Doors kept the wine flowing, windows tax-free

Things to Do, What's New — By katiegreenaway on August 12, 2010 at 11:29 am

Back in Renaissance days, Florence’s elite had a special gift given to it’s locals everyday.  The noble families of Florence normally would have a palazzo in the city and one or more country villa’s that would produce the local goodness of Tuscany. From wine to olive oil to fruits of the lands.   Their wine production was usually more popular and each family would most lik.  These doors are located among the palazzi(palaces) at street level in the city center.  Most are not easily found but if you walk down the side streets and alleyways, you can spot ‘em.  Here are some that I found…

copyright of Katie Greenaway

one glass of wine please!

What you would do is knock on the door and slide the money in as they opened it.  Then the person behind the door would then fill a glass of wine to go.  Some of the windows around the center still are in it’s authentic wooden structure (like the ones pictured) others have been boarded up.

copyright by Katie Greenaway

knock knock!

If you look around in the center of Florence, at all the big palazzo’s and smaller buildings as well, you will notice some of the windows that are missing.  The whole frame of the window is there but the window is filled with cement.  Back in the day, Italians were taxed higher if they had so many windows.  They filled in each window in the event they didn’t want to pay an extra tax on.

Windows filled in

In this example, the owners of this palazzo painted windows where the real windows used to be.  Once you locate, a batch of filled in windows, if you look up and down the palazzi you will notice these windows more often.  It is something unique that you usually miss on the guided tour.

Check out the Hidden Gems Guide for some ideas for your next trip to Florence.

Tags: windows in Florence, wine doors



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