Religion, superstition and magic in Rome

The capital city of a pagan empire, then of Christianity: the Rome’s religious history is definitely long, fascinating and rich of stories and legends. Between gods, monsters, devils and angels you can plan an x-file-ish or Danbrownesque visit of the eternal city!

(Do not) lie to me: magic in Rome and lie detector

Are you a fan of the Lie To Me series with Tim Roth as the world’s leading deception researcher, Dr. Cal Lightman? Roman gods could detect lies before studies of facial expression or body language, and they didn’t forgive!

It is the story of the Bocca della Verità – the Mouth of the Truth.

It is a marble carved image, which probably was originally part of a Roman fountain. The subject is probably the god Oceanus, or the divine image of the Tiber – Tevere, the river of Rome.

Since the Middle Ages it was believed that if one told a lie putting the hand in the mouth of the sculpture, the hand would be bitten off.

The Bocca della Verità is now located in the porch of the Santa Maria in Cosmedin church and it is one of the many Rome’s must see: it gained even more popular after being involved in a scene of Vacanze Romane, the movie with Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck.

The Ghost of the Bridge

Castel Sant’Angelo is the background for the sad story of Tosca in the Giacomo Puccini’s eponymous opera.

But the Sant’Angelo bridge has an even sadder – and spooky – story: the ghost of Beatrice Cenci, the baroness accused of killing her powerful but abusive husband and then executed.

Magic in Rome: the lazy devil

A huge throne for the Devil not far from the Vatican? The Sedia del Diavolo – Devil’s Seat – is a creepy chair – shaped ruin in Rome’s Trieste quarter.

The monument was originally a mausoleum, but it was abandoned with the decline of Rome, becoming a shelter for homeless and prostitutes. The… unsavoury attendance and the fires used to warm up the place associated the ruins to the Devil.

Anyway, the very bad guys haven’t been around recently, so you shouldn’t bother you while you are enjoying your tour of the magic Rome!

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