"The Coronavirus Is Bringing Back Florence’s Wine Windows" - Atlas Obscura

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"The Coronavirus Is Bringing Back Florence’s Wine Windows" - Atlas Obscura

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The COVID-19 pandemic, aside from encouraging people to take up new hobbies, has encouraged people to look to the past for methods of dealing with the risks of the pandemic. In an article for Atlas Obscura, journalist Matthew Taub looks at how the people of Florence, Italy, have dealt with the new reality of COVID-19 by using a medieval innovation: wine windows.

According to Taub, a wine window, or buchette del vino, is a type of medieval storefront common in Florence that dates back to the 17th century, when the plague commonly ravaged the population of the city. Insteading of risking exposure by entering an osteria, or bar, Florentines eager for wine and merriment were passed wine through a narrow window by metal plate. Shopkeepers would then sanitize the metal plates used to transfer money and products with vinegar. Over 200 wine windows have been tallied, or 1 for every city block.

With the arrival of COVID-19, 5-6 restaurants in Florence have reactivated their wine windows to serve wine, as well as coffee and gelato. Aside from providing modern Florentine shoppers with safe access to red wine, these reopened wine windows are also raising awareness about Florence's medieval past and the necessity of preserving antique architecture.

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This item was submitted on November 13, 2020 by Carlos Castro using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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