Italian "Good Luck" Rooster Pitcher
In Florence during the early Renaissance period, the Medici family, the most powerful and wealthy family liked to throw huge parties for everyone in the nearby villages. Giuliano Medici, was especially known for his partying ways and a member of the Pazzi family, their mortal enemies, suggested he should throw a party in Gallina where everyone would get drunk and then they could assassinate him.
The party took place in 1498 and as planned, the Pazzi hired assassins to sneak into the town. They would have succeeded but they had to cross a yard full of roosters who began to crow in such a frenzy that they woke Guiliano and his guards who eventually had them executed.
Giuliano threw another festival the next night because he was so thrilled that the roosters had saved him! He ordered his artisans to create ceramic copies of the roosters to be used as wine pitchers which he in turn gave to all the peasants of the village as a symbol of good luck. That’s why it’s now an Italian tradition to give a rooster pitcher to friends or family as a symbol of good luck and to protect them from danger!
In the 1960's, a bartender at the Hassler Hotel in Rome popularized the rooster/chicken pitcher that he brought from home to use for water at the bar.