Aventine Hill, the keyhole, and the wrong Mouth of Truth

The sun made another rare appearance today in Rome, so Alexis and I decided to find a few of the places on our must-do list. First stop, Aventine Hill to find the viewpoint and the infamous keyhole. Mapless and smartphoneless, Alexis and I relied on hand gestures to meet some locals and finally find our way to the top of the hill where we found this spectacular view. Image


Passing by, we saw this statue on the wall which we mistook for the Mouth of Truth. So, we took a few pictures until we realized it wasn’t the real deal. 



We eventually did find the real one, but the line was too long, so we’ll eventually have to go back and stick our hands in the Mouth of Truth because it’s the touristy thing to do. Legend has it that the mouth will bite off the hands of liars. In the 1953 film Roman Holiday, starring Audrey Hepburn, the Mouth of Truth appears in a scene in which Joe puts his hand in the mouth and when he pulls it out, it appears to be missing, causing Anya to scream. But, he then pops his hand out of his sleeve and laughs. Since that scene, the Mouth of Truth has become a popular tourist landmark.

After finally finding a local who could lead us to the keyhole, we peered through to see the dome of St. Peter’s at the Vatican perfectly framed by lush green bushes. Whether the keyhole was placed here on purpose or by coincidence is still debated, but it is nonetheless a rare and beautiful view of the Vatican.





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