This Unique Tradition That Started During Bubonic Plague Gets Revived due to Coronavirus Pandemic in Italy

The 'wine windows' were first introduced in the 1600s were closed for centuries after the plague but their true purpose again got realized due to the COVID-19 outbreak

A few hundred years ago, the bubonic plague also known as the Black Death devastated Europe by killing almost one-third of the population of the continent. The disease that originated in Asia traveled to Italy during the Middle Ages and continued to spread.

During recent times, the coronavirus or COVID-19 outbreak has also followed a similar route and is currently devastating the whole world as more than 19.3 million people got infected. A tradition that started due to the plague in Italy has again got revived due to the current situation in Tuscany.

The 'wine windows' or buchette del vino, which are pint-size hatchets and are carved in the walls of the urban shops, where wine sellers used to serve sips maintaining a social distance, are again reopening in Italy. The 'wine windows' that were first introduced in the 1600s were closed for centuries after the plague but their true purpose again got realized due to the novel coronavirus outbreak.

'Wine Windows' Reopening in Italy

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"Everyone is confined to home for two months and then the government permits a gradual reopening," the website of Wine Window Association reads. "During this time, some enterprising Florentine Wine Window owners have turned back the clock and are using their Wine Windows to dispense glasses of wine, cups of coffee, drinks, sandwiches, and ice cream — all germ-free, contactless!", it also mentions.

The president of the Wine Window Association, Matteo Faglia told Insider, "People could knock on the little wooden shutters and have their bottles filled direct from the Antinori, Frescobaldi and Ricasoli families, who still produce some of Italy's best-known wine today."

Over 150 wine windows are there within Florence's walled city and even mote in the Tuscan region. However, some of them have been permanently filled. "The wine windows gradually became defunct, and many wooden ones were permanently lost in the floods of 1966," Faglia mentioned.

The Wine Window Association has started the procedure of locating these forgotten relics throughout Italy's wine country and marking them with a plaque. "We want to put a plaque by all the wine windows, as people tend to respect them more when they understand what they are and their history," he mentioned.

Italy was one of the first nations affected due to the coronavirus outbreak as it witnessed the death of over 35,000 people, as per the WHO. The deadly virus outbreak is currently spreading like wildfire as the US is the worst affected country followed by Brazil and India. A vaccine is expected by the first quarter of 2021.

This article was first published on August 8, 2020
Related topics : Coronavirus