'Wine windows': Italy is reviving its medieval tradition of serving drinks
A tradition dating back to the Middle Ages is being revived in Italy due to the special conditions that the coronavirus has brought to our daily lives and it is extremely interesting. These are the "Wine Windows".
Centuries ago, the bubonic plague, also known as the "Black Death", swept through Europe, killing 1/3 of its population. During this period, Tuscany instituted a new method to keep the morale of its citizens thriving. As the Italians thought that a drink, specifically a glass of wine, could help relieve people during a pandemic, they invented a special way of serving it that was safe for citizens. Tiny window-like openings were created, recessed into the walls of wineries and shops, allowing merchants to pass wine through a small hole in the wall to avoid direct contact with customers.
However, after the end of the plague these remained unused for centuries, until the coronavirus spread in Italy. Specifically in Florence, some looked to the past and decided to take advantage of this idea of the so-called "wine windows" ("buchette del vino"), in order to serve food and drink, maintaining the necessary safety margins.
With the spread of the coronavirus, the medieval tradition of Tuscany was reborn. Specifically in Florence, some entrepreneurs looked to the past and decided to take advantage of this idea of the so-called “wine windows” ("buchette del vino"), in order to serve food and drink, maintaining the necessary safety margins. Now these windows serve not only wine but also drinks such as the Italian Aperol Spritz, gelato and coffee.
So where can you find them? The buchette del vino are all over Florence, but you can find most of them in the Santo Spirito neighborhood and the city center. For example, Gelateria Vivoli, one of Florence's famous gelato shops, was one of the first businesses to use its buchette during the coronavirus pandemic.
Perhaps, this is one more reason to visit the beautiful city of Florence with its unique architecture and gastronomy.