Are You Brave Enough To Put Your Hand in The Mouth Of Truth?
The Mouth of Truth is a massive stone face that is most famous for being a lie detector! Starting from the Middle Ages, it was understood that if one told a lie with his hand in the mouth of the sculpture, it would be bitten off. There have been many theories on what the structure was. Many thought it could be a drain cover, a part of an ancient Roman fountain, or a cover of a sacred well.
A Little History About This Mysterious Stone
The Mouth of Truth (Bocca della Verità in Italian) is a mask of marble in relief (rose pavonazzetto marble brought from Turkey) of great diameter (1,75 m) which served in Roman epoch as a trap against the bad smell from the dirty waters of the Cloaca Maxima. This was an ancient collector in the Roman forum built between the 6th and the 5th century BC.
Devoted in the ancient Rome times to a river divinity, it has circular eyes and an open mouth. It is walled in the portico of the church of Saint Mary in Cosmedin (Santa Maria in Cosmedin. The 1200AD church where it is still today is officiated with the Byzantine rite) from 1632.
It's Located In The Church Of Santa Maria.
The sculpture was placed in the portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in the 17th century. It is also well known from its appearance in the 1953 film 'Roman Holiday', when it is used by Hepburn's and Peck's characters to tell the truth after initially not being truthful with each other.
Hundreds Of Tourists Gather Here Daily
It is very popular for tourists to have their photo taken with this famous mouth. If you don't want to put your hand in the mouth of the structure, you can still have a glimpse of it by looking through the outside railing.
Times & Prices,
10:00 - 17:00
Piazza Bocca Della Verita
How to Get There
Metro Blue B Line: Circo Massimo
(then 5 - 10 minute walk down Via Dei Cerchi or Via Del Circo Massimo)