11 May 2008

Roman Rituals - the Mouth of Truthat Santa Maria in Cosmedin

While in Rome you may like to re-enact the scene in the film Roman Holiday and put your hand over the Bocca della Verità or Mouth of Truth which hangs in the portico of the Church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.

The carving is thought to be part of an ancient Roman fountain or perhaps a drain-cover. If a jealous lover wanted to test their partner's fidelity, they would put their hand in the mouth of the stone river god - it was thought that a liar would have his hand bitten off but the faithful lover would go untouched.

This article has moved to my new travel blog - you can read it at Heatheronhertravels.com

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