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Portals to Italy's past

Find out how Florence's wine kept flowing this year & how Italy's marking a 500-year milestone around painter Raphael.

Italy & wine go hand in hand, but what about when those hands can’t touch? While Italians fought the pandemic, Florence dusted off remnants from a prior plague 400 years ago. As CNN explains, the city's “buchette del vino,” or “wine holes” re-opened during COVID for people to get drink orders, just as their ancestors had done, through tiny windows in the sides of buildings to lessen human contact. These old school take-out windows came in handy this year for everything from wine to ice cream, as Yahoo shows us in a video that will have to tide us over ‘til we can get there ourselves!

Wide shot of Florence, Italy.

Among the big 2020 events the pandemic ruined (Olympics, anyone?), this year was supposed to see commemorations around Italy for the 500th anniversary of the death of Renaissance master painter, Raphael. Rome’s Scuderie del Quirinale museum ran an extensive exhibit on Raphael celebrating his amazing life. He died at 37…what mark can/did you leave on the world before your 40th birthday?? His work’s also celebrated with the Pitti Palace's Raphael collection - the largest outside the Vatican. Click the painting & the magnifying glass to examine the canvas...with no security guard warning you to back off!

Collection of dozens of painter's brushes in a bin.

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