We Rub the Nose of a Pig in Florence… Armchair Travel

Peggy eagerly rubs Little Pig’s Nose in Florence.
Kathy and I quickly join in the nose rubbing exercise.

So, here’s a serious question: With all of the beautiful art in Florence, why in the world would we spend our time rubbing the nose of a pig?

I’ll be brief. We were told if we rubbed the nose of the pig, or the snout of the boar if you prefer, we would come back to Florence.  Considering we had six hours to explore everything Florence had to offer, we looked on our nose polishing efforts as a guarantee of a return trip.

Il Porcellino, or Little Pig, as he is known, was sculpted way back in 1612 and was based on an original marble pig of Greek origin dating back to who knows when. The present pig is a copy of the copy. You can tell by his shiny nose that lots of people share our desire to come back to Florence. Apparently rubbing his snout for a return trip dates back to the 1700s.

Little Pig is housed in an attractive marketplace that was built by Cosimo de’ Medici between 1547-1551. Bad merchants, who had the misfortune of going bankrupt, were spanked here before being sent off to prison. I couldn’t find a description on what the spanking entailed.

The overflowing Mercato Nuovo or the Straw Market where bad merchants were once spanked. I doubt that they were ever spanked for cheating a customer.
It’s only right that I should close this post with a photo of Little Pig’s shiny snout.

NEXT POST: A teaser from our present journey around North America in Quivera, our 22-foot RV.