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!