Sometimes Italian people forget, COVID-19 was not the first pandemic to strike them. During the Italian Plague (1629-1631), the wealthy citizens of Tuscany devised an ingenious way to sell off the contents of their wine cellars without entering the presumably infected streets: Wine windows, or Burchette del vino.
These narrow windows were cut into grand homes to allow wine sellers to pass their wares to waiting customers, much like the to-go cocktail windows that popped up around cities like New York during the COVID-19 pandemic. Seventeenth-century wine sellers even used vinegar as a disinfectant when accepting payments. There are still over 150 wine windows in the city of Florence, and 400 years after the plague, they have revived once again amid COVID-19 to serve customers everything from wine, coffee to gelato.
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