Tradition teaches us that Fra’ Pietro da Verona (1205 ca-1252) of the Dominican order was sent to Florence in 1244, where he began to preach in the Church of Santa Maria Novella.
While he was delivering one of his itinerant sermons at that corner, a black horse ran furiously toward the people gathered before him. They believed this was an act of the devil to frighten and disperse them.
At this corner was a little iron devil by Giambologna, which was taken during the restoration of the houses to the Museum Bardini and is now replaced by a reproduction.
The Vecchietti family were amongst the richest and most powerful inhabitants of the earliest days of Florence. They were called Vecchi, or De Vecchi, and later Vecchietti.
They were among the chiefs of the Guelphs, fought at Montaperti, and had their houses destroyed by the rival Ghibelines. The name of Vecchietti figures in the most important annals of Florentine History and several of them were illustrious and renowned citizens.
They had one Gonfaloniere and twenty-six Priories. The principal branch is now extinct but some Vecchietti in the Casentino area pretend to descend from that family.
Their Coat of Arms were five silver ermines on a blue ground with the motto: “Candidior Animus”, “The soul in whiter”.