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Fontana del Porcellino

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Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 10

Find it on google maps

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expert
Ambra
Local tour guide
"To avoid the crowds and really appreciate the detail of the Fontana del Porcellino, try visiting early in the morning when the streets of Florence are still quiet. Also, locals know that rubbing the boar's snout is said to bring good luck, but the real secret is to also drop a coin into the grate at the boar's feet to ensure a return trip to Florence!"

What is Fontana del Porcellino?

The Fontana del Porcellino, also known simply as Il Porcellino, is a renowned bronze fountain in Florence that features a sculpture of a wild boar. Situated in the city's historic Mercato Nuovo, the fountain not only serves as a charming curiosity but also as a beloved token of Florentine folklore. It's a favorite spot where locals and tourists alike indulge in the whimsical tradition of rubbing the boar's snout to ensure a return trip to Florence.

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Il Porcellino, which translates to 'the little pig' in Italian, isn't just a statue but an engaging piece of art that interacts with its audience. Rub the snout, they say, and watch as your fortune turns favorably, heralding your comeback to this cradle of the Renaissance. But shh, between us, it's the boar's shiny snout, worn down by countless hopeful hands, that silently acknowledges the countless goodbyes promised to turn into hellos.

History of Fontana del Porcellino

The original fountain, dating back to the 17th century, was designed by Pietro Tacca following a commission from the Grand Duke of Tuscany, Cosimo II de' Medici. The bronze boar is actually a copy of a marble statue, which itself was a Roman copy of a Hellenistic original. Tacca's artful representation brought the porcine character to life, weaving a thread through time by honoring past artistic disciplines.

The original Pietro Tacca statue now resides in the Museo Bardini for preservation, while a robust replica continues to delight the public. Although centuries old, the heart of the Fontana del Porcellino continues to beat within Florence's dynamic cultural scene. And it's not just the sculpture; even the fountain design offers a glimpse into historical aesthetics, as its base features grace of form mingling with practical design, a typical marker of Renaissance art.

Why is Fontana del Porcellino Important?

Important to Florentines for its historic value and to visitors for its legendary good luck charm, Fontana del Porcellino holds a special place in Florence's heart. It represents the intersection of art, history, superstition, and everyday street life. The tradition surrounding Il Porcellino has become a cultural touchstone, embodying the rich traditions and the spirit of the Tuscan capital.

Moreover, the fountain serves as an exemplar of Renaissance craftsmanship and highlights Florence's everlasting respect for classical art forms. This piece is not merely decorative but comes with layers of meaning and connectivity to Florentine society through the centuries, thus elevating its importance beyond the physical and into the socio-cultural narrative of the city.

Things to Do & See at Fontana del Porcellino

Visiting the Fontana del Porcellino is more than just a quick stop; it's an experience wrapped in Renaissance charm. Aside from partaking in the rubbing of the snout tradition, you could immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of Mercato Nuovo. This historic market, often referred to as the Straw Market, offers a bounty of opportunities for picking up unique Florentine gifts and souvenirs such as fine leather goods and intricately designed scarves.

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In addition, gaze at the exquisitely carved details of the fountain and reflection on Tacca's craftsmanship. Take the time to observe as locals pass by, listen to the rolling Italian banter, and perhaps enjoy a gelato from one of the nearby artisanal gelaterias. Also, the market place is a wonder for photographers—capture the rich textures of the fountain against the tapestry of bustling Florentine life.

For those interested in myths and legends, there's also the less-known practice of placing a coin in the boar's gaping jaws and hoping it will fall through the underlying grating for additional luck. It's these small rituals that make the visit to Il Porcellino a memorable venture, connecting you to the countless individuals who've shared a moment of hope and whimsy at this emblematic Florentine spot.

Frequently asked questions

What is the significance of Fontana del Porcellino in Florence?

The Fontana del Porcellino is a famous bronze fountain in Florence featuring a boar, which is believed to bring good luck to those who rub its snout and leave a coin.

Where is Fontana del Porcellino located in Florence?

Fontana del Porcellino is located in the historical center of Florence, in the market area called Mercato Nuovo, also known as 'Il Porcellino'.

What is the history behind the Fontana del Porcellino?

The fountain was originally created in the 17th century and is a copy of a marble sculpture that represents a wild boar. It's a popular attraction for its craftsmanship and the legend associated with it.

Is there a tradition associated with the Fontana del Porcellino?

Yes, there's a tradition where visitors rub the nose of the boar and drop a coin into the fountain's water to ensure a return to Florence and good luck.

Can visitors interact with Fontana del Porcellino?

Visitors are encouraged to interact with the sculpture by rubbing its nose and participating in the tradition of tossing a coin for good luck and to guarantee a return to Florence.

Attractions Details

📌 Address

Piazza del Mercato Nuovo, 50123 Firenze FI, Italy

Opening Hours

8:00 AM - 5:00 PM

💸 Entrance Fee

EUR 10

Find it on google maps