Skip to Content

Wine Windows in Florence: Map + Best Locations to Visit

Wine Windows in Florence: Map + Best Locations to Visit

Behold, the wine window: Florence, Italy’s ingenious answer to plagues, pandemics, taxes and the ever-thirsty tourist.

Stroll through Florence’s historic city center and you’re bound to come across small, arch-shaped cutaways in the stucco—just large enough to pass a bottle or a glass of wine through.

These little cutouts are called wine windows, or buchette del vino in Italian, and there are more than 150 inside Florence and over 100 more throughout surrounding Tuscany.  

Keep reading down to find my list of the best open wine windows in Florence, as well as a map showing all wine windows throughout Tuscany.

Where are wine windows in Florence

About Wine Windows in Florence, Italy

Wine windows in Florence date all the way back to the 1500s when Cosimo de’ Medici came to power, angering many prominent Florentine families. To appease his subjects, Medici passed a law allowing these families to sell wine they produced at their country homes directly to consumers through wine windows in the city. All direct-to-consumer sales cut out the middlemen and allowed these wealthy families to avoid taxes, padding their pockets further.

Their Florentine customers were equally happy with the arrangement, since the wine windows afforded them an inexpensive and convenient way to stock up on their favorite wines, which were considered medicinal at the time.

Florence Wine Windows Map

Florence Wine Windows History

Fast forward a bit to the 1600s during an outbreak of the bubonic plague, when Florence’s wine windows came in handy yet again by providing citizens with a safe channel for exchanging goods and currency during an epidemic that killed roughly 12 percent of the city’s population.

Wine windows acted as the 17th-century equivalent of social distancing, allowing vendors and customers to limit contact while still completing purchases. During these times of hardship, wine windows provided a source of solace and connection for Florentines.

Florence, Italy Wine WIndows

Eventually, as Italy recovered from threats of serious disease and new commerce laws were enacted, the wine windows became defunct and were no longer regularly used. Many were permanently sealed or covered over during renovations, especially after the city’s great flood in 1966.

Fast forward again to modern times, and the rise of social media coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic has led to a resurgence in popularity of these wine windows. Lines of tourists weave down cobblestone streets and around corners, eager to experience the charm of this centuries-old tradition.

Babae Florence wine window - Buchette del vino

One of my favorite wine windows in use today is at Babae Firenze, a chic little restaurant and wine café in the heart of Florence’s Oltrarno region south of the river. Babae does an excellent job of managing crowds and forming an orderly queue alongside the restaurant. Each customer has a chance to fully experience the architectural and commercial marvel that is a buchetta del vino.

Ordering from a Wine Window – What to Expect

WIne windows in Florence - locations - Buchette del vino

There will likely be a line to order once you arrive at your chosen wine window. If you’re lucky and the area isn’t crowded, simply ring the bell or knock on the window itself to indicate you need help.

Most restaurants have their menu clearly posted on the wall underneath or to the side of the window. If there’s no menu posted, ask the server what they have on offer today. It’ll likely be a combination of house wines (red and white) and seasonally appropriate drinks.

A wine window in Florence covered by a painting

Once you place your order, you’ll need to pay. Most wine windows accept all major credit cards, but it would be a good idea to have cash on-hand just in case.

When your drinks are ready, the server may ring a bell again to get your attention. They will then hand your drink(s) through the little portal, one at a time, so be sure your hands are free or a friend is nearby if you have multiple drinks coming.

Wine window etiquette - Florence, Italy street

Next, find a suitable place to hang out and enjoy your beverage. It’s important to be respectful to locals in the area, so try to avoid sitting on residential steps or blocking doorways. Perhaps consider taking a leisurely walk around the block while sipping your drink, before returning your empty glass to the wine window or restaurant inside.  

Best wine windows in Florence - Open functional wine windows in Florence

Wine Windows Florence Map

Where are the wine windows in Florence? The wine windows are located all throughout the historic city center, as well as on the outskirts of surrounding Tuscany.

In 2015, the Wine Windows Association of Florence was created to maintain a record of all known buchette del vino inside and outside the city walls. The nonprofit’s mission is to “promote the study, census, evaluation, maintenance, and restoration of these historical architectural features.”

A customer ordering from a wine window (buchette del vino) in Florence, Italy

Thanks to the work of this association, the following map was created which shows all known wine windows in the region. The map is interactive so you can zoom in and out to view the wine windows across the city.

Continue reading down for my recommendations on functional wine windows that are fully operational today.

Wine Windows in Use Today

Step back in time and feel the convenience of ordering through a buchetta del vino like a true Florentine.

Only a limited number of wine windows are actually functional and in use. If you’d like to get the full experience of ordering and being served through a window, visit one of the following:

Giunti Odeon wine window Florence

Giunti Odeon Library and Cinema

Official Website
Google Maps: Via Degli Anselmi, Piazza degli Strozzi, 3-5-7, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Florence’s newest operational wine window! The Giunti Odeon Library and Cinema reopened in November 2023 and is an absolute cultural hub. Their wine window is located in Piazza degli Strozzi, just in front of the Odeon Bistro. Basic wines at Giunti Odeon cost €8 and an Aperol spritz will set you back €9.

Babae

Official Website
Google Maps: Via Santo Spirito, 21R, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Babae, like I said before, is my personal favorite wine window. It’s also the one shown in my viral video (seen by over 2.7 million people) embedded above. The restaurant is located just south of the River Arno, on a picturesque, winding cobblestone street.

Il Latini wine window Florence

Il Latini

Official Website
Google Maps: Via dei Palchetti, 6R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Il Latini is known for their famous bistecca alla Fiorentina, but equally alluring is their historic wine window. To the right of the restaurant’s entry, Il Latini’s staff are ready and waiting to serve you through their beautifully restored and immaculately maintained buchetta del vino.

Fiaschetteria Fantappié wine window Florence - Image: Massimo La Spina
Fiaschetteria Fantappie’s wine window. Image credit: Massimo La Spina

Fiaschetteria Fantappié

Official Website
Google Maps: Via dei Serragli, 47, 50124 Firenze FI, Italy
This always-buzzing wine shop has floor to ceiling shelves stocked with the best vino in town. Their clever little wine window on the shop’s exterior is the perfect place to grab a quick drink. Via dei Serragli can be busy. Thankfully, there’s a small cluster of tables outside and an intimate seating area inside to rest while you take the edge off.

Osteria Belle Donne wine window Florence, Italy

Osteria Belle Donne

Official Website
Google Maps: Via delle Belle Donne, 16R, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy
Perhaps the most central of the wine windows, Osteria Belle Donne’s exuberant staff is serving up delicious cocktails and wine through their flamboyantly decorated portal.

Cantina de’ Pucci Bar

Cantina de’ Pucci Bar

Official Website
Google Maps: Via de’ Pucci, 4, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
For just about 7 euro a glass, you can’t afford not to stop by Cantina de’ Pucci for an afternoon tipple. I’d recommend their rosé—delish!

Ristorante Pietrabianca wine windows Florence

Ristorante Pietrabianca – by Fishmood

Official Website
Google Maps: Piazza dei Peruzzi, 5R, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Don’t let the fishy name scare you off—this restaurant has some excellent beverage options served from their little wine window. Ring the bell for service!

Osteria San Fiorenzo wine window Florence, Italy

Osteria San Fiorenzo

Official Website
Google Maps: Borgo dei Greci, 1r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Located very close to Santa Croce Church, Osteria San Fiorenzo’s wine window is available for use upon request. If you’re in the area after touring the church, give it a try!

La Buchette Food & Wine

La Buchetta Food & Wine

Official website
Address: Borgo Santa Croce, 11R, 50122, Florence, Italy
This restaurant is named after Florence’s famous wine windows and has one of its own just outside the main entry. Here they’re serving up red and white wines, prosecco, a few spritzes and even negroni! La Buchetta has another location nearby on Via de’ Benci featuring a wine hole inside the main dining room.

Open Wine Windows in Florence – Map

Planning your holiday itinerary and route? This Florence wine windows map shows all of the functional, open locations listed above where you can order and be served through the wine window.

Many other sites list wine window locations that are now closed or not fully functional. I have thoroughly vetted all establishments on this map to ensure they are still actively used.

Where to Stay in Florence

Budget

If you’re visiting Florence’s wine windows on a budget, I’d recommend staying at Hotel Cestelli in the city center. This hotel is a great value, considering the exceptional location and kind hosts. Just take care to book here during the cooler months since they don’t currently offer air conditioning.

Mid-Budget

My favorite mid-budget hotel in Florence is Grand Hotel Cavour. I’ve stayed here three or four times in the last few years alone. It’s located very centrally on Via del Proconsolo, has a beautiful lobby (especially at Christmas!) and in my opinion has the best rooftop bar in the city. The delightful buffet breakfast is affordably-priced. It’s usually either included in the booking fee or can be added on for an additional 10 euro. The breakfast is well worth the cost as it includes hearty items like sausages, eggs, pastries and fresh juices.

Luxury

For a luxury hotel option, I’d recommend the Westin Excelsior Florence, located on a quiet square adjacent to the River Arno. This hotel has a gorgeous lobby and plush, air conditioned rooms featuring plenty of elevated Tuscan charm and Carrara marble. You may even spot a celebrity or two while staying here! The rooftop restaurant and wine bar is also a hidden gem for enjoying an elevated perspective of the city.

Wine Window Popularity

Romanticized and revitalized by television and social media, Florence’s wine windows provide the perfect opportunity for tourists and locals alike to engage with and participate in Italy’s ever-flourishing wine culture.

Commemorate your visit to Tuscany with this book written by the official Wine Window Association of Florence. Over 96 pages, the organization delves deep into the unique history of these architectural wonders and discusses at-length the various theories behind their existence:

Buchetta del Vino commemorative book

Save and bookmark this page to remember the best wine windows to visit on your next trip to Tuscany!

Wine window Florence

RELATED LINKS

If you’re looking for a more leisurely, scenic place to grab a drink, consider my favorite Florence rooftop bars.

Still planning your trip to Italy? Consult my complete guide to airports in Italy. Don’t forget to research and book a Parmigiano Reggiano tour ahead of your trip, too!