"Several parts of the city are over 2000 years old, and the architecture, blocks of stone, the surrounding rocky terrein added a perspective and background that we used to create our striking sets of Jerusalem. The first time I saw the Sassi I almost lost my mind. It was simply perfect!" - Mel Gibson.
The Passion Tour follows the locations of this Epic Movie, touching the 4 major areas where the amazing background of the Sassi was used as a natural set.
The itinerary begins from the look out point of the Murgia Timone, highland plateau facing the antique part of Matera where the presence of man is dated back to neolithic times. The magnificent panorama of the entire city was used as set during the Crusification scene in Golgotha and the scene where Jesus spoke from the mountain.
At the nearby Masseria Radogna, many scenes regarding the life of Jesus were shot, that of His home and the flashbacks on His life and childhood like the one where He fell as a child.
The tour continues through the antique neighbourhood of the Sassi with age old palazzi built in white tufa stone among burrows and caves in the rock face making the scenery almost surreal, this area was logically a natural set for many scenes of the film.
In the heart of the most ancient part of the city known as the Civita, right below the Medieval Romanic-Apulian Cathedral dominating the valley of the Sasso Caveoso the itinerary follows Via Muro, along the stairway on which the scene of the Via Crucis and the Passion were shot. Curiously, the same stairway was used as a set for Pasolini’s film Vangelo Secondo Matteo (1964).
Next, on to Vico Solitario, in front of the entrance to the cave church complex of Santa Lucia alle Malve where many scenes of the Market and dwellings in Jerusalem were shot.
The walk continues along via Madonna delle Virtù until arriving at Piazza di Porta Pistola, where the naturally breathtaking scenery was enhanced by the temporary construction of the monumental backdrop of the gates to Jerusalem and a little further along in the stunning church complex of the Madonna delle Virtù, open to visitors during summer months, where scenes from the Last Supper were shot.
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