wine windows
Helen Hatzis
Helen Hatzis
August 28, 2020 ·  1 min read

Italy has Revived Wine Windows

Restaurant and bar owners in Florence, Italy have embraced COVID-19 in an interesting way. They have revived the century-old tradition of wine windows. There are approximately 150 wine windows in the Florence area alone, with 300 catalogued throughout Tuscany.

What are wine windows?

After the Bubonic Plague swept through Florence in 1634, scholar Francesco Rondinelli wrote about one of the Italian city’s coping mechanisms: tiny wine windows that allowed merchants to pass vino through a small hole in the wall to avoid direct contact with clients. [1]

Now, these wine windows are making a comeback in Italy.

What was created out of necessity, has now become a bizarre revival during COVID-19 no less! Locals and the rare tourist (during this time) are enjoying this old tradition.

The Wine Windows Association says no official tabs were ever kept on the number of apertures in the city, but they’ve been conducting their own census—a tricky task as many have been covered up or removed—and about 150 exist inside Florence’s old city walls, while another 100-plus have been catalogued beyond the walls and throughout Tuscany, the region to which the windows are apparently unique. (A list and maps can be found on Buchette del Vino’s website. [2]

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