Wine windows are, at their heart, precisely what they sound like: windows for red wine, and they have actually been around for a long time. If you are roaming through Florence, you may see a few random windows lining the walls of the city. They were created as far back as 1559, when Cosimo de’ Medici, the ruler of Florence, enabled rich, worthy families to sell wine they produced out of their homes (via Atlas Obscura).
Devour Tours states that this permitted noble families to avoid the extra taxes of opening a red wine shop to offer their bottles, however in the 17th century, these wine windows served another purpose. In between the years 1630-1633, an epidemic hit the city, and these white wine windows became the ideal way for homeowners to securely purchase red wine without coming in close contact with another individual. According to Food & & Red Wine, the Associazione Buchette del Vino (Wine Windows Association) has tried to keep an eye on precisely the number of white wine windows were integrated in the city throughout these historic periods though numerous have been ruined over the years. Currently, the number stands at around 150 within Florence and at least another hundred throughout the area. In 2020, when the initial waves of the COVID-19 pandemic hit Italy, a few of these windows were re-opened and utilized when again for their designated purpose: passing wine across the sill.