New Bond film to start shooting in Italian city of Matera

The Local Italy
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New Bond film to start shooting in Italian city of Matera
Matera, Europe's Capital of Culture and Bond's new playground. Photo: Filippo Monteforte/AFP

Part of James Bond's latest adventure will be filmed in one of Italy's most distinctive landscapes: the ancient southern city of Matera.


For language learners: we've highlighted some useful vocabulary in this news story. You'll find the Italian translations at the bottom of the article.

Shooting for the new Bond film, which will star Daniel Craig as the secret agent for the fifth and final time, is set to begin in Matera on April 6 for a release in early 2020.

READ ALSO: James Bond's best Italian moments

The crew has already identified the locations for the action, according to Rai News: Bond will be seen passing through the historic centre of Matera, past its Romanesque cathedral and through some of its atmospheric stone streets and squares, before entering the Sassi – the millennia-old cave dwellings that are protected by Unesco as part of the world's heritage.

007 is well-travelled in Italy by now, having had memorable escapades over the years in Venice, Rome, Siena, by Lakes Como and Garda, in the mountains of Cortina D’Ampezzo and on the Sardinian coast. But Bond 25, as the latest film is known for now, will mark the first time the secret agent has headed to the far south of the mainland.

READ ALSO: Matera, Italy's city of caves, contrasts, and culture

Photo: Clare Speak/The Local Italy

Matera is already popular with Italian and international directors alike. More than 50 films and TV productions were shot against the backdrop of its unique landscape, including Pier Paolo Pasolini's The Gospel According to St Matthew, Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ and Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman.

Located in one of Italy's poorest regions, Basilicata, the city was long associated with deprivation and squalor. Its prehistoric caves were once denounced as a "national shame", with families living in them without plumbing or electricity into the 1950s. The Sassi, some of the oldest continuously inhabited settlements in the world, were forcibly cleared and their residents moved to newly built housing.

Today, the Sassi – most of which have been government property since the evictions – are a growing tourist draw. Matera has seen visitor numbers soar in the past decade, and the trend is only set to continue after it was named Europe's Capital of Culture for 2019. 

"We have gone from shame to redemption," Mayor Raffaello De Ruggieri has put it.

READ ALSO: Italy's Matera in cultural limelight after slum 'shame'

Photo: Clare Speak/The Local Italy


le riprese – shooting (film)

quinto – fifth

ultimo, finale – final

il centro storico – historic centre

pieno/ricco di atmosfera – atmospheric

la terraferma – mainland

ugualmente – alike

girato – shot (film)

lo sfondo – backdrop

le caverne, le grotte – caves

la vergogna – shame

gli sfratti – evictions

il riscatto – redemption (of reputation)

We're aiming to help our readers improve their Italian by translating relevant vocabulary from our news stories of the day. Did you find articles like these useful? Do you have any suggestions? Let us know.


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