La Bocca della Verità was considered a lie detector of the Middle Ages. Bocca della Verità is actually a carved image that represents a human head with open mouth, placed in the portico of the Santa Maria church. The sculpture has ancient origins. It si said that Bocca della Verità was made from a fountain in the first century AD.
Boca della Verità or “Mouth of Truth” is actually a stone mask that represent a river divinity. Legend says that whoever lies and introduces her/his hand in the mouth opening, it will be lost. Stone disc is found at the entrance of the church of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
Initially, archaeologists believed that human figure is in fact the Ocean god. Later it was discovered that Bocca della Verità represents the ancient god of the Tiber river.
In the Middle Ages, who was caught lying, her/his hand was put in the Bocca della Verità that established whether is lying or not. If lying, then her/his hand was bitten. Other legends say that the hand was going to be cut.
Bocca della Verità was attached to St. Mary’s church in the seventeenth century. Every tourist can visit the church until 6:00 PM. The fare is only 2 Euro.
The Santa Maria church is also an important monument built in the sixth century AD.