Aiming to celebrate, call attention to and preserve one of Florence’s unique architectural features, Matteo Faglia, Diletta Corsini and Mary Forrest have founded the cultural association Buchette del Vino, dedicated to the city’s “wine windows.”
“Wine windows” are small openings in the facades of many large houses and palaces in Florence. For three centuries, they were a crucial component of how local wines were bought and sold, directly from producer to consumer. Well-to-do Tuscan wine producers who also owned property in Florence came up with this approach: servants would look after the wine in the palace cellars and supply it to customers, who typically brought their own jug, bottle or glass, placed it through the window, waited for someone to fill it and then passed money through to complete the transaction. A typical window featured a small door, and when the customer knocked, it was opened for business. Windows were generally large enough to accommodate a fiasco, the straw-bottomed bottle traditionally used for Tuscan wines. Millions of bottles were passed through the windows without the need for “go-between” taverns or wine vendors: this intriguing commercial enterprise was unique to Florence.
The Buchette del Vino association intends to do a census of existing wine windows and to assist owners in protecting, restoring or even unveiling them, as some have been removed, destroyed or covered up.
Buchette del Vino, Associazione Culturale
Via della Pergola 48, 50121 Firenze
Tel. +39 055.0503936