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Florence's Wine Windows

A Whimsical Tale of Tuscany's Vinous Legacy

Embark on a whimsical journey through Florence, the enchanting birthplace of the buchette del vino, a charming Florentine innovation that pirouetted its way into the hearts of Tuscany. Picture these enchanting wine windows, adorned on the walls of majestic aristocratic residences, like magical portals inviting you to a clandestine dance with delightful libations. Crafted with meticulous care, these petite architectural gems, measuring a mere 23 cm wide and 36 cm in height, were designed with a dash of Tuscan flair to cradle the traditional wine bottles, affectionately known as fiascos.

In the present day, the Association Buchette del Vino unveils a tapestry of over 180 wine windows scattered like hidden treasures throughout Florence, and 114 in other parts of Tuscany. While these whimsical openings enchant various corners of the city, they particularly grace the Santo Spirito district and the lively city centre. As silent storytellers of the ages, these little wonders have played a role in discreetly selling wine, avoiding taxes, and even combating counterfeiting during the 1630-1633 epidemic.

As we merrily traverse the city's cobblestone streets, these wine windows not only share their historical importance but also stage a contemporary revival that adds a touch of magic to the bustling cityscape. Amid the quirks of the COVID-19 pandemic, restaurants and bars have rekindled the age-old tradition of wine windows, breathing new life into a practice that has gracefully aged over 400 years.

Step up to an opened buchetta del vino where the magic unfolds, inviting you to order your glass of wine. Each wine window reveals a variety of wines, predominantly sourced from the Chianti or Tuscany region. From the crisp notes of white and the blushing hues of rosé to the robust flavours of red wines, the offerings extend to Prosecco and an enticing array of cocktails, making every buchetta a gateway to a playful and delightful journey. Cheers to the enchanting world of Florence's wine windows!

Photos courtesy of Marco Magini & Bowen Fernie.

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