To keep a safe distance from their customers, some enterprising merchants in Italy have revived a Black Death tradition: wine windows.
In Florence, the need for bars and restaurants to serve food and drinks in a socially distanced manner has seen a medieval architectural oddity revived.
Wine windows, known locally as buchette del vino, are small hatches carved into the walls of over 150 buildings in Florence and Tuscany. First introduced in the 17th century, the windows were originally used by merchants to sell surplus goods, such as wine. During the Italian plague of the 1630s, the windows offered the perfect solution for stores to continue doing business while isolating from the public.
Now, for the first time in generations, a handful of wine windows across Florence are once again being used for their original purpose...
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Noi si continua le tradizioni..😉🍹 Passa a provarlo #takeaway #osteriadellebrache #spritz #tbt #igers #firenze #santacroce#winewindow
And it's not just wine they're serving through these stone windows, it's also coffee, ice cream (gelato), and Aperol Spritzes. The Wine Window Association writes:
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Today, during our period of covid-19 pandemic lockdown, the owners of the wine window in Via dell’Isola delle Stinche at the Vivoli ice cream parlor in Florence have reactivated their window for dispensing coffee and ice cream, although not wine. Two other nearby wine windows, that of the Osteria delle Brache in Piazza Peruzzi and that of Babae in Piazza Santo Spirito, have taken us back in time by being used for their original purpose—socially-distant wine selling.
Blue from Overly Sarcastic Productions dives into how the Black Death spread from the Mongol Empire throughout Europe, giving us newly relevant terms like "quarantine" and "yeet." OK, maybe not the latter, but its use in this video to describe pestilence-filled corpses catapulted into Caffa is in fact, perfect. Read the rest
I spent the first two weeks of my quarantine shitting in a portapotty in the parking lot of my building. It wasn't great — but hey, at least it was always stocked with hand sanitizer.
The contractors I'd hired to renovate my bathroom were not so good on timeliness or communication before the pandemic started. And it only got worse from there. So I drove 300 miles in late March where I could at least be with my pregnant wife, and where at least I could shit indoors.
I returned home the other day to find that the bathroom still wasn't finished (though at least I could shower and shit now). Disappointed, I began to unpack my things, and ended up listening to this new NPR Short Wave podcast, which strangely made me feel better. It traces the history of indoor plumbing — including the uphill battle of trying to get people to understand that no, actually, a centralized sewage system will be better for your sanitation, and you shouldn't worry about the shit from other peoples' shit infecting your home. It goes on to explain how things such as porcelain/tiling and first-floor "powder rooms" actually served utilitarian purposes, making it easier for people to distance themselves from potential disease carriers, or clean things off after hosting guests with uncertain medical histories.
To be clear, I'm not sure why this made me feel better about my frustrating bathroom contracting experience. Or the deadly virus that continues to rage just outside my doors. Read the rest
An extraordinarily beautiful mask for “Plague Times,” by IMGURian @BelmontLeather1. Read the rest