posted by: Brittney S. | February 22, 2017 at 8:48 PM
They turned down the proposal because it would damage the heritage of this culture center. McDonald's is suing the city because it feels that they are making their own changes to meet the city's guidelines and the city should allow it. I do not think that McDonald's has this right because the area is a historical landmark and a McDonald's is going against cultural law.
Posted by: Vance C. | February 22, 2017 at 8:48 PM
i think that they shouldn't make a McDonald's there because it could change how Italy looks and how people would come there for. It could also destroy the art that it is it could also change how Italy looks and Italy has some of the historical and beautiful landmarks from history. so if a MacDonald's is built there it might change Italy and how people think about it. That's why i think they should't build a McDonald's there.
Posted by: aleea . | February 22, 2017 at 8:50 PM
I think that it would be a nice edition but it would also be disrespectful to the society but you can also move it some were else.
Posted by: Brittney S. | February 22, 2017 at 8:50 PM
i think mcdonalds should not be there because its avery pretty place also it would probley be crowed because it would be popeler
Posted by: chasity b. | February 22, 2017 at 8:51 PM
i think that they shouldn't build a Mcdonald's there because it could be dangerous to the old buildings...(even tho I love Mcdonald's :-))
Posted by: Kiara H. | February 22, 2017 at 8:51 PM
I think yes because there are 9 different Mcdonalds in the other parts of the city and tey can go there after church.
Posted by: Johan A. | February 22, 2017 at 8:51 PM
i think they should build a McDonalds there because they said in the passage that the building is over 720 years old And no one uses it anymore. Im not saying that they have to destroy the building all im saying is out with the old and in with the new !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :) ;) ;) :)
Posted by: Rance S. | February 22, 2017 at 8:51 PM
they should build a McDonalds because what if some one is hungry they might not want to walk across the entire city. Another case is what if they don't want to eat somewhere else what if they want to eat McDonalds!?!?!?!
Posted by: Ashton S. | February 22, 2017 at 8:51 PM
i think their should be on because you should not have to drive 30,000 mile to get food!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Posted by: joshua s. | February 22, 2017 at 8:51 PM
1.City officials say they rejected McDonald’s restaurant application because of city regulations that aim to preserve the heritage of this cultural center. 2.Representatives from McDonald’s argue that the proposal included design changes to meet the city’s guidelines. Waiters at the restaurant would have served customers at tables instead of offering food to go. Officials at the American chain also promised to obtain 80 percent of ?the product ingredients locally. They believe the city is discriminating against the company, so they filed a lawsuit for $19.8 million to compensate for the loss of future earnings. 3.I believe fast foods restaurants shouldn't be allowed to operate near cultural-heritage sites because the fast food restrooms ruins the historical culture and doesn't make the buildings as artistic.
Posted by: Austin J. | February 22, 2017 at 8:52 PM
I think there should be no McDonald because it is not good for you and most people wouldn't know what it is.
Posted by: Tanner F. | February 22, 2017 at 8:52 PM
I don't think they soul'd put a McDonald because its unhealthy and Italy is a healthy city they eat Lots of salads.... BY L.K
Posted by: L.K . | February 22, 2017 at 8:53 PM
I Think That They Should not build a McDonalds Near the Site because It Ruins the Historical Feeling and it looks out of place with all the old buildings and then just a random McDonalds in the middle of it .
Posted by: Chloe C. | February 22, 2017 at 8:53 PM
I do think that there should be a MC Donald in Italy because when Americans come to visit they will think it is kind of like home because almost almost every where has a MC Donald and i think the Italians will like trying new food.
Posted by: MaKayla D. | February 22, 2017 at 8:53 PM
I agree with you Braylee. They can't put one right in front of a 721 year old cathedral because it might get in the way of the cathedral. Worst case scenario, it might destroy it.
Posted by: Noah C. | February 22, 2017 at 8:53 PM
It is a historical city, and I do not think that they should put a McDonalds there. It would look very odd and out of place.
Posted by: Emily C. | February 22, 2017 at 8:53 PM
I don't thank that they should build a Mc'donlds in a urbun city that big and puts some- thing that small right in the middle of that city because they will have a lot of cosmers in a little fast food restrunt....
Posted by: Jake E. | February 22, 2017 at 8:54 PM
I think that they should not put a MC .donanalds because it would ruin the value of pizza del dumo
Posted by: Tristan.M . | February 22, 2017 at 8:55 PM
Yes, it does take away from beautiful scenery .
Posted by: jaylon R. | February 22, 2017 at 8:55 PM
I think there should not be a mcdonulds there because the place is so pretty love , caylee p
Posted by: Caylee P. | February 22, 2017 at 8:55 PM

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