Experience the wine windows of Florence
On Giada’s most recent trip to Florence, she made a stop at one of the city’s most unique features: a wine window. Just as it sounds, these little arched windows in the outer walls of buildings allow passersby to stop and purchase a glass of wine from a bar or restaurant while standing on the street.
These buchette de vino were first introduced as a tax-free way for noble families to sell wine made in their vineyards directly from their palaces. To reduce their contact with members of the lower classes, the nobles’ servants would wait by the window for a customer to knock and hand over their empty bottle, which would be taken to be filled with wine. The practice became a lifeline for the city during a Black Plague epidemic in the 17th century, but faded over the following centuries. It was during the COVID-19 pandemic that many restaurants reopened these little portals to the street, safely selling everything from spritzes to gelato, sandwiches, and wine (of course). Today, they’re a fun way to step back in time and experience a uniquely Florentine tradition.
Giada visited Babae Wine (Via Santo Spirito 21R) for her vino, but there are a number of locations across the city that operate their wine windows today, many in the Santo Spirito neighborhood. Across the Arno river, near the Basilica di Santa Maria Novella, you’ll find one at Osteria Belle Donne (Via delle Belle Donne 16R). And for a family-friendly twist on the experience, visit Vivoli (Via Isola delle Sinche 7R), a gelateria that uses their window to sell gelato and coffee. Cin cin!
Via Santo Spirito 21R
Via delle Belle Donne 16R
Vivoli (for gelato and coffee)
Via Isola delle Sinche 7R