Dictionary of Sydney

The Dictionary of Sydney was archived in 2021.

Il Porcellino

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Il Porcellino

Il Porcellino (The Little Pig) stands in the grounds of Sydney Hospital, facing Macquarie Street. It is a replica of an original by Pietro Battiste Tacca which has stood in the straw market in Florence, Italy, since 1547.

The boar stands over a pool containing representations of tortoises, snakes, frogs, snails, lizards and crabs. An inscription on the statue claims that anyone who rubs its nose and drops a coin into the pool at the boar's feet will have good luck. In Sydney, as in Florence, donations go to assist the work of the hospital.

The statue was donated to the City of Sydney by the Marchesa Clarissa Torrigiani, and is a memorial to her father and brother, Thomas and Piero Fiaschi, who both worked as honorary surgeons at the hospital.

Il Porcellino is recognised as a symbol of friendship with Italy, and is a favourite with children and tourists.