Dancing Bull of Good Fortune - Atlas Obscura

Dancing Bull of Good Fortune

Third time's a charm, or in this case, two testicles are. 


Stretching beyond the main square of Milan, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is a marvelous structure housing luxurious stores, bars, and restaurants.

The gallery is adorned with four distinct floor mosaics depicting the coats of arms of the three capitals of the Kingdom of Italy: Rome, Florence, and Turin, as well as the symbol of Milan, which is a red cross. Rome is symbolized by a wolf, Florence by a lily, and Turin by a dancing bull. The word for Turin in Italian is Torino, which translates to “little bull.”

What makes this bull mosaic peculiar is that it is said to bring good fortune. According to common beliefs, one should place their right heel on a particular part of the bull and turn clockwise three times for luck. Beware though, if you confuse the directions, you may get cursed. Where exactly should one place their heel? Right on the bull’s testicles, of course.

No one knows exactly how this tradition got started. But many years of luck-seekers spinning around on the bull have visibly damaged the mosaic, which had to be restored in 2007. Since then, as always, the mosaic is completely free to visit. It keeps distributing luck as any bull with testicles would.

Know Before You Go

The mosaic is always busy and you will probably see some number of people surrounding it, waiting their turn. There is no any queue in order, so the question of who goes next is, well, always a question.

In partnership with KAYAK

Plan Your Trip

From Around the Web