While the pandemic has left South Africa wineless, it has done quite the opposite in Italy, inspiring the European country to bring back the age-old trend that was once popular during the time of the Black Death.

During the time when the plague was causing devastation in many parts of the country, Italy made use of ‘wine windows’. This unique innovation allowed restaurants and cellars to pass glasses of wine, cups of coffee and other goods to customers without any physical contact.

These little windows were particularly popular in Tuscany in the 1600s, according to Matador Network.

Roughly 150 wine dispensing holes are located throughout Florence and establishments are using the tiny historic spaces to their advantage by dusting off the cobwebs and reopening them to the public.

“Everyone is confined to home for two months and then the government permits a gradual reopening. During this time, some enterprising Florentine Wine Window owners have turned back the clock and are using their Wine Windows to dispense glasses of wine, cups of coffee, drinks, sandwiches and ice cream — all germ-free, contactless!” says Window Association’s website.

The revived trend has even sparked new tours in the capital, where eager patrons can go on “hole hunts” and venture along historic routes, grabbing a little something from each window as they go.

As South Africa continues to deal with the ban on alcohol, many locals could surely use some wine windows here or there, especially in wine-loving Cape Town.

Picture: Buchette del Vino

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