The history of the name “sospiro” dates back to the sixteenth century, in Rome. The Vatican controlled all the economy at that time, and the taxes on wine brought in a lot of revenue.
The restauranteurs in that period, in the mid-1500s, served wine in terracotta or metal containers, often using the container fraudulently, not pouring it up to the right measure.
To avoid this malpractice, Pope Sixtus V, born Felice Peretti (1521-1590), decided to put an end to containers in which the wine was not visible, and to supply all the taverns with glass containers in such a way that one could control the exact calibration of the wine that the innkeeper served him.
The glass container were with a narrow neck and a wide mouth, and had to bear the plumbing of the Apostolic Camera, the Ministry of Pontifical finances.
In 1588 the Pope promulgated the order, which obliged the innkeepers to use the new glass measures:
1 Liter = TUBBO
½ Liter = FOJETTA.
¼ Liter = ½ FOJETTA or QUARTINO
1/5 of Liter = CHIERICHETTO (the young boy serving at the altar during Sunday Mass or liturgical celebrations) 1/10 of Liter = SOSPIRO, or SOTTOVOCE (it was so called because the customer, ashamed of not having more money to buy a bigger quantity of wine, used to order it speaking in a low voice, almost whispering…
Add Your Heading Text Here