Hidden Molise

A green region, rich in forests and biodiversity. Villages clinging to rocks, ancient castles witness of a distant past and the oldest bell foundry in the world. A territory, unknown to the masses, which holds an ever-increasing number of “Orange Flags”, a reward to small Italian villages of excellence, full of charm, history and unique flavors.
This is Molise, the small Italian region with less than three hundred thousand inhabitants where distancing is natural!
Starting from Campobasso, whose origin dates back to 878, you can reach the highest part of the city where the Monforte castle stands out. A strip of asphalt leads you up to the almost 800 meters of the hill itself where you can admire a breathtaking view and the medieval manor, residence of the most famous knight of arms: Count Cola, the same one who built an underground network of tunnels, to defend the castle, which can be visited today, accompanied by professional guides.
Moving to the north-west of the regional capital, we find Isernia, the provincial capital, important city whose roots lie in the valiant people of the Sanniti-Pentri, which has permeated the DNA of its inhabitants and who have left lots of testimonies of their passage and their life in this territory. Isernia, the ancient Aesernia where, around 1980, there was a historical discovery of enormous importance: an ante-litteram village, where the oldest community of Europeans lived in an organized way, working the stone, using fire, painting with ocher and consolidating the soil, it was the Homo Erectus, dating back to just under a million years ago. As a testimony of this discovery, the Paleontological Museum was born in Pineta, which we usually combine with a visit to the Pagan Temple dedicated to Jupiter, Juno and Minerva, dating back to the 3rd century BC, on which stands the current Cathedral and the ancient Bell Tower. Continuing towards the historic center, we find the famous Fontana Fraterna, one of the oldest fountains in Italy, dating back to 1200 and built in honor of Pope Celestine V.
Then we have the magnificence of Upper Molise with places like Pietrabbondante and its temple-theater, overlooking the valley of the River Trigno; Vastogirardi and its Sanctuary and Samnite Temple, one of the few in the high mountains; Agnone and its bells; Bagnoli del Trigno and its fairytale village; Pescolanciano with a stately Lombard Castle; Capracotta with cross-country ski runs and breathtaking mountain views; Carpinone and its Caldora Castle, commissioned by Frederick II of Swabia, and the beautiful waterfalls perfect for trekking lovers. Carpinone is also the final station of one of the most beautiful train itineraries in Italy: The Trans-Siberian of Italy, the route that, from Sulmona to Carpinone, revives the thrill of a timeless journey sourrounded by nature and with unique views.
In the central area of Molise we find Bojano (the ancient Bovianum) at the foot of the Matese and an important capital of the Pentri territory; Roccamandolfi with the Tibetan Bridge and the Federiciano Castle. From Bojano continue on to Sepino-Altilia, nicknamed the Pompei of Sannio. The entrance to the archaeological area is characterized by its four doors that allow you to observe the remains of an ancient theater, a spa complex, a Basilica, a Macellum (market) and a Forum.
The Decumanus of the ancient city coincides with one of the main Tratturi (sheep tracks), ancient grassy streets for transhumant sheep farming between Abruzzo and Puglia. Seven are the trails of the Tratturi that cross Molise, with three arms connecting some of them, and it is thanks to these Tratturi that Molise has made transhumance a pure economy, producing caciocavalli, mozzarella and all the derivatives of milk processing, today known all over the world.
On the border with the Altilia area there is the WWF Guardiaregia-Campochiaro Oasis which offers spectacular karst phenomena, such as the Canyon of the Quirino stream, the San Nicola waterfall, the caves of Pozzo della Neve and Cul di Bove which are between the deepest abysses of Europe.
The brushstrokes of green in Molise are not yet finished: from the Morge Park to the Abruzzo- Lazio- Molise National Park, passing through the Mab Unesco reserve in Montedimezzo.
They call them "Morge", or "big stones"; there are many, of different shapes and sizes, dating back to the Cenozoic period and there are evident traces of fossils and shells. Since ancient times they have been exploited as a support for residential settlements and the work of man has carved stairs, basins, caves and ovens, creating ancient medieval settlements. The most important Morgia is that of Pietracupa around which stands the current village of only 200 souls, less than 4 km from the other Morgia, that of Pietravalle, also known as “the brigands”. And what about stopping in a typical Molise farmhouse or in a Masseria farm with km0 products, perhaps even listening to the sound of bagpipes?
The itinerary ends in Termoli, with the massive Swabian Castle and the characteristic seaside village.
Even Guido Piovene, in his "Grand Tour of Italy" described that Molise appeared to him romantic and bewitched until the point of reminding him of some areas of Northern Europe
So, have we convinced you to live the Molise experience with us? And discover the essence of a region that exists and is a suitable place for "Slow Tourism"?

 

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