This is not so unusual, when you think of it, all old cities are filled with history and, with it, always comes a deluge of old tales and interesting traditions. The city of Dante Alighieri has recently revived one of them, that of the buchette del vino, or wine windows. At the time, buchette were just a curious memento of Renaissance Florence, a nice reminder of what life used to be all those centuries ago, in a time when Tuscany was the cultural heart of the whole world. Here’s a little history, for those who’ve never heard of read about them before.
The buchette del vino are peculiar openings, usually around one foot tall, that Renaissance Florentine nobility built into the façades of their palaces. Buchette connected the street to buildings’ cellars, where a cantiniere, a server who had the specific duty to attend the buchetta, was ready to fill orders. If you wanted a bottle of wine, all you needed to do was knock on the buchetta’s window, leave money and an empty bottle in it, and wait for it to be returned to you full. Buchette became very fashionable, to the point all wine making aristocrats would have one on the street facing wall of their palatial homes.
They were so famous their use spread around Tuscany, Our curious wine delivering windows served the people of Florence for about three centuries, until the rise in popularity of more convivial ways to drink, taverne and osterie, marked their fall into oblivion. That, until 2015 when the Associazione Culturale Buchette del Vino was created to recover and protect this unique feature of Florentine heritage. A while back Matteo Faglia, one of the Associazione’s founders told to Wine Spectator, a popular online magazine about wine and wine making, that «these small architectural features are a very special commercial and social phenomenon unique to Florence and Tuscany,» as we mentioned already above. The Summer just about to end has brought a welcome present to the people of the Associazione Culturale delle Buchette del Vino, because Babae, a restaurant in the heart of Florence’s historical centre, decided to make its own buchetta operative again.
It shows the interest towards the past and its history, towards its meaning and towards the centrality of its preservation is clear also to younger generations, those represented by the imaginative, resourceful owners of Babae. It is also demonstration that the work of us common men and women with a penchant for local history and heritage protection, just like the people at the Associazione Culturale dell Buchette del Vino, can bring the right attention to something that would otherwise be forgotten and neglected.
Also today whit this emergency “Corona Virus” that we have in al the world , but in particularly in Italy, these “Buchette del Vino” are very helpful for some activity that are struggling after several months of lock down.