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Monday, July 26, 2021

Medieval ‘wine windows’ are making a comeback in Italy to maintain social distancing

The wine windows date back to the bubonic plague that swept through Europe in the 1600s

By: Lifestyle Desk |
August 7, 2020 7:10:11 pm
wine window, social distancing, covid 19 A handful of wine windows have opened across Florence to serve foods and beverages from a distance. (Source: dropitwine/Instagram)

Keeping social distancing rules intact amid the coronavirus pandemic, some restaurant and bar owners in Florence, Italy, have now revived a medieval tradition to keep their businesses running.

According to Florence’s Wine Window Association, a handful of “wine windows” have opened across the city. These are little hatches carved into concrete walls of wineries and shops, through which one can serve drinks from a distance.

The wine windows date back to the bubonic plague that swept through Europe in the 1600s. During the time, sellers realised the importance of self-isolation and started using hatches. Instead of taking payment by hand, they would extend a metal pallet through the window and then disinfect with vinegar. Until now, wine windows were usually spotted in old palaces and noble households.

Read| What will restaurants look like after COVID-19?

“During this time, some enterprising Florentine Wine Window owners have turned back the clock and are using their Wine Windows to dispense glasses of wine, cups of coffee, drinks, sandwiches and ice cream — all germ-free, contactless!” reads the official website of Wine Window Association.

“People could knock on the little wooden shutters and have their bottles filled directly from the Antinori, Frescobaldi and Ricasoli families, who still produce some of Italy’s best-known wine today,” Wine Window Association’s president Matteo Faglia told Insider.

Ice-cream parlour Vivoli, for instance, has now opened up a wine window to serve gelato and coffee. Tourists are also enjoying cocktails from Osteria delle Brache in Piazza Peruzzi served through a COVID-19 friendly hatch.

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