Bocca della Verità
The Piazza Bocca della Verità is an attraction in Rome that is located in between Via della Greca and Via Luigi Petroselli. The plaza is near the bank of the Tiber River and lies right in the ancient district of the Forum Boarium, which is just across the Tiber Island. The name of the plaza, “Bocca Della Verità” is the Italian word for the “Mouth of Truth”, a carved image that can be seen right below the portico of Basilica di Santa Maria in Cosmedin (The Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin).
The sculpture is among the most popular attraction sites in Rome. It is shaped like a face of a man, placed below the portico of the church.
Its fame is due to the superstition according to which “Bocca della Verità” bites off the hand of anyone not telling the truth. It is thought that the sculpture used to be a component of a fountain in the ancient times. Others also said that it was used as a manhole cover that portrays Oceanus, one of the various pagan gods. Other people also believe that the mouth on the sculpture represents the ancient god of the Tiber River.
Aside from the “Mouth of Truth” sculpture, there are several other tourist sites that can be found within the Piazza Bocca della Verità. Opposite The Basilica of Saint Mary is a round temple, Tempio di Ercole Vincitore (The Temple of Hercules Victor or Hercules Olivarius), that is said to be constructed in honor of Hercules Invictus, or the “unconquered Hercules”. Also, a rectangular temple called the Tempio di Portuno (Temple of Portunus) can be found nearby. Just like the basilica, the building was constructed during the 1st Century. The Arch of Argentari can also be found at the back of the Piazza Bocca della Verità and right behind that lies the church of San Giorgio in Velabro, which has now been repaired since it was damaged as a result of the 1993 mafia bomb.
Most of the tour buses in Rome will take you to the Piazza Bocca Della Verità. There are also public buses that will pass through the piazza so you can take any of the buses if you do not want to use a tour bus. Or better yet, grab a map of Rome and walk your way towards the plaza.
Address Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18, Rome, Italy
Opening hours Everyday from 09.00 - 17.30
Public transportation Buses 44, 83, 170, 716, 781