Boca della Verita is located on a side of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church in the Forum Boarium area. You will see the long queue of people right away! One way to get to the area is to take the metro/subway line B, direction Laurentina. Get off at the Circo Massimo stop (3rd stop from Termini) and take a few hundred yards stroll along the Circo Massimo remnants (nice view of the Palatine Hills on your right). When you arrive at the Tiber River, turn right (don't cross the river; if you do you'll find yourself in Trastevere). You will already see the Forum Boarium architecture.
The Bocca della Verita, or the Mouth of Truth is in the porticoes of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. It owes its name to a popular attribute: the belief that it will bite the hand of liars.
There are probably as many theories regarding its original purpose as there are years of its existence. Popular ones include that it was a sewer or drain manhole cover or a fountain head. However, in dispute of these particular theories is the fact that there are no evident signs of erosion or wear around the holes where water would have flowed had it been part of a drain or fountain, and the quality of the marble and its size also suggest otherwise. According to the guide leaflet sold at the site, it is now believed to be a symbolic representation of the divine form of the god Faunus, a king who became divine after his death.
There are holes in the sides which indicate the points at which it was attached to a wall, suggesting that it was always intended to be kept in a vertical position.
And of course you have to have your picture taken with your hand in the mouth!
(see the website given below for further discussion of origin theories)
The Mouth of the Truth is situated in the atrium of a church, but it's actually nothing special. You can see it through the bars from the outside too, if there's not 673 tourist to block your view. You can check the inside of the church, which is more interesting - and a bit taken aback by the Boca...
It is said that if you put your hand in the Mouth & tell a lie, you will lose it! Don't go there with your partner! ;)
Once a time there was a jealous husband who took his wife to la Bocca della Verità ( the Truth's mouth ) to check if she was unfaithful to him with another man, since according to ancient stories of the place, if one told a lie while having the hand in the stone hole, the mouth was closing squashing the liar's hand.
The woman's lover, alerted by the husband's shouts right in the middle of the street, dropped just when the couple was in front of Bocca. The woman, as she saw his lover was aproaching she acted as if she fainted, so that the lover did not have other choice than to pick her up in his arms so that she didn't fall to the road.
The grateful husband turned to his wife ready to follow with the ritual and checking wether she had been unfaithful to him or not. As soon as he put his woman's beautiful hand into the stone mouth he asked her if she had been with some other man other than him.
The woman told him not to worry, that she had never been in the hands of another man, except the one that was standing in front of her and the one who had just saved from falling. That way it was that she could preserve his hand.
The legend says that this symbol of Rome, placed at Santa Maria's medieval church in Cosmedin it is a Roman water drain that represents God Tritón's ancient mask.
Triton was a younger God of the sea, son of the god of the seas Poseidón, and of Anfitrite, the younger son of the titan Nereo ( or Océano ) and nymph of the sea Mediterranean. You were intelligent and torso human and fishtail. He was Poseidón's herald, that's why almost always it represents to it blowing a spiral shell, with the one that was transmitting the messages and the orders in the battle.
The Santa Maria Cosmiden church is a easy walk from the Piazza venezia. Walk towards the Theater Marcellas (looks just like the Coloseum) and down the hill and across the street from the round Temple. There you will find (on the porch wall) the Mouth Of Truth...stick in your hand then if you tell a lie....he will bite your hand off!!!(according to legend) Please go inside and look at this magnificent old titler Church....take time to drink in the mosaics on the ceilings and the floors...
It’s located under portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. I was waiting about a half hour in the line to make a picture with my hand in the mouth. Well I suppose that you know the story about this mouth...It’s opened until 6 p.m.
The Mouth of Truth. Back in the day you would insert your hand in and were asked questions. If you lied legend had it your hand would be bitten off. To keep the superstition going- some would plant snakes and scorpions in back when a suspected liar would be tested.
La Bocca della Verita, or Mouth of Truth, because legend has it that your hand will be bitten if you tell a lie. It's not very easy to find, as there are no signs outside indicating where it is. It is propped up under the porch of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church. That church is directly across the street from the Temple of Vesta, the round marble temple with all the fluted columns, near the bank of the river.
Visit the bocca della verita on the other side of the Tiber River near the temple of Hercules on the Aventine Hill. This ancient sewer grate has a face with eyes nose and a mouth.
Legend says the boca knows whether you are telling the truth and will bite of the hand of whoever is lying. Many a cheating spouse has been brought to the Boca to confess his/her infidelity.
Bocca della Verita (Mouth of Truth) is located inside the portico of the 12th century church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. I wanted to see this place ever since I was a little girl and I watched "Roman holiday" the charming movie starring Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn. The mouth is an ancient version of a lie detector; the legend has it that if a person that told a lie will stick his hand into that mouth, his hand will be chopped off. I had the guts to give it a try and came off looking like the most honest person on the planet :-)
In the front portico of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, a small but stately church along the Tiber, stands the stone Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth). The tradition of sticking your hand in its mouth to tell whether someone is truthful or not, has been known before Gregory Peck and Audrey Hepburn ventured there in "Roman Holiday."
The Santa Maria in Cosmedin is a very modest church from the 6th century. It is worth going into the church, but also have a look in the gallery of the the church. There is a big head. Known as the Bocca della Verita, the mouth of truth. Legend has it that it bites your hand of if you are a liar. To try it just put your hand in the mouth and answer a question.
This place is often a must visit, due to the famous Bocca della Verita, who is said to bit your right hand if you inserti ti on its mouth and you're a lier... well. But if you get there, just have a look around, there are still other things to see in these place: just walk to the river side to enjoy of a nice view of these ancient remains!
La Bocca della Verita means "The Mouth of Truth." It is located inside the portico of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, and was featured in both the film, "Roman Holiday," as well as "Only You." You are to insert your hand in its mouth and, if you're dishonest, your hand will be eaten! I was lucky enough to have my hand returned -- honest person that I am!
This is something I was not familiar with before our tour guide took us there. He told us that it is strongly believed to have been a sewer cover. It is also said that it was used as a type of lie detector test. They would have people stick their hand in the mouth & ask them a question. It was said that if you lied, your hand would be bleeding when you pulled it out. There was no way to escape your hand from bleeding, however, because there were bugs & scorpions on the other side of the mouth. I guess according to this method everyone was lying.
We learned that the mouth of truth has been in many films, so we were lucky to get there when we did because we were also told that there is usually a really long line to get your picture taken next to this thing. I think we took the early tour that morning & we were able to walk right up to it. There were no tourists there at all. It was probably around 10am or just after.