Bocca della Verita
Bocca della Verita
4
Points of Interest & LandmarksMonuments & Statues
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Monday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Tuesday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Wednesday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Thursday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Friday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Saturday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
Sunday
9:30 AM - 6:00 PM
About
The legend of this 4th-century stone, located in the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin, says that it eats the hand of liars.
Duration: < 1 hour
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The area
Neighbourhood: Aventine
Contrary to the chaos of the city, the Aventine is Rome’s oasis. A neighbourhood made up of a patchwork of ancient churches, hidden gardens, private homes and embassies, peace and quiet is top priority and the vibe definitely friends and family. Take a walk around the Aventine and you’ll find a treasure hunt of surprises like the clever little keyhole at the Knights of Malta entrance (the only place you’ll find a line) along with Parco Savello (Giardino degli Aranci) next to the ancient Santa Sabina church. Keep your eyes on the 1960s architecture, several modern buildings are built atop Rome’s original 4th century BC wall.
How to get there
  • Circo Massimo • 10 min walk
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See what travellers are saying
  • Kim D
    Norwich, United Kingdom94 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Fun photo op
    Located near the entrance of Santa Maria in Cosmodin, this is a fun photo op. Expect to queue but it is kept fast moving by the guard on duty. There is no charge but an option to give a donation to the church. The church itself is also worth a look as it is very pretty and contains some interesting relics.
    Visited September 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 13 September 2023
  • Peter C
    Island of Malta, Malta2,608 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    Worth a visit (and photo)!
    Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) is a marble mask located at the entrance of Santa Maria in Cosmodin church. It is free to visit but expect to find a queue of tourists all wanting to take a photo. While the walled mask has historical significance dating back to 1632, it is internationally renowned for being in famous scene from the film Roman Holiday (1953) with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
    Visited January 2024
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 9 February 2024
  • Brad
    Hong Kong, China172,607 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    The iconic Mouth of Truth sculpture
    Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) is an ancient Roman marble mask sculpture that was probably a manhole originally. Probably would have been lost in history had it not acquired a myth during Medieval times that it would bite the hand off of liars who stuck their hand in its mouth. Since 1632, it has been located in the porch area or Santa Maria in Cosemedin and today you will find long queues of tourists waiting their turn for pictures next to it. It is a fun ancient sculpture to find and see if you are sightseeing in this area of Rome.
    Visited March 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 15 April 2024
  • BindiSE20
    London, United Kingdom8 contributions
    5.0 of 5 bubbles
    Well worth a visit.
    The last time I visited Bocca della Verita there was no queue and it was free. That was around ten years ago and things have changed somewhat since then! I don't even think it's because more people have watched "Roman Holiday" – I think it's because everything is now "Instagram-able" so this must be considered as a great photo op. I would suggest visiting in the morning before the queue gets too long. There is an "attendant" there who tells people to move on if they take too long posing or taking too many photos. I read other people's reviews here before I visited and some people said it was two euros to enter. It's actually up to you want you want to donate. It's a lovely monument and I would definitely recommend visiting and getting a photo. If you haven't watched "Roman Holiday", you're missing out – it's a lovely film and Gregory Peck plays a little trick on Audrey Hepburn when they visit Bocca della Verita. Enjoy!!
    Visited April 2024
    Travelled with family
    Written 25 April 2024
  • Mairwen1
    United Kingdom10,614 contributions
    4.0 of 5 bubbles
    An Ancient Polygraph Test ?
    The Bocca della Verità (or Mouth of Truth) is a curious and fun kind of tourist attraction. What you see here is an ancient marble face set against the exterior wall on the left hand side of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin. It’s thought that the giant disc was probably once a drain cover, possibly on the floor of the ancient Temple of Hercules across across the road. Its also thought that the mask depicts the face of the sea god, Oceanus. No one is sure but archaeologists point to the crab’s pincers and dolphins, tangled up in the mask’s hair and beard. I couldn’t see these in real life but later, looking at our photo, they were much clearer and I could make them out. The Mouth of Truth is not immediately obvious from the street but we knew we were in the right place when we saw the queue under the church portico. We joined the long line of tourists, all waiting to stick their hand into the dark, cold mouth and test the legend that says that the mask will bite the hand of a liar - a harsh punishment for a few fibs. Superstition aside, it’s an unexpectedly strange and eerie feeling to stick your hand inside the narrow, dark, cold opening. It’s a fun thing for kids to do. The line moves reasonably slowly but a guard/staff member helps to keep it moving by ushering people on if they are taking too many photos and holding things up. If all you want to do is have a quick look, you can see it without having to line up. Before leaving, make sure to have a look inside the church which has a small underground crypt and a preserved skull that may, or may not, belong to St Valentine. Entry by donation.
    Visited July 2023
    Travelled as a couple
    Written 3 May 2024
These reviews are the subjective opinion of Tripadvisor members and not of TripAdvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews.

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4.0
4.0 of 5 bubbles1,900 reviews
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508
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702
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522
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126
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42

Mairwen1
United Kingdom10,614 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jul 2023 • Couples
The Bocca della Verità (or Mouth of Truth) is a curious and fun kind of tourist attraction.
What you see here is an ancient marble face set against the exterior wall on the left hand side of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
It’s thought that the giant disc was probably once a drain cover, possibly on the floor of the ancient Temple of Hercules across across the road. Its also thought that the mask depicts the face of the sea god, Oceanus. No one is sure but archaeologists point to the crab’s pincers and dolphins, tangled up in the mask’s hair and beard. I couldn’t see these in real life but later, looking at our photo, they were much clearer and I could make them out.
The Mouth of Truth is not immediately obvious from the street but we knew we were in the right place when we saw the queue under the church portico.
We joined the long line of tourists, all waiting to stick their hand into the dark, cold mouth and test the legend that says that the mask will bite the hand of a liar - a harsh punishment for a few fibs.
Superstition aside, it’s an unexpectedly strange and eerie feeling to stick your hand inside the narrow, dark, cold opening. It’s a fun thing for kids to do.
The line moves reasonably slowly but a guard/staff member helps to keep it moving by ushering people on if they are taking too many photos and holding things up. If all you want to do is have a quick look, you can see it without having to line up.
Before leaving, make sure to have a look inside the church which has a small underground crypt and a preserved skull that may, or may not, belong to St Valentine.
Entry by donation.
Written 3 May 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

BindiSE20
London, UK8 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2024 • Family
The last time I visited Bocca della Verita there was no queue and it was free. That was around ten years ago and things have changed somewhat since then! I don't even think it's because more people have watched "Roman Holiday" – I think it's because everything is now "Instagram-able" so this must be considered as a great photo op.

I would suggest visiting in the morning before the queue gets too long. There is an "attendant" there who tells people to move on if they take too long posing or taking too many photos.
I read other people's reviews here before I visited and some people said it was two euros to enter. It's actually up to you want you want to donate.
It's a lovely monument and I would definitely recommend visiting and getting a photo. If you haven't watched "Roman Holiday", you're missing out – it's a lovely film and Gregory Peck plays a little trick on Audrey Hepburn when they visit Bocca della Verita. Enjoy!!
Written 25 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Brad
Hong Kong, China172,607 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) is an ancient Roman marble mask sculpture that was probably a manhole originally. Probably would have been lost in history had it not acquired a myth during Medieval times that it would bite the hand off of liars who stuck their hand in its mouth. Since 1632, it has been located in the porch area or Santa Maria in Cosemedin and today you will find long queues of tourists waiting their turn for pictures next to it. It is a fun ancient sculpture to find and see if you are sightseeing in this area of Rome.
Written 15 April 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

JenK105
Dublin, Ireland284 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2024 • Family
There was a small queue to get into see Bocca della Verita, but we loved it. Such a cool photo opportunity and we all came away with our hands 🙌🏼
Written 4 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Peter C
Island of Malta, Malta2,608 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) is a marble mask located at the entrance of Santa Maria in Cosmodin church. It is free to visit but expect to find a queue of tourists all wanting to take a photo. While the walled mask has historical significance dating back to 1632, it is internationally renowned for being in famous scene from the film Roman Holiday (1953) with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.
Written 9 February 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Kim D
Norwich, UK94 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Sept 2023 • Couples
Located near the entrance of Santa Maria in Cosmodin, this is a fun photo op. Expect to queue but it is kept fast moving by the guard on duty.

There is no charge but an option to give a donation to the church. The church itself is also worth a look as it is very pretty and contains some interesting relics.
Written 13 September 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

DJKJO
Greater London, UK267 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Couples
The Mouth Of Truth has got to be on ones itinerary when visiting Rome! The only actual “truth” known about the marble stone is that it’s been standing against the left wall at the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church, at the Piazza since 1632, though it’s said to be over 2000 years old. There are numerous theories as to what it was originally used for or where it came from but nothing factual.
The legend is that if you're given to lying and you put your hand in the mouth it'll be bitten off😳
The Mouth of Truth myth became well-known worldwide thanks to the 1953 film Roman Holiday. The movie was Audrey Hepburn’s breakout role, playing a princess who escapes her royal duties. She finds a reporter, Gregory Peck, who shows her around Rome on his Vespa.
All good fun👍🏼… just remember your hand gel after🤪😄
Written 15 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ken_s10
Wolverhampton, UK35 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
I’ve seen some people moan and I really don’t understand why.. Yes there’s a queue(5-10mins) .Yes there’s someone “in charge”, thankfully. Otherwise there’s be people taking hundreds of pictures/ videos. He was great , very friendly and taking peoples pictures ONLY if it was helpful. I asked him for one but he took 20 different ones for me! And joked! A charge? Absolutely not! A fairly discrete donations box and it made no difference if you donated or not. The tourists all gain our photo op. The church gains what, for all their supervision, patience and help???
The Circo Maximo is two minutes away and a pleasant ( very very) low key green space to sit/ picnic/ take coffee. Bus 85 runs to / from Termini to here and also the coliseum in a circular route.
Those three together gave us a great day out.
Written 7 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tualie
Varese, Italy1,483 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
May 2022
Located in the narthex of Santa Maria in Cosmedin church which was built over Roman remains part of the then cattle market area of Forum Boarium; across the street is visible a couple of Roman temples (one round shaped, the other classic) saved from complete spoliation because converted into Christian churches.

This "mouth" was probably a drain cover in ancient times then it became a kind of lie detector mentioned in the medieval "travel guide" of Mirabilia Urbis Romae. "Roman Holiday", the 1953 film bestowed this as an attraction; Downey Jr. and Tomei's 1994 film "Only you" recalled the scene.

Apart of the mask, the church hosts an interesting relic: Saint Valentine's skull.

P.S. Come early, if you can before 9:30; donations are expected.
Written 27 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Morgan
358 contributions
4.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023 • Couples
Worth stopping by to see as you sightsee around Rome. The queue looked long when we joined, but moves fairly quickly with someone manning the front.
Written 24 February 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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