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  • Stomping on the Bull's Balls

    By Anthony Parente

    Turin Coat of Arms Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan
    The Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II in Milan is the oldest shopping mall in Italy and it was named after the first king of the Kingdom of Italy. It is an architectural marvel that connects the Piazza del Duomo to the Piazza della Scala. It acts as the heart of the city as tourists and locals can take a pleasant stroll through the galleria, shop at some high end boutiques or enjoy a bite to eat. Before you leave you will want to take part in a tradition of the stomping of the bull's balls. No I am not making this tradition up.

    In the central octagonal space you will find four coat of arms. One for Milan (white flag with a red cross), Turin (bull), Florence (lily) and Rome (wolf). The last three were capitals of the Kingdom of Italy. You want to look for the Turin mosaic tiles. I am pretty sure you won't have too much trouble finding it. Just look for people stomping on the floor and spinning around counterclockwise. As you get closer to the tiled mosaic you will see that they are stomping directly on the bull's balls. Tradition states that if you firmly plant your right heel on the bull's balls and rotate counter clockwise three times it will bring you good luck or increased fertility. Like throwing a coin in Rome's Trevi fountain to ensure your return to Rome it is all believed that rotating on the bull's balls will ensure your return to Milan. Obviously a number of people have taken part in this tradition because you will notice that there is a depression in the tile where the testicles should be located. This is a tradition that no one can seem to pinpoint as to why and when it started. The two cities have been major rivals over the centuries so this is just another way for Milan to stick it to Turin.

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