Bocca della Verità Square


The square takes its name from the famous Mouth of Truth, the maskaron which is inside the porch of the church of St. Mary in Cosmedin. According to a famous Roman legend the threatening mouth would snap shut on the hand of the liers. The square is in the middle of an ancient commercial area between Rome and the harbour along the river by the Tiber Island and the Emporium, the warehouse.

Pyramid of Caius Cestius

Piramide Caio Cestio

Leaving St. Paul’s gate (Porta San Paolo) along the Via Ostiense, stands the original Pyramid of Caius Cestius , a burial monument that this official who was in charge of the sacred banquets had erected as his own tomb between 18 and 12b.C. It is 37mt. high, built in imitation of the Egyptian pyramids, that were in fashion in Rome after the conquest of Egypt (30 to C.). It is built of a very firm composition of mortar and small stones faced with tablets of white marble. The original entrance was effected by means of an inclined shaft about halfway up the northern side of the Pyramid.

Bath of Diocletian and Church of S. Mary of the Angels

Terme di Diocleziano e S. Maria degli Angeli

The huge rectangular area occupied by the Baths, erected between 298 and 306 A.D., is of approximately 140,000sqm, excluding the tanks, discovered in Piazza dei Cinquecento, fed by the water of the aqueduct of the Aqua Marcia. Built in brick stone, the baths could accommodate up to 3000 people simultaneously. The huge thermal complex housed a central building with calidarium, tepidarium and natatio (rooms for hot or warm baths and swimming pools filled with cold water, partly preserved) disposed along the short axis, and gymnasiums on both sides of the long axis, with a large court all around used as garden.