Bocca de la verita or Mouth or Truth in English is one of the favorite spot of tourists in the eternal city. This statue is located at the Santa Maria Church in Cosmedin by the Aventine hill, Rome.
This is actually a mask with a human-like shape carved on a marble stone. According to ancient legends, it is believed that if you lie while putting your hand under this mask, it will be bitten off! So, it would not be an exaggeration to say that, this mask was used as a lie detector in medieval Rome.
For this reason, this place has become an intriguing spot for people all
around the globe. The mask allegedly represents Oceanus, god of the sea. Oceanus was one of the pagan gods and is well-known to depict the Tiber River of the city. However, this statue was not always present in the church and was only placed here in the 17th century. The mask is quite heavy and weighs around 1300 kilograms and its size is also quite enormous with a diameter of 1.75 meters.
The church of Santa Maria is situated at piazza della Bocca della Verità. A large number of people visit here to stick their hands in the mask from all around the globe. The credit to give international fame to this spot must be given to the popular Hollywood flick the Roman holiday. This classic movie starring Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck brought Mouth of Truth to the global stage.
Moreover, Circus Maximus is just a walking distance from here. There are many interesting stories behind the origin of this mask (actually It must have been a manhole) but its actual source is still a mystery. Nevertheless, you are bound to be curious about the Mouth of Truth and you won’t be able to resist the temptation of putting your hands into the mouth for sure!