The wine windows in Florence

The wine windows in Florence

Strolling around the center of Florence, the curious and attentive visitors can bump into strange little windows on the ground floor of ancient palaces. They are not only mail boxes or simply architectural design as they may seem, rather useful little doors through which the wine was sold.


The wine windows have the size of a “fiasco” – a glass bottle with a round body and bottom partially covered with a straw basket – and are located at the ground floor in correspondence of the cellar where the wine was traded.

The noblemen owners of the palaces could sell the “nectar from heaven” produced in their landholdings in the countryside through the wine windows, shaped in elegant stone frames that gave them a basic aspect so as to be called “tabernacles of the wine” in antiquity. Sometimes their opening and closing times were written above or on their side.

More than 150 wine windows are scattered across Florence, proving that making an excellent and exquisite wine was a prerogative in town since ancient times. Many citizens and countrymen devoted themselves to the production and purchase of the beloved beverage and therefore they were registered at the Arte de Vinattieri (the Guild of the wine producers). The Guild was founded in 1292 and the members originally met in the church of San Martino al Vescovo, the Parish church of Dante who was born nearby.

The wine windows have probably played a role in preventing the spread of bubonic plague that has struck Europe for centuries, killing millions of people. It is notable that recently, during the COVID-19 pandemic, some businesses have decided to revive the historical tradition, selling wine or “aperitivo” through the wine windows.


Among the Florentine families that lie their name to the production of wine there are the Antinori: their acceptance into the Guild is considered to be the starting point of the winemaking, marking them as one of the oldest families in the industry dating back to 1385. The Ricasoli family started their business in the wine production in 1141, being the fifth oldest family enterprise in the world, while the Frescobaldi are documented as wine producers since 1340.


The wine is undoubtedly one of the most typical products “Made in Tuscany”, appreciated and exported all over the world. One of the most renowned production area for its tradition and quality of its wines is the Chianti region.


Have a gourmet experience in Florence, eating a good pasta dish, the typical “bistecca alla fiorentina” made from a T-bone steak, the “trippa” (tripe, a cow’s stomach lining), cheese and salami selection and artisan exquisite gelato…. and don’t forget to taste a glass of Chianti red wine.

The wine and Florence… a relationship that will never end

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