Medieval “Wine Windows” Make A Comeback During Pandemic In Italy

babaefirenze / Instagram (left) - lagiostrafirenze / Instagram (right)

Among the countries hit by the coronavirus, Italy is one of the nations that suffered the most from the global pandemic. There have been at least 249,000 confirmed cases according to the Italian Department of Civil Protection and more than 35,000 deaths.

Italian residents are known to be cheerful and friendly people. They enjoy company events, drinking wine with friends and colleagues, or meeting in restaurants to share meals with their families.

During the lockdown, like everyone else, they’ve been deprived from socializing.

Italy is reopening after the lockdown and the country’s social distancing rules are very strict. So, Italian restaurants and bar owners in Florence, Italy, found a genius way to reopen their businesses while protecting their clients and keeping social distancing rules intact.

They revived an old medieval tradition known as is “wine windows,” also named “buchetta del vino.” These windows are little hatches carved into walls of the wineries and shops, enabling employees to serve drinks from a distance.

“Everyone is confined to home for two months and then the government permits a gradual reopening,” the Wine Window Association website reads. 

“During this time, some enterprising Florentine Wine Window owners have turned back the clock and are using their Wine Windows to dispense glasses of wine, cups of coffee, drinks, sandwiches and ice cream — all germ-free, contactless!”

The wine window tradition started during the Italian plague pandemic. Rich Italians winemakers were selling their wine directly through this little tiny and beautiful window.

With the Black Death – which is another name of the plague in the 1630s – the wine windows were a good way to sell wine and avoid contact with other people as much as possible.

It is interesting to see that the Italian shops and winery owners have come back to this old, contactless, delivery method of using these little windows.

“People could knock on the little wooden shutters and have their bottles filled directly from the Antinori, Frescobaldi and Ricasoli families, who still produce some of Italy’s best-known wine today,” Wine Window Association’s president Matteo Faglia told Insider.

There are more than 150 wine windows within Florence’s walled city, as shown in the map of the Tuscan regionThey are totally unique to Tuscany and haven’t been found anywhere else in the world. There is even a dedicated association that takes care of all the wine windows available in Florence.

Wine windows went far beyond simple wine serving, making tourists and locals really enjoy them!

They are being used as an Aperol Spritz (happy hour) window.

A morning coffee serving window.

Or even an ice cream serving window!

It’s great to see Italy bringing back this medieval tradition during these uncertain times!