Fodor's Expert Review Santa Maria in Cosmedin

Aventino Religious Building/Site/Shrine Fodor's Choice
Fountain, Santa Maria in Cosmedin, Rome, Italy

Although this is one of Rome's oldest churches, with a haunting interior, it plays second fiddle to the renowned artifact installed out in the portico. The Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) is in reality nothing more than an ancient drain cover, unearthed during the Middle Ages. Legend has it, however, that the teeth will clamp down on a liar's hand if they dare to tell a fib while holding their fingers up to the fearsome mouth. Hordes of tourists line up to take the test every day (kids especially get a kick out of it), but there is never a wait to enter the church itself, which was built in the 6th century. Head inside to stand before the flower-crowned skull of St. Valentine, who is celebrated every February 14th, but go ahead and pass on the trip down to the tiny, empty crypt. Heavily restored at the end of the 19th century, the church stands across from the Piazza della Bocca della Verità, originally the location of the Forum Boarium, ancient Rome's cattle market, and later... READ MORE

Although this is one of Rome's oldest churches, with a haunting interior, it plays second fiddle to the renowned artifact installed out in the portico. The Bocca della Verità (Mouth of Truth) is in reality nothing more than an ancient drain cover, unearthed during the Middle Ages. Legend has it, however, that the teeth will clamp down on a liar's hand if they dare to tell a fib while holding their fingers up to the fearsome mouth. Hordes of tourists line up to take the test every day (kids especially get a kick out of it), but there is never a wait to enter the church itself, which was built in the 6th century. Head inside to stand before the flower-crowned skull of St. Valentine, who is celebrated every February 14th, but go ahead and pass on the trip down to the tiny, empty crypt. Heavily restored at the end of the 19th century, the church stands across from the Piazza della Bocca della Verità, originally the location of the Forum Boarium, ancient Rome's cattle market, and later the site of public executions.

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Religious Building/Site/Shrine Flight Centre Fodor's Choice Family

Quick Facts

Piazza Santa Maria in Cosmedin
Rome, Latium  00153, Italy

06-6787759

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