Well, I hope and trust you are, else do not even think of following this tip:)) Joking, I do not myself believe the ‘Bocca della Verita’ (or ‘the mouth of truth’) legend but it is such a splendid one that it made the place justly famous. Now, according to this legend, the mouth, looking like a mask, was really useful for finding out who the criminal is, and also who violated his/her word. You just made the suspect put his hand inside the mask’s mouth and, if he was lying, there was no way he could get his hand back. I wonder why they needed lawyers in the first place, with such a device:)))
Let’s be serious now. According to a more realistic theory, it was a decoration or a water source in the Roman baths. The age of the ‘Bocca della Verita’ was determined quite precisely, too, and put down as the 6th century before Christ. As for the face - it’s the god called Favn. But the legend sounds much more engaging and interesting:))
This is an ancient drain cover which was placed on the wall of Santa Maria di Cosmedin. Legend has it that if you put your hand in the mouth when asked a question, if your answer is a lie, the mouth will snap shut on your hand.
Santa Maria in Cosmedin is a small church from the 6th century and is famous for its portico housing the Bocca della Verità or "Mouth of Truth", an ancient drain cover in the shape of a human face traditionally believed to be capable of biting any liars who placed their hand in it. Roman soldiers used to bring their wives to the mouth when they returned from their campaigns and prove whether they had been faithful in their absence.
In the Piazza Bocca della Verita is the medieval church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
Inside are 12th century frescoes and in the souvenir shop is a piece of 8th century mosaic.
Just before you enter the church is the Bocca della Verita which means Mouth of Truth. This large disc in the shape of a mask was once supposedly an ancient drain cover. Legend has it that if you put your right hand in the mouth whilst telling a lie it will snap shut!!!!!
The church is open from 10am to 1pm and 3pm to 5pm.
The church from the Middle Ages on the Piazza della Bocca della Verità, namely the ´Santa Maria in Cosmedin´, holds a wonderful secret: in the corridor outside you can find the face of a watergod. The stone image is as high as a man and has the (translated) name: the mouth of the truth.
Long, long ago people tested whether or not someone spoke the truth by putting the hand of that person in the mouth of the watergod. If they were liars their hand would be bitten off. (in fact: someone would stand behind the wall with an axe to do the trick.....)
Would you like to test your partner... ; )
Stone Mask (Bocca della Verita – literally meaning, mouth of truth). Found in the portico of the Santa Maria Church is a marble disk representing a face, which probably served as a drain plug. According to popular belief, a liar who dares put his hand in the mouth will have it bitten off.
Most people who come to Rome to see its treasures without falling into the touristy pitfalls will still find themselves throwing a coin over their left shoulder into Trevi fountain to guarantee their eventual return. (That's their LEFT shoulder, mind you!) Near Santa Maria in Cosmedin, an ancient church with a plain interior, people from all over the globe get caught having their photographs taken with the Bocca di Verita, which is actually (or thought to be) an old Roman sewer drainage cover that looks like a human face. Legend has it (or rather the tourism industry requires) that the lips close over the hand of someone telling a lie. This is generally proven when the petitioner thinks up a lie in his/her own heart, inserts his hand and pulls back -- his/her own hand!
My Mom--the first time she screamed I thought it was so funny that I forgot to take the picture! I made her do it again... My mom's a good sport--here's the picture to prove it. :) (The people waiting in line to take their picture next to the Mouth of Truth thought it was pretty funny too!)
La Bocca de la Verita (The Mouth of Truth)
My mother once watched a movie that depicted this very statue. She said in the movie the character said, 'If you put your arm in it's mouth and you've told a lie the mouth will shut and bite off your arm', and the actor put his arm in the mouth and he pulled out his arm immediately screaming (pretending he had been bitten)--hence the crazy picture you see here. Come on...You gotta have a little fun sometimes! ;)
Sadly this church is only visited just to stick the hand in the mouth of truth thanks to the popular oldie "Roman Holiday" with Audrey Hepburn.
Got to do what you got to do.
Put your hand inside the mouth, say or think something, if you still keep the hand, it's OK, if not, you are lying.
Outside Santa Maria in Cosmedin Church.
The famous Bocca de la Verita (it beats if you are a liar!) is located in the entrance of Santa Maria in Cosmedi. This church was built in s. VI and the bizantine cult is held here.
Boca del la Verita.
Put your arm in the mouth of the statue and you will know if you are a honnest person.
If you are a liar the mouth of the God will bite your arm off.