In Florence, the need for bars and restaurants to serve food and drinks in a socially distanced manner has seen a medieval architectural oddity revived.
Wine windows, known locally as buchette del vino, are small hatches carved into the walls of over 150 buildings in Florence and Tuscany. First introduced in the 17th century, the windows were originally used by merchants to sell surplus goods, such as wine. During the Italian plague of the 1630s, the windows offered the perfect solution for stores to continue doing business while isolating from the public.
Now, for the first time in generations, a handful of wine windows across Florence are once again being used for their original purpose, Insider reports.
Over time, as their need became defunct, many wine windows were covered up or filled with concrete. But some functioning examples remain in the city and the few bars and restaurants that contain them are taking full advantage.