Italy's reintroducing historic wine windows amid coronavirus pandemic

Updated: Aug 20




As Italy comes out of lock-down, restaurants are bringing back an old tradition to serve drinks and treats to customers through wine windows or “Buchette del Vino” in Italian.


This tradition dates back to the 1600’s when Italy was battling another pandemic, the Italian plague. In order to protect buyers and sellers from coming into close contact, wine merchants carved openings in the walls of their premises to continue serving drinks. The merchants would pass the wine glass through the window, then they passed a metal pallet to the customer to put the money in it, then the merchants would disinfect the coins with vinegar before taking them.


Throughout the years a lot of these wine windows were boarded up as the need for them diminished, however the corona-virus outbreak inspired the ancient tradition to come back. According to Buchette del Vino, a non-profit organization set up in 2015 to promote and preserve these ancient windows, there are a total number of 150 of them in Tuscany. A couple of businesses such as Osteria delle Brache, Babae, and Vivoli in Florence are reopening their wine windows to sell wine, cocktails, gelato, coffee and other treats to the population.


The historic wine windows are marked with bronze plaque that says “Assoziacone Buchette del Vino” to confirm their authenticity. The nonprofit association has also created an interactive map to mark the locations of the landmarks for travelers to be able to locate them easily.


Although the corona virus affected the entire world, some countries were more affected than others. Italy was one of them, as they were the first country to get hit after China. According to CNN the pandemic hit Italy on March 27, 2020 with 969 deaths in 24 hours. However, Italy is slowly recovering and although social distancing is still reinforced, it is great to see how Italian businesses are bringing back ancient traditions to keep their clientele satisfied but also safe.


Sources: The Washington Post

Lonely Planet

CNN

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