The Church that guards the cult of the Bocca della Verità
The main attraction of the Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin is certainly the Bocca della Verità (the Mouth of Truth), located under the portico, where every day one can see long lines of tourists curious to take a picture of the oracle, a huge marble sculpture representing a bearded faun that can tell if you are telling the truth. To honor the ritual, all you have to do is stick your hand in the mouth of the stone oracle and find out what will happen.
The Mouth was featured in the famous movie Roman Holiday in the scene where Gregory Peck makes Audrey Hepburn believe he lost his hand in it. It is worth visiting the interior of the Church, one of the first Christian buildings in the city, with its frescoes and decorations dating back to the eighth and ninth centuries. Inside visitors can admire the mosaics of the cosmatesque floor and marbles and precious furnishings such as the episcopal seat and the baldachin, above the main altar, and the relics of St. Valentine, patron saint of lovers. Outside you can admire the bell tower, in Romanesque style, which is one of the most beautiful in Rome.