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Bocca della Verità

Bocca della Verità: Reality and Myths

The Bocca della Verità is a large marble disc, that, in spite of the myths surrounding it, was probably a grave cover in the form of a mask representing a faun dating back to the Ist century. It is placed inside the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. A visit to this famous ''mascherone'' is a compulsory stop for every tourist in Rome. Before visiting it will be important to note some of  the historical features of the Bocca della Verità, as well as have a description of the famous “mascherone of lies”, and the directions to get there.

Bocca della Verità: Reality and Myths Sponsored links

For centuries the Bocca della Verità has been a regular stop for Roman tours due to its peculiarity and its charm. Several directors have also been attracted by the myth of this monument and have included it in their films. The most famous is certainly “Roman Holiday” but also the Italian film “La Bocca della Verità”, and the Japanese film “Sleeping Bride”.

Bocca della Verità: Historical Features
The Bocca della Verità was used to unmask lies in the Middle Ages and to judge a defendant’s innocence or guilt. If after putting his (or her) hand in the disc, he (or she) managed to extract it, they were considered innocent. In case of guilt, the defendant ran the risk of having his hand cut off. It is also said that the judges, if certain of the person’s guilt, would order to cut the hand by a third person, hidden behind the mask.

Bocca della Verità: Description
The Bocca della Verità is placed in the portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, erected in the VI century. It is composed of a big marble disc, 1.80 meters in diameter, about 1,300 kg in weight, attached to the wall in the church’s portico in 1632. The face represented by on the disc has been attributed to different subjects, among them Jupiter Ammon, the god Ocean, an oracle, or the most probable, a faun.

Bocca della Verità: How to Get There
The entrance to Bocca della Verità is in piazza Bocca della Verità. Public transportation, the bus lines numbers 95, 160, 170, 44, 716 and 781 arrive at the Bocca della Verità stop. The nearest underground stop is Circo Massimo (Rome Metro B Line), only 300 meters away from where you will be able to put your hand in the famous mask.

Bocca della Verità: Other Things to Visit
When visiting this site you will also be able to visit the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, the Imperial Forum, the Circus Maximus, and the Colosseum.

Bocca della Verità: Where to Stay
For some advice on where you can stay in this district of Rome, check out our guides Hotel in the Center of Rome and B&B in Rome.

Bocca della Verità: Where to Eat
After visiting Bocca della Verità you may profit by a wide choice of Restaurants in Rome in's dedicated guide.

Bocca della Verità: Things to Do
Discover some Pubs in Rome where you may spend a pleasant and fun night out.

More and different things to come in Bocca della Verita'.


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