Piazza della Bocca della Verita stands on what was once ancient Rome’s cattle market (Forum Boarium). The Forum later became an important commercial centre and had its own port on the Tiber.

Opposite Chiesa Santa Maria in Cosmedin are two tiny temples dating from the 2nd-century BC, both of which have been carefully restored: the round Tempio di Ercole Vincitore and the Tempio di Portunus.

Both have survived thanks to being consecrated as churches in the Middle Ages.

The latter was dedicated to the god of rivers and ports, Portunus, in honour of the nearby Tiber port.

Tempio di Ercole Vincitore, 2nd-century Roman temple

Chiesa Santa Maria in Cosmedin