From the 14th Century to the 18th, the world was undergoing a pandemic not unlike ours, the Bubonic Plague, also known as Black Death, managed to wipe out 1/3 of Europe’s population once the spread began. The disease originated in Asia and made its way across the continent to Italy in the Middle Ages.
We have made great advancements in medicine and healthcare since then, but there are still some similarities that can be drawn. In the 1600s, when the plague had taken a strong hold of Italy, people came up with the concept of ‘wine windows’ or ‘Buchette del Vino’. They were small, pint-sized windows, built into walls of wineries and shops, that allowed people to buy and sell wine while still exercising caution and following social distancing.
The city of Florence and Tuscany have over a hundred of these little windows scattered all around, though most have boarded up. With a type of ‘plague’ taking over the world currently, people are once again learning the importance and historical significance of ‘Buchette del Vino’. It is also oddly comforting to know that coping mechanisms have not changed much in the past 500 years.
With this newfound appreciation for these wine windows, shop-owners and merchants are utilising these windows to sell wine and cocktails again in an attempt to ensure safety. Though a lot of their potential was lost to floods and history.
Since their comeback, this concept of Wine Windows has blown up over the internet. In an interview, Matteo Faglia, president of the Wine Window Association said that, “We want to put a plaque by all the wine windows, as people tend to respect them more when they understand what they are and their history”
Buchette del Vino is perhaps the best thing to come out of the Dark Age, so much so, that it is still providing for people during the pandemic.