Venice has the pissotte, Florence has the wine windows

In olden days  in Florence, many of the owners of palazzi also owned vineyards and produced wine.

Ordinary folks (that would be you and me), could take their empty bottles (or whatever they used to hold wine in those days) to the palace of their choice, and put the empty container(s) and money into the little openings designed especially for this purpose. The lord of the manor, or more likely one of the servants, would replace the empty bottle(s) with wine from their vineyard. And, leave any change owing, I hope.

You can spot many of these former wine windows as you walk around in Florence. They really are like those pissotte in Venice, once you see one, you start to spot them all over the place. So, along with towers and tabernacles, you can look forward to being introduced to these little fragments from the history of Florence.

Here’s a little sample found in about half an hour this morning, in the Oltrarno (the ‘other’ side of the Arno River).


I didn’t see many with the original little door present. Here’s one of them.


I don't think the original had this piece of glass, a selfie of the photographer and a lost glove.

I don’t think the original had this piece of glass, a selfie of the photographer and a lost glove.

Oh, good, a place to leave some graffiti.

Oh good, a place to leave some graffiti.



Filed under Florence, Venice

52 responses to “Venice has the pissotte, Florence has the wine windows

  1. Lina

    I lurk and read your blog regularly and have always enjoyed it. But today, I came across this article and immediately thought of it as a new-fangled way of getting a pissotte’s job done. 😉 So of course I thought of you and had to leave a comment!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a fun bit of local history and current living. 😀


  3. How wonderful for you to be back in Italy! These windows are so charming. Have lots of fun!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Interesting find! My only thing is the graffiti – it always pains me to see it in Venice. I get so worked up about it! I wish I had a wine window in my neighborhood. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I agree, Venice is being ruined by so many things, including the ugly graffiti. There seems to be less of it here, although I saw some near Santa Croce that reminded me of Venice.
      I’d meet you at the local wine window, I think! 🙂
      Oh, we had an earthquake early Wednesday morning!


  5. Aren’t they olden day cat flaps Yvonne ? 😉 ❤

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Fascinating. And ‘that would be you and me’ – speak for yourself! Pretenzioso?


  7. I shared this post with my Italian class last evening….and of course had to explain pissotte. Ross, who was in Florence last summer, had done some sort of food tour (he’s a chef) and knew about the wine windows. Max, who is going this summer will be on the lookout for them and hoping to find an operational one I’m sure.
    Your blog is such a wealth of information.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. So… Wine windows!… I truly liked them… Easy delivery I’d say….
    Thanks for sharing dear Yvonne! … All the best to you! Aquileana ⭐

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Oh, I love the first one with its little door. What an interesting little piece of history. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I didn’t know, next I’ll look for it!


  11. I’ll keep an eye out for them. Are you coming to Lucca?

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Love them, but i’m thinking the’re a bit like pregnant women — as in, when you are pregnant you suddenly see them everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’m going to enjoy looking out for these.

    Liked by 1 person

  14. joanneh

    Love the hand

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Jane

    Another thing to look for when I return!!! Thanks…

    Liked by 1 person

  16. How fun! They should still be used for mail delivery or something.


  17. Bert

    Don’t turn your nose up at the pissotte (!) Remember, if they fulfilled their primary function, there would be no unpleasantness about them. [I regard their possible anti-mugger function as secondary and highly improbable.]

    Liked by 1 person

    • I also like the pissotte, Bert. Quirky little things they are. And I’m so pleased to have found these wine windows so quickly. I thought they’d be hard to spot.


  18. A fascinating collection. The first one is especially fine. Well uncovered.


  19. I didn’t know about these. Thank you


  20. Too bad about the graffiti.

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Considering the intention of pissotte you would think they would have them just around the corner from the wine window.
    I never see one in Venice without thinking of you. Probably not exactly what you would like to be remembered for.:-)


  22. Very interesting Y! And a bit more pleasant to gaze upon than pissotte!


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