“Some parts of the city are 2000 years old, and the architecture, the stone blocks, the surrounding areas and the rocky terrain added a perspective and background that we used to create our impressive Jerusalem sets. We relied heavily on the view that was there. In fact, the first time I saw her, I lost my mind, because she was simply perfect. “
This is the statement about Matera, issued to a famous American newspaper by Mel Gibson, director of the famous, controversial, monumental film “The Passion” shot almost entirely in Matera.
The places used as natural sets that were mainly four: Murgia Timone – Via Muro at the Civita – Vico Solitario in the Sasso Caveoso – Piazza di Porta Pistola.
The itinerary starts from the Belvedere of Murgia Timone, a murgic plateau that faces the city of Matera and an ancient place where man has lived since prehistoric times, where human settlements dating back to the Neolithic period are visible, rock churches and asceteri, jazzi and shelters used still today by the shepherds. From this magical site you can embrace the view of the entire old city which served as a natural backdrop for the scenes of the Golgotha (Crucifixion) and the Speech of the Mount.
Many scenes relating to the life of Jesus were also filmed at Masseria Radogna, home of the Environmental Education Center of the Parco della Murgia: the Scene of the House of Jesus, and flashbacks of his life as a child.
Moving to the historic center you will reach the Civita, the oldest part of the city, where, just below the medieval cathedral that dominates the valley, you can take Via Muro, a long staircase in which the scene of the Via Crucis and the Passion was filmed, curiously same place where Pasolini filmed the same scene in his Gospel According to Matteo in 1964. Continuing we reach the Sasso Caveoso, where, along Vico Solitario, right in front of the rock complex of Santa Lucia alle Malve, the scenes of the Market and of the Jerusalem dwellings. The guided tour proceeds along via Madonna delle Virtù, and stops at Piazza Porta Pistola, where the natural scenery was integrated, during filming, by a monumental scenography that constituted the Porta di Gerusalemme.
A little further on, in the ancient rock church of Madonna delle Virtù, which can be visited during the opening of the contemporary art exhibitions that periodically hosts it, the intense scenes of the Last Supper and the Lavender of the Feet were filmed.
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