When coming to Florence (Italy), tourists can easily find small arched windows that appear randomly on the walls of old buildings in the city center. These windows are called “Buchette del Vino" in Italian, and have existed since the 17th century when the Plague pandemic swept through Italy. 

Back then, the windows were created when wine merchants tried to protect themselves. They invented a more convenient way to sell wine without contacting directly with customers or infecting diseases with others. These windows were designed with compact size, a wooden door, and stone arches around, wide enough for a hand to slip through.

“Buchette del Vino” carries many traditional values in Italian wine culture (Cre: Buchette del Vino)

With the aim to promote sales and create belief in customers, bars, and restaurants in Italy have brought “Wine Windows” - Buchette del Vino back about 400 years ago in Florence. Until now, these windows still remain and become an indispensable part of Italian culture.

 This is a cultural feature attracting many tourists coming to Florence, Italy (Cre: Buchette del Vino)

Coins are usually placed on a small metal pallet and passed through the windows for payment. Through this method, customers and sellers can avoid direct contact, creating safety and comfort when social distancing is a priority.

 When visitors come, by knocking at the wooden window, a seller will receive the signal and serve them wine (Cre: IG babaefirenze)

At first, “Wine Windows” only appeared at restaurants and bars, but with their popularity and success, this idea became widespread and has turned into “Ice-cream Windows” or “Coffee Windows” all over Italian streets. These windows not only bring efficiency and security to both vendors and customers but also form an exclusive and romantic atmosphere, expressing the creative and artistic sides of Italians. 

Taking inspiration from “Wine Windows”, many items are also sold through Windows (Cre: Buchette del Vino)

In 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, these seemingly forgetting “Wine Windows” were retrieved in many Italian restaurants and bars. They have been used as a solution to maintain social distancing and people’s safety. This is not only a way to protect community health but also helps restore an ancient culture that disappeared during the last century. 

This model continues to be well-received and develops in many different ways (Cre: Buchette del Vino)

“Wine Windows” in Italy are a symbol of creativity and ingeniousness in the business field as well as a crucial part of Italy culture. They display a combination between traditional and modernity, safety and convenience. These windows are a small part of a long story about Italian wine and culture, providing unique and memorable experiences to anyone visiting this country.