Restaurants in Italy Re-Open 14th Century ‘Wine Windows’
If it worked during the Plague, it will certainly work now.
The buzzword of 2020 has to be "social distance." I guess that's more of a buzz-phrase, but you get the point. We're all supposed to stay away from each other and six feet is the magic number.
That certainly puts a damper on businesses.
However, it's not something that Italy hasn't seen before. In fact, they're built for running some businesses through port holes on their buildings. It's something they've done since the 14th Century when the plague ravaged Europe.
They're called "wine windows."
Back in the old days vendors used these to sell wine while remaining socially distant (see it's not a new buzzword). They are tiny holes built into the walls of businesses. According to Mary Forrest, who is a founding member of the Wine Windows Association, the vendors passed flasks of wine to their customers and received payment on a metal pallet. They then cleaned the coins with vinegar before collecting them.
Forrest's organization claims that there are 150 ports throughout Tuscany. Today the ports are being used for more than just wine. Businesses are selling coffee, gelato and other items through the wine windows.
In a way, these are the original drive-thru. A hole in the wall of a business in which food and money are passed through? Yeah, it's basically the McDonald's of the Middle Ages. I just wish International travel wasn't so dicey right now because I'd love to use one of these.
Maybe they'll stay open after the pandemic... it might increase business.