Medieval ‘Wine Windows’: Italy’s Newest Drinking Trend Is Also Its Oldest

While not much good news has happened during the pandemic, there is one amazing tradition that has found its place in the world yet again… Wine windows in Florence, Italy, which date back from the time of the plague. In Tuscany during the 1600s – during the Black Plague – wine windows popped up in the city for the safe sale of wine, without direct contact between client and seller.

Some enterprising Florentine wine window owners have now turned back the clock. They are using their buchette deli vino to dispense glasses of wine, cups of coffee, drinks, sandwiches and ice cream—all germ-free, contactless!

Simply stroll up to the beautiful little stone arch in the wall, place your order and receive a glass of vino through the historic hatch. The windows are just large enough to pass a glass through – no contact needed.

Medieval Wine Windows in Florence are Reopen

This ancient way of serving wine is the best drinks ‘trend’ of the year

According to the Wine Window Association of Florence (which looks after the wine windows still found in the area), this unique commercial enterprise is particular to Florence. The wine window concept was the result of the imagination and invention of wine producing families in Tuscany who had residences in the city of Florence.

To avoid contagion, either the client purchased wine which was already bottled, or the client was allowed to fill his or her flask directly by using a metal tube which was passed through the wine window. Genius.

You’ll find historic buchette del vino all across Tuscany…

Until recently, these little wine windows had no use in Florence – apart from looking cute. But of the 150+ windows across the area, some are reopening for their original purpose.

wine window florence

But for a working wine window, visit Babae in Florence

Babae, a restaurant in the Santo Spirito neighborhood, has been known for its working wine window since it opened last year. The recent need for contactless ordering has made its unique serving method go viral.

Osteria delle Brache is also serving drinks through its pretty wine window, with Aperol spritzes being the main draw.

wine window florence

You can get wino, Aperol spritz, coffees and more!

In total, there’s about 14 restaurants, bars and gelaterias in Florence where you can order via a wine window. You can see the full info on open wine windows here.

wine window florence

Sarah Clayton-Lea

Co-founder of Big 7 Travel, Sarah created the company through her passion for championing the world's best food and travel experiences. Before her career in digital media, where she previously held roles such as Editor of Food&Wine Ireland, Sarah worked in the hospitality industry in Dublin and New York.

Contact [email protected]

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