The wine windows, or “buchette del vino” in Italian, are small openings in the walls of historical buildings in Florence, Italy, that were used to sell wine by the glass. The traditions of wine windows date back to the 16th century and were particularly popular during the Renaissance when Florence was a thriving center of trade and commerce. At the time, wine was an important commodity, and the wine windows were an efficient way for merchants to sell it.
During the Renaissance, wealthy families in Florence began to build grand villas in the countryside surrounding the city. These villas often included vineyards and the wine produced on the estates was sold through the wine windows. Over time, wine windows became a common feature of many buildings in the city, and both large and small winemakers used them.
Today, the wine windows are a popular tourist attraction and a symbol of Florence’s rich cultural heritage. Many of the wine windows have been preserved and restored. Some have been turned into small shops or wine bars where visitors can purchase wine and other local products, such as olive oil and cheese. In recent years, the tradition of wine windows has been revived even further due to the COVID-19 pandemic that began in 2020 as a way to sell wine while maintaining social distancing.
Wine windows can be found all over Florence, with a large concentration in the Santo Spirito neighborhood and city center. Single spot locations include (but are not limited to) Babae, Osteria Belladonne, S-Malto, Il Latini, Cantina de’ Pucci, Vivoli, Buchette del Vino, and Fishmood Modalita Pesce.
The wine windows are typically open from around 10:00am until midnight and offer a variety of wines, including the famous wines of Tuscany, such as Chianti, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano.
Wine windows are a part of the social fabric of Florence, providing a meeting place for locals and visitors alike. They are often located in historic buildings and serve as a reminder of the city’s rich cultural heritage and a symbol of its enduring spirit. They are a must-see for any wine lover visiting the city and offer a chance to experience a piece of Florence’s wine culture.
Have you seen or purchased from the wine windows in Florence? What are your thoughts? Let us know in the comments below!