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Florence's Porcellino and its real story

Posted by GLflorence on July 3, 2020

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Do you know the real story of Porcellino, the famous statue representing a wild boar located in one of Florence’s markets? Anybody touches its nose, because legend says it brings good luck. However, touching the statue is not enough to predict your future: here’s the story of this funny piglet and what to do with it.

The story of the Florentine Porcellino

The statue at the market – Mercato Nuovo – is a copy of the real Porcellino, which is situated in the Bardini Museum and it’s actually a bronze fountain made during the first half of 1600 by Giambologna’s trainee, Pietro Tacca. The fountain was a request by Cosimo II de’ Medici. It was placed in Mercato Nuovo, where merchants used to sell their fabric, washing themselves and drinking from the fountain.

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The real good luck ritual

Many people touch the nose of Porcellino because “it brings good luck”. Well, the story is slightly different, and only if you know the real ritual you can discover your fate. While rubbing its nose, you should put a coin in its mouth and let it fall. If the coin passes through the metal grill you’ll be a lucky person, if not… well, try again ;)

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There are many Porcellino in the world

The real Porcellino is in Florence, but there are many copies all around the globe, making the statue even more famous. One is in the castle of Enghien in Belgium, while another one can be found in Place Richelme in Aix-en-Provence, France. There are two more in Munich, Germany and another one overseas, in Sidney, Australia. This last one is just in front of the main hospital and is a gift by the Florentine Marchesa Fiaschi Torrigiani, in memory of the Italian doctor Piero Fiaschi, who worked in Australia. People in Sidney use to try the good luck ritual too: the coins are then picked up and given to the hospital.

Want to know more about Florence's secrets? Join our Walking Tour around the city centre and explore the old town with a local!

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