The Wine Doors

While strolling through the streets of Florence, it is possible to come across tiny “arch”-shaped windows resembling the typical doors and portals in the long walls of ancient patrician palazzos.  Some of these still conserve their original wooden doors, others have been walled in for years, nevertheless they all possess one unique architectural feature that stands them apart from those of other Italian cities.  These were the windows for pouring the wine, the production of which was mainly carried out for private use by old aristocratic families who owned large areas of land and vines outside the city walls.  The excess wine was made available for the general public and the sale was carried out by explicit request of the Signoria, exclusively through these little windows.

Wine door

The most unusual of these must certainly be the one located in Via delle Belle Donne, almost on the corner wit hVia della Spada, on top of which we can still read the words: “This cellar remains open for sales from November 1 until all of April from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. and from 5 till 8 p.m. – from May 1 through all of October from 8 a.m. until 3 p.m. and from 6 till 9 p.m. – on holidays it remains open for sales until 3 p.m.”.

Wine Door

Ciarleglio, Franco. “The Wine Doors.” Strolling through Florence (Discovering the City’s Hidden Secrets). Trans. Susan Mary Cadby Berardi. Florence: Edizioni Tipografia Bertelli, 2003. 21-22. Print

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