On the south side of Piazza Santissima Annunziata stands the 16th century Palazzo Grifoni Budini Gattai, the only ancient palazzo in Florence to be faced with brick rather than stone or plaster.
The Palazzo Grifoni also has another claim to fame. Day or night, rain or shine, the palace will never have all of its shutters closed. The lower shutter of the window to the right (on the piano nobile) will always be open and the reason for this lies in a rather curious tale.
At the end of the 16th century, a newly-married couple moved into the Palazzo Grifoni. The couple were very much in love, but not long after their wedding the husband was called away to war. The young wife waved goodbye to him as he rode away across the piazza. She then sat by the window and looked out for his return. Each and every day she maintained her vigil. The weeks turned into months, the months into years, but he never came back.
The faithful wife continued watching and waiting by the window until the day of her death, when the shutters were finally closed. At this point all hell broke out inside the room. Chairs began to move of their accord, pictures suddenly fell off walls, candles were mysteriously extinguished!
The mayhem didn't stop until the shutters were reopened. Since then, day and night, the owners of the palazzo have always kept open one of the shutters of the window (furthest to the right) on the piano nobile.
The Palazzo Grifoni (1563-74) was built by Giuliano di Baccio d'Agnolo and Bartolomeo Ammannati.