Bocca della Verita or The Mouth of Truth is most probably an ancient cover for a fountain. This marble disc was made famous by a scene in a movie from the 60s. According to the legend, this object was associated with mystical powers for centuries.
Bocca della Verita or The Mouth of Truth is most probably an ancient Fountain, which was walled to the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin in the 17th century. It is a 1.8 meters wide marble disc that draws tourist from all over the world just to put a hand in the mouth of the character and taka a photo. It is believed that the male figure engraved on the marble disc belongs to one of the Roman Gods, most probably Oceano.
According to the legend and writings from that period, in the Middle Ages people believed that if someone put their hand in the mouth of the disc and told a lie, the statue would bite their hand off.
According to another writing, in the same period there was a similar structure that was famous for making oracles for those that would put their hand in the mouth of the sculpture, but it is hard to tell if that writing referred to this specific one.
Only after Bocca della Verita appeared in one scene of the movie: Roman Holiday in 1953, did this structure become popular among tourists and finally the church was placed on the tourist map of the city.
This church also preserves the relics of Saint Valentine (San Valentino). These relics actually belong to another saint, not to the protector of those that are in love, whose day is celebrated on the 14th of February. Because of the same name which easily confuses the tourists, this church attracts a vast number of tourist that are in love and who therefore rush to visit the church.
Ticket price for the Bocca della Verita or The Mouth of Truth
Entrance to the church and to Bocca della Verita is FREE of charge.
Working hours for the Bocca della Verita or The Mouth of Truth
Summer working hours: 9:30-18:00h.
Winter working hours: 9:30-17:00h.