Wine for All

Unless you're a Medieval and Renaissance architecture expert, it can be tough to understand the stories behind particular elements on the facades of Florence's gorgeous historic buildings. One that has always struck our eyes is the ever-present arched cubbies on the walls of Renaissance palazzos around Florence. What was their function?! We did a little research and found the answer... 

Noble and illustrious Florentine families during the golden age of Florence produced their own wine on estates in the Tuscan countryside. After a year's production was finished, the excess wine was given out free of charge to whomever was in need of a little vino during a stroll in the city. One government-mandated caveat, however, was that free wine could only be provided through a tiny wooden door on the exteriors of the palazzos. 

Today, these unique Florentine design elements have taken a life of their own, many being covered with art, doorbells but some - luckily - have remained untouched.