Italy is reviving a Black Death tradition by reopening ‘wine windows’

Italy is reviving a Black Death tradition by reopening ‘wine windows’

Reviving old traditions from the days of the Black Death probably isn’t the mood-booster we need right now, but here’s one tradition that’s not all bad. When the bubonic plague reached Italy during the 1600s, “wine windows” rose in popularity in Tuscany. These small hatches carved into concrete walls of wineries and shops allowed merchants to serve customers while maintaining a safe distance. Now, these wine windows are making a comeback in Italy.

wine window

Photo: Buchette del Vino/Facebook

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

There are over 150 wine windows in Florence alone, and more scattered throughout the broader region of Tuscany. Restaurant and bar owners in Florence are now getting creative and reviving the old tradition, reopening wine windows that have been shuttered for centuries.

A full list of wine windows in Florence and northern Italy can be found on the Buchette del Vino website.

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