The bronze pig fountain in Florence has such history - ouritalianjourney.com

 

The Bronze Pig | Florence, Italy

The Bronze Pig Fountain or Il Porcellino, as the Italians call him, means “the little pig.” He is located to the side of the Mercato Nuovo in Florence, Italy. You’ve probably walked past this structure before… but did you notice him sitting on the side? This statue, however, is really of a wild boar, or cinghiale in Italian.

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Mecato Nuovo, Florence, Italy
Mercato Nuovo
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So Where Can I Find Him Exactly?

Because he’s not located on the main shopping street of Via Por Santa Maria, we thought we’d include a map… so you don’t miss him.

The Bronze Pig Fountain Story

He supposedly brings good luck when visitors rub his snout (hence the shiny part) and slide a coin from his mouth. You simply place a euro right on his tongue and let go. The water washes the coin from the pig’s mouth and if 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. The coins are used to support a local orphanage.

Mercato Nuovo

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.

 

The Legend

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 couple loved him anyway. Who knows if the legend is true?

 

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Most Noteworthy Interesting Fact…

Around the world, there are copies of this little pig. You will find there are four in the UK and twelve in the United States, and they are also found in Australia, Denmark, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Monaco, Spain, and Sweden.

In Conclusion

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.

 


Both these books beautifully capture the essence of Italy, its people, and the strong sense of community that defines life in small Italian towns. With lyrical prose and reflections, Ilene & Gary invite readers to accompany them on a journey of self-discovery and transformation in the heart of Tuscany.
Books by Ilene and Gary Modica, Our Italian Journey, When Your Heart Finds Its Home and audiobook, ouritalianjourney.com


Editor’s Note:  This post was initially published in July 2018, and was updated in July 2024 for accuracy and additional information.

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The bronze pig fountain in Florence has such history - ouritalianjourney.com

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