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The windows always opened

Two patrician palaces face into Piazza Santissima Annunziata. The one to the right when looking at the cupola of the Duomo, so that you can see down Via dè Servi, it's now called Budini-Gattai, nowadays known as Palazzo Grifoni, for the family that build and inhabited it for several centuries.

The top second floor window has always his shutters closed, but with the lower part opened as allowing anyone inside the room to look down the piazza below. There is a legend telling that a few centuries ago a very bautiful girl was given in marriage to one of the Grifoni sons. She moved to the palace with her husband with whom she was deeply in love, and he with her.

The happiness of the two newly-weds was not destined to last forever, and several months later the young Grifoni was called off to war togheter with heirs of all the other noble and patrician families of Florence. One sad day the beautiful wife bid a tearful farewell to her husband, waving to him from the small window as he rode away on his horse, armed to the theet and with his faithful equerry at this side holding on hight the gold standard with the family's red crest.

The lonely wife spent most of her days sewing and embroindering on a bench next to the window from where she glanced out every now and then while awaiting the return of her husband. The days passed by but there was still no news of him and the tales brought into the city by merchant and piligrim regarding the progress of the war where not reassuring. However she never gave up hope and waited patiently day after day continuing to gaze out of the window. The days turned in months and months into years, and the wife, no longer young, gradually began to accept her fate, even though she still spent most of the day sitting by the window with her memories of the happy yet brief period passed togheter with the man she loved.

In her old age her favorite past time was that of observing the word below her window with the children playing in the piazza, the merchant selling their wares under the arcades and the peasants arriving in the marketplace with their carts. However, her mind always strayed to the memory of her young armed knigt riding off to war with his standard.

She died right in this room. When her body was carried away and they tried to close the window all hell broke lose. Book started flying across the room, furniture started jumping about , the lamps turned off and on, pictures dropped off the walls and ornaments shifted about! The member of her family were filled with fear. However as soon as the window was opened again, peace returned to the room and ever since then this window has been kept just as it was then, sufficently opened to allow a view of the piazza below.



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