Bucchette del vino, Italy: Florence's medieval wine windows used during the plague are being revived

 Tiny medieval windows used in the socially distant service of wine during the plague have been put to good use during the current pandemic.

During lockdown in Florence, Italy, shops lucky enough to have these often overlooked windows have been using them to socially-distant serve everything from wine to gelato to espresso.


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Some restaurants would use them to serve their customers takeaway; others for the service of Aperol spritz during Italy's habitual happy hour.

During times of the plague, it was understood that transmission was made by contact. The windows would allow for contactless service between shopowners and their customers in exchange for coins, which would be dropped into a metal palette and doused with vinegar for disinfection.

There are more than 130 wine windows, or bucchette del vino, in Florence. Recognisable by their gothic or Romanesque  frame hewn into the stone walls of buildings from the 17th century, only a few remain intact.

Some fell into disrepair, while others were blocked up, converted into name plaques or disguised as electricity metres.

The Buchette del Vino Cultural Association works to preserve the remaining wine windows.


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