The Rooster Who Cried Assassin

I Galli Cantano! The Roosters Crow!

When browsing through our selection of Rooster of Fortune, you might start to wonder why the rooster image is so popular in Italian culture. The rooster is typically painted with animated features and bright colors and is known for bringing good fortune into the home. It's one of the most common items to gift someone on their wedding day or congratulate someone on their new home. So it might surprise you that there is a rather sinister reason for the roosters' popularity! It might also surprise you that this story involves one of the most famous families in Italian history- the Medici family. 

Check out this adorable Ceramic Rooster & Hen Couple!

Who are the Medicis?


The Medicis are one of the most well-known families in Italy's history for many reasons. One of the primary reasons for their long influence on Italian culture is their lasting bloodline. For over three hundred years, the Medici family ruled over Florence, influencing the arts and even becoming Popes of the Catholic church! Their story in Florence began in the late 12th century when family members migrated over from Tuscany. Once settling in Florence, it would be just a few decades until the Medicis would reach the height of their nobility. 


During the 13th century, the Medici family rose to nobility status thanks to their exceptional business tactics in banking and other ventures. The Medici family used this success to create an empire, becoming one of the most influential families to live in Florence. And of course, with success on such a grand scale, rivals were soon to follow. The family most bothered by the Medici prosperity was likely the Pazzi family. 


Here's more history on the Medici family!


The Pazzi Conspiracy


The Pazzi family had a long history of wanting to displace the Medici family from their position of power. The Pazzi family had nobility status long before the Medici, and their sudden rise to wealth and aristocracy angered the Pazzi's. What fueled the Pazzi's distaste the most was before the Medicis' arrival, the Pazzi family was the most prominent banking family in Florence. After the Medici banking companies took over as the more popular choice in Florence, the Pazzis began to consider ways to reverse this change.


Members of the Pazzi family wanted to turn the public against the Medici family and displace them from power. The Pazzi family conspired with other nobility members in Florence, including members of the church, to assassinate the Medici family's leading members. It was during one of these assassination attempts that the legend of the rooster bringing good fortune began. 


The Rooster That Cried Assassin 


In the fall of 1478, one of the leading members of the Medici family, Giuliano, threw an extravagant party and feast that lasted late into the night. Once everyone was deep into their slumber, members of the Pazzi family arrived to assassinate Giuliano. However, the plan failed as the roosters on the property began crowing loudly as the assassins arrived. The guards, alerted by the roosters, captured the assassins and saved Giuliano's life. The Pazzis were soon banished from Florence, and the celebration for the Medicis began!


The following day, when Giuliano learned of the heroic rooster, he was thrilled to continue ruling his beloved city of Florence. Grateful that the roosters alerted him to the danger, he ordered artisans to create wine pitchers that honored the roosters that saved his life. He then began giving many of the rooster pitchers to Florence citizens, spreading good fortune around the city. 


Since then, the rooster pitcher has been a symbol of good luck and fortune and is a common housewarming and wedding gift in Italy. Many families will buy a rooster pitcher for their own home, bringing good fortune to their families.