This famous legend dates back to the Middle Ages.
A nobleman was sentenced to death on serious, albeit unfounded charges. During his last night he obviously could not sleep, was desperate to say the least and would have done anything to escape.
The king of the underworld, Satan himself, seized the opportunity and appeared to offer the prisoner his chance: all he had to do was build a gigantic and beautiful theatre for all the people of Verona, who so desperately wanted a place to go and enjoy themselves, and who, waking up in the presence of such a gift, would surely have forgiven any crime. Obviously the devil had already thought of everything: he would take care of it himself, but in return he wanted the nobleman's soul.
In desperation, the man agreed and Satan in an instant set up a building site, only instead of normal workers there were devils, demons and other monstrous creatures. The condemned man immediately realised his mistake, plunged into despair and, not knowing what else to do, began to pray to Our Lady.
The Holy Virgin seemed to ignore him, until the sun rose two hours early and the bells intoned the Angelus, but there was no one to ring them. The infernal building site, including Satan, was sucked up by divine power and the work remained forever unfinished, but it seems that the Veronese were satisfied and exonerated the nobleman anyway.