A 400 year-old tradition has returned to the city of Florence, Italy. The serving and selling of wine and other goods through windows that date back to the 1300s. Between the black plague and the Italian plague that ravaged northern and central Italy in the 1600s, these little windows offered a way to buy and sell wine, while limiting the spread of germs. The most interesting aspect of it all is that humans didn’t know about germs, until the 1800s!
During the Black Plague, wine producers utilized these windows to continue to sell wine to people safely. Buyers would pass their cups or flasks through a window for sellers to refill. Now in 2020, they are being used again, but the product options have more variety such as gelato, coffee, cocktails and takeout.
According to the Wine Windows Association (Buchette Del Vino), there are more than 100 wine windows in Florence that are currently operating. Tourists who want to experience this medieval tradition can use the Wine Windows Association’s window map to find all persevered wine windows.
Much has changed between the two health crisis, small business innovation has not. From “buchettes” re-opening in Italy to restaurant dining moving onto the streets of San Francisco. I am curious to see the innovation for salons, places of worship and gyms! Let me know in the comments what changes you are seeing in your city. <34
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