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Santa Maria in Cosmedin

Santa Maria in Cosmedin (89)

This austere and beautiful church was built in the 6th century over the remains of an old market. Inside you will find a fantastic Cosmatesque floor, as well as an 8th-century mosaic, the gold for which was brought from the original basilica of Saint Peter. 

Also note the elegant bell tower, the raised choir, the bishop’s throne and, above all, the marvellous baldachin.

While Santa Maria in Cosmedin is one of the regular tourist stop-offs, it is not because of its qualities of being a church as such, but rather because in its portico is the famous Bocca della Verità or Mouth of Truth. It is a marble disc that has a river god carved in it. Visitors go to see it because, according to the legend, the person who puts their hand in the mouth and is a liar will be bitten by it. It is also said that it was made by Virgil the Magician to test the virtue of married women. 

To check if all this was true, Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck came here in a famous sequence in the film “Roman Holidays”. So if you dare, you too can approach it and check for yourself if the story is true or not. 

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