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Bocca della Verità in Rome

December 6, 2013

Almost all the students I teach tell me that visting the Bocca della Verità in Rome is one of their wishes. La Bocca della Verità (The Mouth of Truth) is a very old mask dating back to the first century. The mask is believed to have been part of an ancient Roman fountain, but the true origin is unknown. Since 1632, its home has been in the portico of the church of Santa Maria. The sculpture measures 1.75 meters (5.7 feet) in diameter and weighs about 1300 kg (2,866 lbs.)


Romans think that the sculpture represents the face of an ancient god of the river Tiber. Only Romans explained the unknown by creating the amazing story of “La Bocca della Verità” The legend says that if you put your hand inside of the "Mouth of Truth" and answer a question with a lie, your hand will be cut off but if you tell the truth you are spared this agony. This is how ancient Romans would find out, for example, if their spouses had committed adultery.


This legend became very popular in Rome and inspired many artists of different periods, such as the Roman poet Giovacchino Belli, who wrote a poem about it in 1832. Later the legend became well known through the 1953 American film "Roman Holiday" starring Audrey Hepburn.


When you are in Rome remember to visit “La Bocca della Verità" and be sure to go with someone who knows everything about you.

NO LIES allowed!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

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