Florence always reserves intriguing secrets very hard to interpret.
To reveal these secrets we need to fully merge with the city’s history. A history made of habits, passions, beliefs, and vices.
Walking the streets of Florence you surely have noticed little holes with doors along the walls of old palaces. These holes, closed by wooden doors, measure about 40 cm and are decorated with the typical florentine style called “bugnato”. These openings were the wine tabernacles.
They were invented in 16th century by florentine families who were very skillful merchants and invested their capitals in wine-making, still very popular to this day.
These opening linked the wine cellar to the main street. They were supposed to be very small and discreet for the client’s privacy. The winemakers would supply families with the typical “fiasco”, a wicker wine bottle, and they would deliver it to these little doors.
Wine-makers followed very strict rules when they delivered the wine: they could only do it at specific times of the day. For instance, they could deliver the wine only within the evening church’s bell-ring and not afterward.
The “buchetta” was also used for charity: house owners would leave food or wine for the poor.
Today they are used as post boxes, some are used to hold the bells to the apartments with the families name tags, some of them have been hidden. At this present day, we can count 80 of these “buchette”.
Ours has been discovered during the last renovation of Bardi Palace which hosts our restaurant.
Florence, a city of great sinners and great churches! Sometimes though, you just need some wine and you don’t even have to show your face!
Our favourite quotes: “Drink wine and let the water go to the mill” and “Don’t start a journey if your mouth doesn’t taste like wine.”