Servian Wall at McDonald's – Rome, Italy - Gastro Obscura

Servian Wall at McDonald's

Inside this McDonald's you can dine on your Big Mac and fries next to a 2,500-year-old Roman wall.  


McDonald’s may be one of the last places you’d expect to see the remains of an ancient structure, but in Rome, that’s not outside the realm of possibility. 

In the heart of the city, the Roma Termini station is home to two McDonald’s, one on the ground floor and another located on the basement floor. If you stop in for an order of McNuggets at the latter, you can’t help but notice their unusual decorations: the ruins of an ancient Roman wall.

The Servian Wall was constructed around the city of Rome during the 4th century B.C. The outline of the wall possibly dates back to the times of King Servius Tullius, for which it garnered its name. The wall stood for generations as the first line of defense against the Gauls and Carthaginians. By the early Imperial age, the wall became unnecessary as the Roman army grew in number and power. Eventually, it was superseded by the Aurelian Wall constructed by Emperor Aurelian in 275.

The remains of the Servian Wall can be spotted at numerous locations throughout today’s Rome, the most notable and largest section is located right outside the Termini station. A smaller section of the wall was unearthed during the construction of the station’s underground shopping mall, and was thus integrated into the dining area of McDonald’s.

These parts of the wall may not be as well-preserved or impressive as, say, the Colosseum or the Foro Romana, but it’s still amazing to see this leftover from antiquity inside a modern fast food place.

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February 14, 2020

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