FLORENCE NEWEST OUTDOOR DRINKING TREND
AND IS ALSO ITS OLDEST
In Renaissance-era Florence, small windows “buchette” were notched into the side of a building, carved into the outer walls of villas and palaces, and worked as wine bars. Le Buchette were stationed at elbow’s height, framed with stone, and shaped like a tabernacle. When dusk hits, Florentines would knock on the wooden shutter and throw coins, now Euros, and the Chianti would flow…
Now, a handful of people are changing Florence’s Newest Outdoor Drinking Trend (also its oldest).
“We need to help the Florentines regain possession of something that belongs to them,” says Matteo Faglia, the president of the 5-year-old Buchette del Vino cultural association. Faglia and his two cofounders are on a self-funded mission to preserve the legacy and locations of these buchette.
They have spent the last few years identifying buchette and documented 181 in the city; restored them; and mounted shiny plaques under each.
The owners of Babae, an osteria down a flagstone alley in the Oltrarno quarter, reopened the buchette in their exterior wall and restored its functionality. Now, you can walk up to the brightly painted wooden shutter on Via Santo Spirito, ring the bell outside, and the tiny door will open to you. Throw down a few Euro for a white or a red wine, and a glass will be handed to you.
The window is open from: 09 am till 02pm, and from 05pm till 08pm.
To keep track of the up-to-date map of every restored wine window, consult Buchette del Vino’s website (https://buchettedelvino.org/home%20eng/index.html).