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The Mouth of Truth Rome

Ancient Rome holidays - Roman Fora - Mouth of truth in Rome - Forum Boarium Rome Italy - rome city sightseeing tours - Roman Holiday - Churches of Rome - Santa Maria in Cosmedin

Wandering through Rome and coming to the Rione Ripa, within the area once known as "Foro Boario", you'll find the Mouth of Truth ("Bocca della Verità"), an ancient mask located in the atrium of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
The "Mouth of Truth" dates back to the first century BC and probably had the function of a manhole cover. It has the shape of a river god with a male face, perhaps Jupiter Ammon or a faun.
During the Ancient Times it took the role of an Oracle and through the centuries many stories and legends have been told of this mask. According to the most popular legend, the mouth was used to bite and cut the hand of those who had lied and here was shot the famous scene, from the film "Roman Holiday", where Gregory Peck, facing Audrey Hepburn, pretended to have lost his hand.
During the Middle Ages in fact any suspect was brought in front of the mask to put his hand into the "mouth": if he was innocent, he withdrew the hand unscathed, but if he was guilty, the mask would have closed the mouth, cutting off the hand.
Another popular legend tells that the mask didn't bite the hand of a Roman empress who deceived it with a trick, although she really betrayed her husband.
This ancient mask is one of the most photographed Roman symbols and it is still a popular destination for a genuine pilgrimage of people seeking to experience the thrill of the risk of losing the hand.
If you would like to visit the Mouth of Truth, take advantage of the guided tours proposed by Rome4all, Rome Tours | Rome Shore Excursions | Guided Tours of Rome and the Vatican City : Rome Tours
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