Mouth Of The Truth In Rome – Truth Or Dare, And Fun!

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Mouth of the Truth, Rome
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My hand was not chopped off. The lion’s mouth is open!

The Mouth of the Truth Rome: (Boca de la Verita)

This is one of the most touristy things one can do, but you know what they say, “when in Rome..”. The mouth of the truth (La Bocca della Verita) is located in the portico of the Santa Maria Church, Cosmedin, in the Lazio region.

Rome is my husband’s birthplace and he is still the biggest Lazio football club supporter (Forza Lazio!). Sorry, had to put the plug in there because l have become a fan as well. Inevitable when l get to hear about them a lot..a whole lot!

 Mouth of Truth: The Legend

The legend of the mouth of the truth is that any liar who puts their hand in, gets it chopped off! Lost to the mouth. It’s an old Roman legend about some rich guy who took his wife there because she had been unfaithful. The woman knew she was screwed, but her lover kissed her in front of everyone there.

She then put her hand in and said that the only two men she had ever kissed were her husband and this “mad” man who everyone chased away as she made a big fuss.

Her honor was saved, as was her hand, but from that time on, the power of the mouth of the truth was gone. Others say that it is a sewer covering. I don’t believe that. I’ve seen the sewers, and the covers do not look like that! I might believe an old drinking water spigot though. That to me is likelier. Did l just start a new legend?

Most people probably know about the Mouth of the Truth from the movie Roman Holiday with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck. I am including a little snippet of the movie. It is a favorite of mine and shows a few highlights from this beautiful, now chaotic city.

Roman Holiday Mouth of Truth:

Santa Maria In Cosmedin:

The Santa Maria church itself is quite small when compared to others, but it is still nice inside. It is thought to contain the tomb of Saint Valentine, but that might be another legend. You should know that there is always a line to get your picture taken at the mouth of the truth, and they request one picture per person only, so as to keep the line moving.

It is free though to experience putting your hand in the mouth of truth, it’s something one does just to say you have. The bus stop is right out front, and the tour buses are aplenty. Cheesy? yes, touristy? yes again. So what?. One doesn’t get to Rome too often.

mouth of the truth church in Rome
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Inside the Santa Maria Church

Related Reading: Fall in Rome

Santa Maria Church, Rome holy water basin cream color
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Holy water pedestal inside the Santa Maria church. I needed it.

Temple of Vesta Rome: (Temple de Vesta)

Across the street from the mouth of truth and church, there is the Vesta Temple, the house of the Vestal virgins, the keepers of the eternal flame. Some say it was the temple of Hercules, so who knows? What is certain is that this is one of the ancient symbols of power, be it from the vestal virgins or from Hercules.

This whole section of ancient downtown Rome is chock full of history, from the Roman Senate to the Bocca della Verita to the arches of Septimius and Titus. Definitely, a nice area to walk through, get a bite, and revel in ancient history.

In my opinion, this, along with the mouth of the truth is worth a visit. This was my second visit there. If you recall, a lot of my old pictures were lost when our computer crashed, so part of our trip to Rome this time was to play tourist and take photos again.

 

mouth of the truth piazza Rome
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Temple of the Vestal Virgins at the Piazza La Bocca de la Verita

Our recommended hotel in Rome is the A.Roma Lifestyle hotel. Awesome amenities and away from the crowds.

 

BRL_4562 copy
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Fountain at the Piazza

Anagrafe office Rome,Via Petrocelli
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Via Petrocelli Street view from the mouth of the truth 3rd building from the left is the “Anagrafe” office where all birth records are kept. Every time we go, I know I should go register our marriage, but then l think… next time :-).

 

Since visiting the mouth of truth is one of the free things to do in Rome, you should definitely join the crowd, and just do it! This, along with many of the free Rome attractions, like the Piazza Navona, should make for a lovely visit.

The mouth of the Truth location:

Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18, 00186 Roma RM, Italy

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Have you been to the mouth of the truth? Is this too cheesy for you? or are you like me who poses with gusto?

 

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25 thoughts on “Mouth Of The Truth In Rome – Truth Or Dare, And Fun!”

  1. Sorry about your computer. That is one of my worst nightmares.
    I’m not very good with touristy pictures, I hate looking like a tourist. Makes no sense really coz I know everyone (i.e locals) knows that I’m one so I should just go ahead and do all the touristy things without feeling self conscious. Am I amking sense?

    Reply
    • I used to hate looking like a tourist too, so l know what you mean. Federico on the other hand doesn’t care at all, even in his own hometown and always has the camera…lol! I am getting better though, because l realize more and more that nobody cares. It’s all in my head.. It did suck losing a lot of images, and the backups of his works are back in storage in the U.S. Personal photos though..gone 🙁

      Reply
    • I hope you get to go. You will find it chaotic, but a lot of fun and history. It’s not so bad sticking your hand in..the second time. First time was a bit weird..

      Reply
  2. I’d definitely pose with gusto. 🙂 We’re all tourists, so I don’t look down on doing touristy things – it’s part of the experience. Cute video clip. And the last picture in this post is beautiful! Love the old buildings and architecture in Rome.

    Reply
    • I’m starting to not care too much and enjoy being a tourist more. Very liberating. :-). The street and the neighborhood is nice to walk around. There are some tombs and a further up the hill brings you to some lovely views. I loved that movie. Time to see it again.

      Reply
    • Oh that’s funny :-). It does look like a giant pizza. It wasn’t that bad though, sticking your hand in, but it was a little creepy the first time. I kept picturing someone in the back, grabbing you 🙂

      Reply
  3. I LOVE the story behind this! The first thing it made me think of was Roman Holiday (so glad you put the link on here!;-) I’m really bummed I never made it there when I was in Rome…guess that means I just need to get back, right?!

    Reply
    • 3 days is just enough to get a taste of the city…enough to show you that you need to return. :-). I just love that there is so much history everywhere..:-)

      Reply
    • Good to hear, Lauren :-). I assume you are in Spain already? You’re lucky as Rome won’t be as crowded, plus the weather hasn’t been as bad either. The Trevi fountain, sadly is still under refurbishment and covered over, so don’t bother going there.

      Reply
  4. I don’t know if you’re a fan of Dr. Who kemkem, but if you are, “The Mouth of the Truth” very much reminds me of “The Face of Bo!”
    P.S. I don’t mind going to tourisy places, I just like to go to places that please me. Life is far too short to worry. 🙂

    Reply
    • Yes, more and more l discover that life really is too short :-). I learned to get over my fear of looking like a tourist. I have see a few episodes of Dr Who. Are you talking about the new series, or one of the countless reincarnations? Enlighten me, as l would like to see this.

      Reply
  5. I know the movie Roman Holiday and this was a blast to read, Kemkem! So glad your hand survived 🙂 That’s so cool that your husband was born there 🙂

    Reply
    • I guess it’s a good thing l am not a liar.. :-). It’s also funny how we tend to take things for granted because it’s familiar. I am always awed when in Rome, l mean Julius And Caligula etc. walked there and all, and his high school was like super close to the Vatican etc.

      Reply

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