Food - Drink
The Origin Of Florence, Italy’s Wine Windows
By NATASHA BAILEY
Italy is known for its delicious food and high-quality wine, and one of the country’s most famous regions for both wine and food is Tuscany. Tuscany has tied for the most Denominazione di Origine Controllata e Garantita designations in the country, and while this high-quality wine can be purchased in stores today, in the past it was purchased through wine windows.
Wine windows are pretty much what they sound like — windows for wine — and they were created as far back as 1559 when Cosimo de’ Medici, the ruler of Florence, allowed wealthy, noble families to sell the wine they produced out of their homes. This allowed noble families to avoid the additional taxes of opening a shop to sell their wine.
In the 17th century, when an epidemic hit Florence, wine windows took on new importance as they allowed the city’s residents to safely purchase wine without coming in close contact with other people, and more recently, they were used when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. In total there are about 150 wine windows in Florence and another hundred throughout the region.