In Florence one of the most curious traditions of the city comes back to life. Or at least, it’s coming back to life in a specific point, but who knows, it could launch a fashion. In short, after centuries it has reopened a “buchetta del vino” …
Perhaps not everyone knows that in many noble palaces of Florence they open about a meter from the ground of the tiny doors, they would be suitable for gnomes (if they were on the ground) or, who knows, for a fairy. What is certain is that by now they no longer seem to serve anyone, they are in fact always closed, sometimes even walled up or swallowed up by the renovation of buildings, sometimes they can even come in what is now the atriums or inside shops. But what good are these half-height doors? Well, the answer is more surprising than you might think. These openings have turned out to be a wonderful Florentine tradition. These were the so-called Buchette del vino.
Also called tabernacles, windows or small windows (always “del vino”), they were placed on the sides of the doors of the palaces of the great families since the sixteenth century, just to sell a glass – or even a flask – of nectar, in exchange for a hoard of ringing coins. And he has been drinking since morning. Every family rich enough to have properties not far from the city, through these miraculous gullies exchanged wine for travelers. It was also a convenient activity: since the family production the sale was tax-free. Furthermore, the holes have been designed for everyone, especially the poorest.
It has in fact happened that food surpluses were also offered from these openings. Today there are still 170, of which 145 in the historic center.
It is not yet in service as in the good old days of a few centuries ago, but the buchetta has been reopened in conjunction with the inauguration of a new bistro, Babae, which really seems to want to start using it again as it should. The idea would be excellent and the buchetta the only one active after centuries.