Italy Is Now Social Distancing with Help from “Wine Windows”

We need this ASAP.

Needless to say, this has been a year of major changes at some grocery stores and restaurants in the US—and all around the world. Everyone has had to shift the way they do business, which has produced some pretty unusual results. Here’s what the “new normal” looks like at restaurants.

Now, Italy is practicing social distancing with buchetta del vino (“wine windows,” to English speakers), which sounds like something we need in our homes ASAP.

They were used during the Black Plague

Seriously! While they were built before the plague hit, these small structures came in handy during the 1600s as a means of serving wine to customers without exposing those who worked there to the sickness. Basically, customers would pay through the window, and the worker would hand them their wine. We like that system! You can also learn to make pasta with an Italian grandma online.

Now, centuries later, these windows are getting used again—and they’re absolutely adorable. There’s a whole cultural organization dedicated to celebrating them, and we get why. There’s a lot of history to these little holes in the wall, and, obviously, they’re still useful.

They’re SO cute, too

What’s even better is that they’re so much prettier than comparable structures in the US, like drive-thrus. There’s an ornateness to these tiny windows that makes them utterly captivating, which is probably why there’s an Instagram account that posts and collects tons of buchetta del vino photos. Wine might be a social activity, but it’s still important to social distance—which these windows are perfect for. Here are true stories that show what happens when you don’t social distance.

It’s worth noting, too, that they’re not just for wine. You can get all kinds of stuff through a “wine window,” including coffee. Somehow, this seems more sophisticated than pulling up to Starbucks. But until we can safely travel to Italy again, we’ll just stare at these pictures with heart eyes. These pre–social distancing photos feel like ages ago.

Flight restrictionSEAN GLADWELL/Getty Images

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Originally Published on Taste of Home