Sassi is the ancient town of Matera (in southern Italy). The Sassi originate from a prehistoric (troglodyte) settlement, and are suspected to be some of the first human settlements in Italy.
According to the English Fodor's guide:
“Matera is the only place in the world where people can boast to be still living in the same houses of their ancestors of 9,000 years ago.”
Because of the ancient and primitive scenery in and around the Sassi, it has been used by filmmakers as the setting for ancient Jerusalem. The following famous biblical period motion pictures were filmed in Matera:
- Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew (1964).
- Bruce Beresford’s King David (1985).
- Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ (2004).
- Catherine Hardwicke’s The Nativity Story (2006).
Other famous movies filmed in the city include:
- Alberto Lattuada's La Lupa (1953)
- Giuseppe Tornatore's The Star Maker (1995)
- The Omen (2006)
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