The Porcellino Market and the Fountain of Fortune in Florence

Walking through many Italian cities you will come across several fountains, and with the summer heat, often stifling of our country, they are the salvation of thirsty tourists. But above all, they are beautiful.

Walking around Florence you might even drink straight from the mouth of a wild boar, although everyone calls him a “piggy”. Outside the Loggia of the New Market, a covered market built after the Old Market of Square of the Republic, located a few steps from Piazza della Signoria, we find the famous “Fontana del Porcellino” (The Pig Fountain).


Hans Christian Andersen, after seeing this famous fountain of Florence, he dedicated to the famous Porcellino one of his tales – “The Bronze Pig”. The book recounts the adventures of a boy who, falling asleep on the Pig, he magically brings him to life and, with him, go about meeting famous people and discovering great Florentine’s works of art.

Florence View
Florence View


The statue we see today is just a copy of the original bronze created by Giovanni Battista del Tasso in 1640 and now guested inside the Museo Bardini at the Uffizi Gallery. Initially, the statue was placed in front of the “Apothecary of the Boar”, on Via Por Santa Maria famous place for intellectual encounters. In the nineteenth century, to facilitate traffic, the statue was moved to its present location on the south side.

The first marble version of the statue, to which it was inspired, was instead donated by Pope Pius IV to Cosimo I de Medici in 1540 during a visit to Rome.

The Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery – Florence


Observing the Porcellino you will notice that the muzzle is polished while the rest of the statue is blackened and roughed by time. Do you know why? Tradition has it that is good luck to touch the animal right on the nose, give him a dime in the mouth and hope it falls in the grille that collects water. Here, now you know why!

(Similarly, now you know because the statue of Juliet, in her home in Verona, has just 1 gleaming breasts while the other is not!)

Well-worn snout of Il Porcellino
By Thermos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 2.5], via Wikimedia Commons
Well-worn snout of Il Porcellino – Florence Mercato Nuovo


The New Market behind the fountain was one of the historical sites of the Florentine trade. Here it was possible to find fine silks, precious stones and – from the nineteenth century onwards – the famous and historic Florentine straw hats!

In today’s market, open every day from 9 to 18.30, you can find souvenirs and especially leather goods, a traditional sector of the Tuscan craftsmanship.

Mercato del Porcellino - mappa
Mercato del Porcellino – Map

Do you want to try your fate with the Fountain of the Porcellino? Come and discover all the cultural walks and excursions in Florence with Italy-Welcome!

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