Medieval 'wine windows' are having another moment in Italy

To keep a safe distance from their customers, some enterprising merchants in Italy have revived a Black Death tradition: wine windows.

VinePair:

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

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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:

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.

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