Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has left a lot of people struggling; and lots of businesses too. The few companies that have survived have been forced to change their game to stay in business.
Lately, Italy has had to revive a wine-selling tradition from the 17th century. Apparently, this has allowed people to maintain social distancing rules.
People are calling them "Wine Windows", but locally, the tradition is called buchette del vino, and you can learn more about it in the photos below.
This technique was used by vintners in Italy to sell wine during the plague pandemics of the 17th century.
The Rise Of "Wine Windows"
The little windows are being used to sell wine, cocktails, and other drinks to customers. The most important thing is that this new business convention helps people maintain social distance.
The Wine Windows Association is promoting and protecting these new-age entrepreneurs.
On their website, the association has explained that owners of these wine windows have reactivated their windows for dispensing coffee and ice cream, although others are selling wine. The organization notes that this (selling wine) is the "original purpose" of these windows.
Wine Windows Initially Began In The 1500s
Back in the 1500s, the wine windows helped during the pandemic by ensuring social distancing rules.
A Florentine scholar and academic, Francesco Rondinelli, wrote in "Relazione del Contagio Stato in Firenze I'anno 1630 e 1633" during the terrible bubonic plague pandemic that hit Europe at the time, wine producers selling their own wine using the small wine windows understood the issue of contagion.
At the time, the payment was not handed over directly into the seller's hands. The seller passed a metal pallet to the client so the coins could be dropped there.
After that, the sellers would disinfect the coins with vinegar before collecting the money.
Mary Forrest, a member of The Wine Windows Association, explained that the organization was formed following the work of Matteo Faglia and Diletta Corsini, who had been photographing wine windows for several years. In 2015, they decided to create an organization to protect and promote the wine windows.
The windows are hundreds of years old, with most of them dating back to the 1500s and 1600s. Still, many of the wine windows have been lost, destroyed, or covered up.
According to Mary, there are well over 150 wine windows in downtown Florence and the surrounding Tuscan cities and towns. However, only 4 or 5 are being used by restaurants that have them.
Mary also argues that restaurateurs who restarted the tradition should be congratulated for their imaginations and originality. These wine windows are a unique architectural feature that is very unique to Tuscany.
You can learn more about "wine windows" and The Wine Windows Association through their website.
What Do People Think About The Wine Windows?
Here are some comments about the wine windows from people who have heard about them.
As you can see, there are mixed reactions to wine windows. In general, people seem to like the idea of wine windows, and it's not just because of the COVID-19 pandemic.