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Fast-food giant McDonald’s is suing the Italian city of Florence for €18 million after it was blocked from opening a restaurant on one of its most historic plazas.
McDonald’s had its plans for an outlet on the Piazza del Duomo rejected by Florence’s mayor in June.
The decision was upheld in July by a technical panel in charge of preserving the city’s ancient heart.
McDonald’s, which modified its proposals to fit with city guidelines, has now launched a bid for damages.
It is claiming it has been discriminated against, and wants to recoup the €17.8 million ($19.7 million) it estimates it will lose over the next 18 years, according to Firenze Today.
McDonald’s argues it put forward a plan to “operate respectfully towards the local policies, even accepting to introduce typical local products in our offer, as requested from the local commerce regulation”.
However, Florence’s mayor Dario Nardella says they were not prejudiced in rejecting the bid to open a branch on the piazza, famous for its Gothic and Renaissance architecture.
He told the city council earlier this year: “McDonald’s has the right to submit an application, because this is permitted under the law, but we also have the right to say no.”
This is the second high profile spat over an Italian location this year for McDonalds.
In October, it was reported that cardinals at the Vatican had been angered by plans to open a branch in a piazza next to Saint Peter’s Square.
The vibrant city of Florence is famous for its impressive architecture and has long been one of Italy’s most popular attractions. City breaks to Florence are popular among travellers who want
to soak up on different cultures and at the same time enjoy captivating attractions. Here are some of the sights that you should not miss while exploring the city of Florence.
Santa Maria del Fiore
The Hidden Tourist Attractions of Florence, Italynanc
This stunning cathedral is also known as the Duomo di Firenze and should not be missed. The Santa Maria del Fiore features an impressive statue of Brunelleschi in its piazza and the figure
looks up towards the mighty dome. Visitors who have a strong sense of adventure can also climb the 464 steps that lead up to the top of the cathedral to enjoy breathtaking city views.
Head over to the old city to explore this city hall, which is adorned with fine art including a replica of David by Michelangelo. Art lovers will really be in their element here as they explore
some of the most stunning works of art and murals from the Renaissance period.
Beat the crowds and unwind for a while by exploring this enchanting green zone, which can be found behind Pitti Palace. The Boboli Gardens are elaborately landscaped and scattered
with a large number of sculptures. One of the great things about the Boboli Gardens is that this attraction is often overlooked by visitors to Florence, while the gardens offer stunning views of
the mighty Duomo.
Climb 414 steps to soak up unforgettable panoramic views of Florence and the surrounding area. Giotto’s Tower can be found next to the Duomo and climbing it can be quite a challenge, which is all part of the fun.
Of course, this is just a small selection of Florence’s impressive attractions. Other attractions that are just waiting to be discovered include the Ponche Vecchio, Santa Maria del Carmine and
the Baptistery. Food lovers will also want to sample some of the city’s signature dishes such as pizza, enormous t-bone steaks and locally produced ice cream known as gelato.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West married at sunset in front of 200 guests at Fort Belvedere in Florence, Italy.
Kim Kardashian, 33, and Kanye West, 36, exchanged their vows with Miami Pastor, Rich Wilkerson Jr., reportedly conducting the ceremony organized by long-time Kardashian family friend and celebrity event planner Sharon Sacks.
Sharon Sacks who also planned Kim Kardashian’s second wedding to Kris Humphries in 2011.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West married at sunset in front of 200 guests at Fort Belvedere in Florence (photo Twitter/Glam Com)
According to Us Weekly, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West said their vows in front of a giant wall of white flowers, a larger version of the gift Kanye sent his wife to celebrate Mothers’ Day earlier this month.
A source told the publication: “It’s very hot at the moment so they’ll have to spray them with water until the wedding starts to stop them from wilting.”
The website reports that guests will dine together on a 70-metre-long marble banquet table which had to be hoisted up in pieces over the side of the fortress walls, while a huge dance floor has been created in the garden of the fort.
A source told Us Weekly: “Kim and Kanye’s style team are freaking out about getting there on time.”
“They were all on really early morning flights from Paris and everyone’s spread out on different flights and in different hotels.”
Sources say that Kim Kardashian’s plans did have to be changed last minute – she was supposed to get ready for her big day at the villa, but organizers of a dog marathon almost thwarted the plan, an eyewitness claims.
Those involved in the event planned to block the road outside the villa for a few hours to make last minute arrangements. The wedding party was therefore forced to get out of the villa in a rush – or risk getting blocked in the site.
According to the Telegraph, Prince Ottaviano de’Medici di Toscana, a modern descendant of the once-powerful Medici family, is incensed by the bash in Fort Belvedere his ancestors built.
“The city is renting out our palazzi for small change to be used as dance halls,” said the prince, who heads a conservation society in Florence with 40,000 members.
“Events like this represent a danger to the cultural integrity and historical authenticity of the city, which is protected, and could mean a possible loss of UNESCO status or being placed on UNESCO’s danger list,”Prince Ottaviano de’Medici di Toscana said of the venue which has never been used for a wedding before.
Karen Houghton, Kim Kardashian’s aunt, has revealed that the reality star is set to rip off Prince William and Kate Middleton’s royal wedding with her multi European city bash.
She revealed that Kim Kardashian even attempts to out-dress the Duchess of Cambridge.
Karen Houghton said: “Kim loved the British royal wedding and is a huge fan of Kate Middleton. She was just so caught up in that day and very impressed by it, and how it played out on TV around the world.”
She added that Kim Kardashian could be sporting a crown.
Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and their 150-strong wedding party jet out to Italy today for the ceremony at the 16th-century Forte di Belvedere in Florence (photo Splash News)
“She really loves Kate and the princess has been a huge inspiration as far as her wedding plans are concerned.
“Kim saw how visually stunning the royal wedding looked and wants to replicate that. Kim and Kanye want something just as traditional and classy.”
“Kim saw how the fashion world has reacted to Kate and wants to be just like her. She could wear a crown or tiara made from real diamonds.
“Kim wore a crown with her wedding to Kris Humphries and I believe she’s thinking of doing it again.”
Karen Houghton will not attend the wedding after a fallout with Kim Kardashian’s mother – her elder sister, Kris Jenner. She said: “I wish I could be there, but I don’t think it’s fair to go when there’s a cloud of unrest hanging over Kris and I.
“This is Kim’s big day and she doesn’t need any distractions in that sense.”
Meanwhile, over in Paris, where the Kardashian clan has gathered, 33-year-old Kim had a pretty sedate hen party on Thursday night.
With 20 friends and her sisters, it was hosted in Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s favorite hangout, Hotel Costes. Afterwards the ladies took a tour of Paris by night, stopping to pose for pictures and selfies by the Eiffel Tower and the famous pyramid at the Louvre.
Kim Kardashian, Kanye West and their 150-strong wedding party jet out to Italy today for the ceremony at the 16th-century Forte di Belvedere in Florence.
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According to new reports, Kim Kardashian and Kanye West will get married at Florence’s 16th Century Belvedere Fort in Italy on May 24.
A spokeswoman at the mayor’s office said that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West rented the villa for 300,000 euros.
A Protestant minister will preside over the ceremony, said Elisa Di Lupo.
Kanye West, 36, proposed Kim Kardashian on her 33rd birthday in October 2013, renting out San Francisco baseball ground AT&T Park for the occasion.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West will get married at Florence’s 16th Century Belvedere Fort in Italy on May 24 (photo US Magazine)
This is the first marriage for Kanye West, who was previously engaged to designer Alexis Phifer.
It will be the third marriage for Kim Kardashian.
There has been no confirmation of the nuptials from either Kim Kardashian or Kanye West yet.
Kim Kardashian was married to music producer Damon Thomas from 2000 to 2003 and spent 72 days married to professional basketball player Kris Humphries in 2011.
Their ceremony was broadcast as a two-part TV special called Kim’s Fairytale Wedding.
In an interview with Florence’s La Nazione newspaper on Friday, Kanye West talked about the beauty of Florence and said he was “very excited” about the wedding.
Kanye West said he and Kim Kardashian had been to Florence last year and believed that their daughter, North, born in June 2013, was conceived “among the Renaissance masterpieces”.
“It was our first honeymoon,” he added.
“It’s one of the most beautiful cities of the world, for me the most beautiful in Europe.”
Elisa Di Lupo said the proceeds from the rental would go to fund restoration of many of Florence’s artistic treasures.
Kim Kardashian and Kanye West had reportedly been planning a wedding ceremony in Paris but that’s unlikely as anyone wanting to get married there has to be resident in the French capital for four weeks before authorities will grant a marriage license.