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How Am I Only Just Now Hearing About the World’s Weirdest McDonald’s?

A McDonald's restaurant sign.

A McDonald’s in Italy has potentially earned the title of the weirdest McDonald’s in the world. However, it’s not for the typical reasons you might think, like not knowing what’s in the McNuggets or the ice cream machine always being broken. Nope, it’s because there are actual human skeletal remains peppered throughout the location.

This macabre restaurant is located in Frattochie, Italy, which, centuries ago, was an ancient Roman city named Bovillae. During construction in 2014, McDonald’s realized they were building the store on what was once an ancient Roman road, complete with the skeletal remains of three males.

McDonald’s enlisted archeologists to excavate the site and they fully uncovered the paved road that stretches about 150 ft. The road was estimated to be about 2,000 years old and archeologists believe it was once a side road connected to the Appian Way, which was one of the most important and commercially strategic roads in ancient Rome. Unfortunately, this 150-foot stretch is all that remains of this historical ancient Roman side road. In addition to the paved road, they also found the very well-preserved skeletons of three men who were buried on the side of the road, likely in the 3rd century. Archeologists estimate the men were all under 40 years of age at the time of their deaths.

It isn’t uncommon for construction sites in Europe, and especially in Italy, to uncover historical artifacts. Remnants of the Roman Empire are abundant throughout the country. However, how McDonald’s decided to handle the uncovering of the historical site was a bit unexpected.

McDonald’s opens their first “restaurant-museum”

After the discovery, McDonald’s continued building their restaurant on the site but decided to do it with a “museum” twist. Today, McDonald’s features a glass floor underneath which visitors can see the ancient road and the skeleton remains underfoot. Essentially, patrons can look at actual human skeletons as they order their food and dine in. The restaurant also allows visitors to go underneath the floor and walk on the paved road next to the remains. While the restaurant has been around for over 6 years, many aren’t aware of its existence, and some can’t wrap their heads around a historical site simultaneously being the location of a McDonald’s store.

While the store might seem macabre, irreverent, and the perfect way to get haunted, it must be noted that things like this might not be uncommon in Italy where historical sites are so prevalent. Comments on Twitter and Reddit discussing the restaurant noted that the country has certain legislation relating to the preserving and showcasing of historical artifacts and that McDonald’s was likely following litigation. At the same time, there could’ve been the option to open the site up to the public and preserve the history, without still having to build the restaurant on there.

Having people eating and ordering food above what marks the burial site of those three men simply doesn’t sound very respectful. It is unknown who these men were, though Grand Voyage Italy suggests they could’ve been slaves or soldiers who perished and were tossed to the side of the road. If they had been noblemen or emperors, would their remains have been treated with more respect and value than as sights to see in a McDonald’s restaurant? Also, is McDonald’s interested in preserving and showcasing the remains, or are they interested in the foot traffic and revenue from their “museum?” It is unlikely one would want their final resting place to be underneath a fast-food chain, but with McDonald’s influence, things like that apparently can happen.

(featured image: FEDERICO PARRA/AFP/Getty Images)

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Rachel Ulatowski is a Freelance Writer, blogger, and aspiring author. As a Freelancer Writer she hopes to give readers the same comfort and enjoyment that she finds in all things nerdy and noteworthy, as a blogger she enjoys snarking on YouTubers and reality stars, and as a future novelist she hopes to raise awareness for child abuse through literature.