In Tuscany, Renaissance-era wine windows are made for social distance: NPR

In Tuscany, Renaissance-era wine windows are made for social distance: NPR

A walk past a girl Small wine hole, A small window to serve common wine in Florence.

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A walk past a girl Small wine hole, A small window to serve common wine in Florence.

Tiziana Faby / AFP / Getty Images

For centuries, Europe has been plagued by plagues, plagues, and disease Black death.

When Italy became the first Western country to be infected with the corona virus, the city of Florence discovered that one of its unique architectural queries was relevant to the social distance of the corona virus period.

A walk through its narrow, winding streets offers a lesson in Italian Renaissance architecture. If you look closely at many of the buildings, there are pint-sized windows with curved openings built in local sandstone. pietra serena, “Quiet stone.”

Through the Belle Belle tone, a German guide points out a wine window to a group of tourists. The window is topped with an inscription in stone, listing the opening times when wine was served here in the past.

An wine window on the street reads “Beautiful Women”, and an inscription above it indicates open times.

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This correspondent’s mentor, Mary Forrest, has lived in Florence, USA for decades. The inscription says “probably from the 1600s”. He is one of three founders Association Born five years ago to promote knowledge and appreciation of wine windows – many of which the Florentines knew nothing about until recently.

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Forrest explains that the name of the street – which translates to “beautiful women” – refers to a profession that was once practiced here.

“We can determine that this is a popular area in the evening and that alcohol is probably the most effective drink to have on hand,” says Forrest, Suckling. It was open, “even on holidays,” he says.

Masked server at the wine window of the Vivoli Cafe in Florence.

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“Wine windows are a detail,” he says. “But they are very important because they are an essential part of the city’s history.”

In fact, they are unique to this region. Wine windows can be found in old palazzos in Tuscan cities, including Luca, Pistoia and Montepulciano, but nowhere else in Italy. They date from the mid-1500s, when Cosimo de Medici Became Grand Duke of Tuscany.

“Not all noble families are so happy with their new ruler,” said Matteo Foclia, president of the Wine Windows Association. “Therefore, he decided to offer a concession and allowed the wine they produced in the countryside to be sold directly from their palaces.” It removed intermediaries and windows were later created to facilitate those sales.

Foclia says many of those families – Antinori, Frescopalti and Riccasoli – are still one of the most famous Tuscan winemakers.

The windows are exactly 12 inches high and 8 inches wide.

“You can put it in a jar, not a big bottle,” Foclia explains.

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A century later, during the devastating plague in Florence, wine windows were essential and thousands were killed. 1630-1633 In official history Blake, Infection report, Grand Duckle Librarian Francesco Rondinelli wrote, “It was very useful to sell not only wine windows, but also other food without touching the vendor.”

On the left are Matteo Foclia, president of the Wine Windows Association, and on the right, Mary Forrest, one of the association’s co-founders.

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During Italy’s severe corona virus lockout in March, wine windows suddenly became effective again.

In Vivoli Giulia Cory, the owner’s daughter, says the cafe, an artisan ice cream milestone, has been climbing its small window for a long time.

“But during the lockout, we started using it again,” he says. When the Italian government allowed restaurants and cafes to take orders, the cafe began to take over. “The customer rings the bell, places an order, and we place the ice cream cup on the window sill, avoiding direct contact with the customer.”

It is not exactly forbidden, but can be roughly estimated in a centuries-old city not designed for cars.

The Wine Windows Association lists 150 wine windows in the old city of Florence and 100 other places in Tuscany. Many were hidden or removed long ago.

In Hotel Monna Lisa In a Renaissance palace in Borgo Bindo, Florence, there is no sign of a window on the outer wall of the street. But in the inner courtyard, the window is not intact, it is surrounded by carved beautiful seats pietra serena.

Locking is now over, but Women Wine bar owner Claudio Romanelli still uses his window for business.

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The customer rings a little bell. A wooden door opens from the inside. “And, ‘Do you want red or white wine? We’re coming here.

This reporter ordered the red.

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Alfred Lee covers public and private tech markets from New York. He was previously a Knight-Bagehot Fellow in Economics and Business Journalism at Columbia University, and prior to that was a reporter at the Los Angeles Business Journal. He has received a Journalist of the Year award from the L.A. Press Club and an investigative reporting award from the Society of American Business Editors and Writers.

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