Centuries ago, the bubonic plague, otherwise known as the Black Death, swept through Europe, killing one-third of the continent’s population at the time.

Originating in Asia, the disease made its way to Italy during the late Middle Ages and spread north from there. These days, we know just as well as medieval Italians that a stiff drink can go a long way to ease troubles during the pandemic.

Thus, the “wine windows,” or buchette del vino, of Tuscany. They are just as they sound: pint-size hatches, carved into the concrete walls of urban wineries and shops, where beverage merchants would serve sips at a safe social distance.


irst introduced in the 1600s, their true purpose went untapped for centuries after the plague — that is, until a new one came along this year.
More than 150 wine windows — some of which have since been permanently filled — within Florence’s walled city, and even more, dotted the Tuscan region.

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