On the south side of the Mercato Nuovo on Via Calimala near the Piazza della Repubblica stands a bronze boar fountain with a very shiny snout. Il Porcellino (Italian for “piglet”) is his name and he is supposed to bring good luck to those that rub his snout and put a coin in his mouth (which drops into the grate below).
Actually, this is the second boar to stand beside this open market, a copy of the first one which was showing signs of damage from so much love and good luck giving and now on display in the Museo Bardini.
While you are here, let’s think about markets in Florence. They can be a great place to shop or a nightmare, depending on who you deal with. Visit my market tip next to find out more.
From 1547 to 1551, a new market place of the town was built here in a sguare ground plan designed by G.B. del Tasso. The Loggia del Mercato Nuovo is a basic structure on the square. Mercato Nuovo is a characteristic market of typically Fiorentine craft objects, leather in the first place. Besides leather clothes, here you can buy high quality bags which are, however, not cheaper then those in the nearby shops.
Famous Fiorentine Porcellino stands at the south side of the loggia.
If you like to shop, the Mercato Nuovo is one of the most popular markets in Florence which sells leather goods and other items. I brought a nice belt from this market. Within this market, very close to the Piazza della Signoria is Il Porcellino (the wild boar statue) which was designed by Pietro Tacca in 1612. One legend says if you the boars nose, you will return to Florence or have good luck. Another legend states that if someone places a coin in the mouth of the boar and if it falls in the slot below you will return to Florence. It apparently works since this was my second trip to Florence.
The Mercato Nuevo is a popular street market that dates from the 11th century and has probably the busiest stalls in the city selling bags, belts, shoes -- everything, in fact, that your wardrobe might need. You can also find a variety of Deli’s to have a fairly inexpensive lunch or snack
The new market area is one of the most energetic of the city. This is close to being the epicenter for all of the high-end designer shops, like Prada, Gucci, Ferragamo, Zegna, Armani, etc. Then in the middle of all these extravangly priced stores is the cheap Mercato Nuovo, with its lucky pig. All the normal market things are sold here, but be sure to rub the snout of the pig statue for good luck!