In one of Florences most beautiful piazzas, Santissima Annunziata, Palazzo Budini Gattai can be found facing the Santissima Annunziata church. The palace was formerly called Palazzo Grifoni and was built in 1549 by Ugolino di Jacopo Grifoni.
Looking up at the façade in the square, we will notice, on the second floor, the shutter open on the last window on the right.
Legend says that in 1500 young Mr. Grifoni was about to marry a beautiful young girl. The two were very much in love which was quite rare as during this period marriages were usually arranged.
Much to the couples dismay shortly before the wedding Grifoni was called to war, and he, having to honor the name of his noble family, could not fail to participate, so he put on his armour and departed. As he left his young fiancé watched out of the window as he rode off on his horse. From that day she sat at the window constantly watching and waiting for her cavalier to return.
As the days turned in to months and months into years all the passerbys could see her gazing down from the window reading, sewing and taking her meals. Grifoni never made it back to Florence and his fiancé growing old at the window, eventually died.
After her death strange things started to happen. After her burial it was decided to finally close the famous window and shutter that, for all those years, had remained open. When the window was closed objects in the room began to tremor, furniture started to move, doors slammed and even an icy wind was felt in the room. Not knowing what to do the people in the room reopened the window and shutter and everything became calm again.
So from that day, more than 500 years ago the window has never been closed and the shutter remains open. They say that the soul of the unfortunate girl is still there waiting for her future husband.