A true Italian legend
A medieval legend says that the Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) will bite off the hand of anyone who places it into the opening after telling a lie. Over the years, many jealous husbands have brought their wives here on suspicion of adultery.
Today, this large, ancient mask is a veritable institution in Rome. Since 1632, it has been located – and can be visited – in one of the walls of the pronaos of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
This particular marble sculpture also became famous thanks to William Wyler’s famous film Roman Holiday: the stars Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck turned it into a symbol for the world’s tourist imagination. It is not unusual to find a queue of people waiting to take the iconic photo with their hand inside the Mouth.
This large bearded male face with holes for its eyes, nose and mouth measures 1.8 metres in diameter and weighs over 1,300 kilograms. It probably originated as a manhole in Roman times, dating back to the reign of Lucius Tarquinius Superbus. However, its current name only dates back to 1485.