On the last day of my solo trip to Italy in June 2022, I got to bond a bit more with my youngest aunt, visiting an interesting attraction in Rome and having gelato in a local gelateria. The Mouth of Truth or Bocca della Verita is a marble mask statue which, according to legend, will bite off the hand of any lying person. I dared to put my hand, and guess what? 🙂
My aunt had to work that day, so we only had a few hours to spare in the afternoon. Fortunately, the church where the marble hand is situated was still open for a few minutes. There was a queue, but we managed to get in and do the dare. To be honest, it gave me an uncertain feeling. Like, what am I lying about here? Am I lying to myself or to others? What is a lie?
According to sources, historians were (and perhaps still) puzzled as to what purpose the statue was made. Some say it’s a drainage cover. For some, it’s a sacrificial site where cattle merchants drain the blood of their cattle offering. But many agree that this 1300 kg marble mask depicts the face of the Titan god Oceanus. They also believe that it was originally placed in the nearby Temple of Hercules Victor, before it was moved to its current location – the old Basilica of Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
Aside from the Bocca della Verita, the church has other interesting facts to offer. Its belltower is the tallest medieval belfry in Rome; it has ancient wall and mosaic fragments, pavement, altar, candelabrum, crucifix, and paintings; and there’s a crypt shaped like a small basilica in the basement, housing the relics from the catacombs by Pope Adrian I. The Temple of Hercules Victor sits on the other side of the road (5th photo below).
A donation to the church is requested (almost imposed by the staff). The church itself has free entrance, but I can’t remember well if one has to pay to enter the crypt. I think we did pay a couple of euros to a lady sitting by the stairs to go down the stairs and into the crypt.
Later in the evening, we enjoyed some gelato. And the next day, I took the train to the airport and flew back to Norway. At the airport, I had some pasta and the chocolate espresso that everybody seemed to be drinking (while standing by the bar) in cafes in Rome. I had been wanting to try it while I was there.
Italian ingredients are pretty much available in Norway, but dining in the country itself is different! I always miss their pasta and pizza and gelato. The flight back home was as smooth as the flight to Rome, thank goodness. I was less anxious, and I felt super glad to have taken that solo trip! I felt brave. However, I still prefer traveling with my husband. ❤
First photo above was of the Italian coast during take-off, and the last photo showing the green land was of Norway during landing. 🙂 This was my third visit to Italy, and I wouldn’t mind traveling there again. Until next time! #spreadloveandpositivevibes
ALL PHOTOS AND VIDEOS ON THIS BLOG ENTRY ARE MINE. (c)