McDonald’s has been in the burger business for more than 75 years. And now, thanks to a discovery that occurred during the construction of one of their restaurants near Rome, they’re in the museum business, too. It all started in 2014 when excavation was taking place for a new burger joint in Frattocchie, Italy. Archaeologists confirmed that the workers had stumbled upon 147 feet (45 m) of an ancient Roman basalt road. The route had probably connected to the Appian Way, one of the most important thoroughfares of the day. Instead of documenting the find and reburying it, McDonald’s pitched in 300,000 euros ($318,675 USD) to help restore it. Restaurant visitors can now walk along transparent flooring to view the road, or go underground to get a better look at the remnants -- including three ancient skeletons found nearby.
You want fries with that?
- Named after Appius Claudius Caecus, the Roman official who conceived it, the Appian Way became known as the regina viarium, or the queen of roads.
- “We think it was a side road that connected the Appian Way to a settlement or maybe an important property such as the villa of a rich noble or an imperial estate,” said Alfonsina Russo, superintendent of archaeology for Rome.
- The Appian Way was traversed by famous figures such as the Roman poet Horace, who recounted his journey from Rome to Brindisi in his Satires.