Bocca della Verità

Piazza della Bocca della Verità 18 (portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin)

In Winter, daily from 9:30am to 5:00pm – entrance closes at 4:50pm
In Summer, daily from 9:30am to 6:00pm – entrance closes at 5:50pm

The curious Bocca della Verità (The Mouth of Truth) is located since 1632 in one of the walls of the entrance portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. It is an old man-like face mask in pavonazzetto marble. It represents a bearded man, with holes in the eyes, nose and mouth. In its original function of decorative sewer cover (tombino, in Italian), the rainwater flowed through its holes. Its fame is related to a popular tradition, in which people believed that the mouth could bite one’s hand if he or she were lying. This legend began in the Middle Ages. The Bocca della Verità became famous after the film “Roman Holiday” (1953), with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. In front of the church you can admire the Foro Boario, with ancient Roman temples. Go check whether you are a good liar 😉

Image by Alessandra Invitti

Image by Alessandra Invitti

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