The Loggia del Porcellino is the more commonly used name for the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo in Florence, so called because of the Porcellino fountain.
Built around 1550 according to the wishes of the young Duke Cosimo I, the Mercato Nuovo is one of the great works carried out by the Medici family.
Situated a few yards from Ponte Vecchio, it was originally built to sell silk and precious objects; today leather goods and souvenirs are sold there.
The most interesting point of the Loggia is the Porcellino Fountain, with its bronze boar by Pietro Tacca, the original of which can be found in Palazzo Pitti.
According to tradition, touching the boar's nose will bring good luck: in fact the nose is smooth and shiny due to the many hands which rub it every day.
Another curious fact of the Loggia is the Scandal Stone, which can be seen only when the market stalls have been taken down: this was the exact point where the Florentine debtors were punished in the Renaissance period. They were enchained, their trousers were pulled down, and their buttocks were battered against the stone.
Thanks to restoration, the Loggia del Mercato Nuovo has returned to its previous splendour: now the columns and capitals built around 1550 are again visible.
With the restoration, the three statues of illustrious Florentines have also been restored to their original splendour, to enhance the two pillars of the Loggia.