La Bocca della Verità (the Mouth of Truth) Santa Maria in Cosmedin.
The Basilica was built in the 8th century over an ancient temple dedicated to Hercules.
Before entering the church, pass the road opposite to the piazza to admire Tempio di Ercole Vincitore. The Temple of Hercules Victor is an ancient edifice almost 11 meters tall. Back in the second century BC, it used to be a round temple. It is the city’s earliest surviving marble building.
Santa Maria in Cosmedin is famous for the Mouth of Truth depicted in the film Roman Holiday with Gregory Peck and Aufrey Hepburn. You can still dare to put your hand inside, waiting a queue at the churches’ entrance. Be sure that the mouth will know the truth as it stands there from 1632!
Don’t miss to visit The Altar of Pope Hadrian’s Crypt underneath the Basilica.
It is also shaped like a small basilica, with column divided aisles. The Pope used it to house catacombs relics.