The Bronze Pig | Florence, Italy
The Bronze Pig Fountain or Il Porcellino, as the Italians call him, means “the little pig” and he sits to the side of the Mercato Nuovo in Florence, Italy. This statue, however is really of a wild boar, or cinghiale in Italian.
He supposedly brings good luck when visitors rub his snout (hence the shiny part) and slides a coin from his mouth. If the water washes the coin from the pig’s mouth and it falls into the grate below, you will have good luck and you will be sure to return to Florence. I was happy when on my first try the coin went right through the grate. Gary had to try a few times but no harm in trying more than once as the coins are used to support a local orphanage.
The bronze statue we see today is a copy of a Roman marble statue which was a gift from the Pope to the Medici in the 1560s. The statue we see today is a 20th century copy installed when the 1634 bronze statue was moved into a museum because his nose was wearing thin.
There is a legend regarding the bronze boar. It is quite involved with a woman who could not have children and her husband blamed her. She made a wish on a herd of wild pigs that passed by their home and a fairy who happened to hear her granted her wish. The child that was born looked more like a “pig creature” than a little boy. But the husband and wife loved him anyway. Who knows if the legend is true.
What I do know is that there are always tourists rubbing his nose and putting a coin in his mouth. Everyone takes a picture with the bronze boar; even us.
There are copies of this little pig found around the world. There are currently four in the UK, twelve in the United States, and they are also found in such countries as Australia, Denmark, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Monaco, Spain, and Sweden.