patting ‘the little pigs’ for luck…

Patting il Porcellino, ‘the little pig’ for luck, (left) in Sydney, (right) in Florence. These bronze, wild boar (cinghiale) sculptures are replicas of the original by Pietro Tacca (1577-1640) commissioned by Cosimo II de Medici in 1621 that is now in the Museo Bardini. Apparently since at least 1633 visitors to Florence have ‘rubbed the snout’ for luck and to ensure their return to the city and tourists now rub it so much they have to replace the sculpture every decade or so.

The Florence ‘piglet’ is located in Mercato Nuovo also known as the Porcellino market and the Sydney one, (donated by Marchesa Fiaschi Torrigiani in 1968) is outside Australia’s oldest hospital, Sydney Hospital, in Macquarie Street. There are dozens of others around Europe, America, Canada, the UK and Asia so perhaps unlikely I’ll get to pat them all but hopefully might have just enough luck from these two!


Filed under art + photographs, italy

2 responses to “patting ‘the little pigs’ for luck…

  1. augudm

    Hi Zoe.
    I patted the Porcellino’s bronze snout when I was visiting Florence with my Nonni’s in 2015.
    I’ am 11 years old (9 at time) and dream of one day to return to Florence and rub his cute little
    Bronze nose once again.


    • Ciao Amica,

      That must have been so lovely to be in Italy with your Nonni! And to pat the porcellino as well. Did you make a wish too? (You probably still can as I’m sure the luck will be strong enough to reach you back at home too!) 😊

      Like you I dream of returning to Florence again one day to pat the snout again for luck! I wish you much happiness and luck to achieve all your dreams.

      Warmest wishes,
      Zoë xx

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