Never once in my life have I ever said:
“OMG. You haaaaaaave to see the Mouth of Truth!”
Because that would be a lie.
La Bocca della Verità is totally lame.
The most notable thing about it is the line that stretches through its gate at all hours of the day.
To add to the charm of the line which snakes around the corner, there are signs indicating that each person is allowed exactly one photo.
There is also a man who has the job of standing in front of these signs and seems to hate every second of the day.
However, before totally denouncing this randomly famous marble face publicly, I decided I should probably wait in that line one day, just to be absolutely sure that I was not some how missing something.
We did not intend to stop, but we were in our way towards the centro storico in the rain last weekend and managed to pass by between tour buses.
Ok, I sighed. Let’s do this.
The Mouth of Truth became a tourist destination with the popularity of the 1953 film Roman Holiday.
I am not a heartless monster, so I LOVE this film. I used to own it but our friend Tom borrowed it and never gave it back, so we’re not speaking any more. (Hi, Tom).
SUPPOSEDLY, in ancient times, the carving was used to separate the honest from the straight up bull sh#$@ers.
Here’s how it worked: If you told a lie and stuck you hand in the mouth, your hand would be instantly chopped off. If you were telling the truth? You got to keep your hand.
This belief gained popularity during medieval times when the disk was used in trials to test the trustworthiness of testimony.
More likely? It’s an ancient drain cover.
I hate lines, but we waited.
Less than 10 minutes later, I was granted my 15 second window in which to take ONE PHOTO and I tried to keep it classy.
La bocca! La bocca! The line manager screamed.
I remembered the “ONE PHOTO” policy.
And then I went for it.
I kind of hate myself a little bit.
It’s off the bucket list, but it was never on it to begin with because instead of waiting in this:
You can just peek through the gate, and get a pretty darn good view because the marble image sits in the outer portico of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin:
So unless they actual substantiate these crazy rumors that any hands got cut off anywhere near this thing? Skip it.
Instead, walk 5 minutes to the giardino degli aranci for a much cooler fountain head.
I mean, unless you love ruining the romance of a beautiful (make believe) film by waiting in the most unromantic line ever.
La Bocca della Verità
Piazza della Bocca della Verità, 18,
Opening hours: Every day, 9:30 am – 5:30 pm