Upper Molise, Isernia and waterfalls

Where: Italy - Molise

Duration: 6 days / 5 nights

Treatment: Half board

Participants: at least 2

Departures: from the 01/06/2022 to 26/03/2023


From the Paleolithic to the Bourbon Era. Get involved in the living history of Sannio-Pentro in the province of Isernia and Upper Molise: from the first settlement of Homo Herectus to the Unification of Italy, passing through Pope Celestine V °. Discover one of the most beautiful villages in Italy, waterfalls, abbeys, biosphere reserves, castles, Tibetan bridges and Lombard castles, all seasoned with the excellent gastronomy of the region.
VALIDITY: FROM 01/06/2021 TO 31/03/2022

1st day: Arrival in Isernia
Arrival in Isernia by own means, recommended in the morning. Accommodation in Albergo Diffuso and meeting with your guide for a guided tour of the city, the ancient Aesernia, one of the youngest provinces of Italy awarded with Gold Medal for Military Valor for having been partially destroyed during the Second World War, where only the lower part of the medieval city was saved. The history of this city is very ancient, it dates back to the Paleolithic, and you will have the chance to see the first settlement of that period by visiting the Museum. After the Museum we head towards the historic center where, a couple of hours of cooking class of typical Molise dishes and the lunch with tasting of local wines, await you. In the afternoon the visit continues with the Cathedral and its Romanesque excavations; you walk until reaching the Fontana Fraterna and the nearby house where it is said that S. Pietro Celestino was born and lived and where now there is the Museum of bobbin lace. Traces of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries can be found in the bell tower of the church of Santa Chiara, in typical Neapolitan taste, for the brick battlements arranged in a herringbone pattern, in the neoclassical “Pronao” of the Cathedral and in the courtyard of the town hall.
Free dinner and overnight stay in Albergo Diffuso in the historic center of Isernia.

2nd day: Isernia / Scapoli / Castel San Vincenzo / Fornelli / Isernia (km 47)
After breakfast, departure with your car towards Scapoli, at the foot of the Mainarde Molisane and above the Volturno Valley with an area rich in natural beauty, which is part of the Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise National Park. Meeting with your personal guide and visit of the small medieval village, one of the most beautiful in Italy, developed around the Palazzo Marchesale dei Battiloro with its walls overlooking the rock, which reveal the original function of the building's defensive fortress. The fame of Scapoli in the world is linked to the bagpipe, in fact, is in this village that the art of making this musical instrument has been handed down for centuries, through the work of local artisans.
Still today there are some workshops for the construction of bagpipes and witnessing their creation is a unique spectacle, admired all over the world. They represent one of the strongest elements of the identity of the populations of this territory and a museum has been dedicated to them, housed in Palazzo Mancini, in the heart of the ancient village, where we will enter for the visit.
We continue the journey towards the nearby Castel San Vincenzo, passing through Rocchetta al Volturno, with its high Rocchetta, almost completely uninhabited: a medieval village, dominated by the ruins of the Battiloro castle and divided into alleys and small stone houses.
Arrival in Castel San Vincenzo, a tiny medieval center with less than 600 inhabitants, also positioned at the foot of the Mainarde and the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise. This is where the ancient Benedictine monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno once stood, one of the most important of the Middle Ages. Visiting the archaeological area, you will be able to admire in particular the frescoes of the Cripta di Epifanio, one of the most important examples of early medieval European painting. Entrance and visit to the Abbey and the Crypt. After the visit, free time for lunch at the foot of the homonymous lake of San Vincenzo. Departure towards Isernia and, before arriving, guided visit of the Borgo Arancione di Fornelli, born as a Lombard Castrum founded in the second half of the 10th century; a small medieval village to be discovered, a treasure chest enclosed in its fortified walls, arrived intact to the present day, which dates back to the Angevin period, with a walkway, still walkable on, from which you can admire the landscape at 360 °. During August you can’t miss its "Days at the Borgo", a real medieval re-enactment that invades the alleys and squares of the village. For two days, usually on 13th and 14th August, the historic center of Fornelli undergoes a change: between the roll of the drums and the blare of the trumpets, the figures in period costumes offer moments of intense suggestion; the ancient craft shops and merchants show their manufactures. Between street artists, inns, palmists, knights of the Palio and guards, it really seems to be suspended between the past and the present. Return to Isernia, free dinner. Overnight in Albergo Diffuso.

3rd day: Isernia / Cascate di Carpinone / Montedimezzo MAB Reserve / Capracotta / Bagnoli del Trigno (km. 98)
After breakfast, departure with your car for Carpinone. Arrival in the town center and meeting with the guide. Excursion to discover the ancient medieval village, its alleys interrupted by small squares and surrounded by two ancient city walls, protect the imposing castle that stands on a rock. Here, from the historic center, begins the route that with few steps reaches the canyon of the Carpino River. Let yourself be inebriated by the power of the Carpinone waterfalls. History that is intertwined with nature in an ecosystem that has WATER as its fixed point. The journey continues along the Carpino River reaching the first jump of the latter, the Cascata Schioppo. Excursion time about 2 hours. Return to your car and continue this adventurous day at the MAB Reserve of Montedimezzo, a protected natural area in the municipality of Vastogirardi, formerly the Bourbon Hunting Reserve that, with the unification of Italy, was confiscated by the State which entrusted it into the Forestry Administration. It develops between the altitudes of 900 and 1300 meters and occupies an area of about 276 hectares. Since 1977 it has been part of the Human and Biosphere Program, an intergovernmental scientific program launched by UNESCO to promote the protection of Biodiversity and good practices of sustainable development. There are several walking routes that you can do in this splendid natural oasis, or simply visiting the Apennine animal shelter and the small museum of local flora and fauna. From Montedimezzo continue towards Capracotta, where a succulent lunch based on local dishes will await you, accompanied by an excellent Tintilia, a red wine recovered in recent decades from an indigenous grape variety present in Molise since the Bourbons era.
After lunch, meeting with the local guide and visit of Capracotta, belonging to the Authentic Villages of Italy, whose name apparently derives from the Latin "castra cocta", military camp, an expression probably linked to a Roman detachment that had its headquarters in the Sangro valley. From the Romans to the Lombards up to the Unification of Italy, this small high mountain village has a lot of history to tell you, even through its Giardino della Flora Appenninica, located at 1525 meters above sea level, where you will have the visit and the guide will show you the precious floristic heritage preserved in the natural habitats and in the thematic flower beds. Your day will end in a beautiful farmhouse at the foot of the Trigno river. Dinner and overnight.

4th day: Bagnoli del Trigno / Pietrabbondante / Agnone / Le Morge dei Briganti / Bagnoli del Trigno (km 99)
Breakfast and departure with your car for Pietrabbondante, one of the villages belonging to the Cenozoic Morge Park. Meeting with your guide for the visit to the Samnite theater-temple where, on the slope of Monte Saraceno, the Samnites built a majestic cult complex from a theater, a temple and two arcaded buildings on either side of the latter. The works began at the end of the 2nd century BC and ended in 95 BC. The building, thus articulated, was intended for both worship and institutional activities because, if religious rites were held in the great temple the senate met in the theatre to adopt important resolutions in the interest of the State. The morning continues on to Agnone, the city of bells and the capital of Upper Molise. Guided visit of the historic center and the Marinelli Museum, the ancient craft shop of the Pontifical Foundry of Bells. You will be fascinated by observing the skill of the craftsmen and the manufacturing of the bells, famous all over the world. Free lunch.
In the afternoon, continue towards Salcito, in the Pietravalle area, where the Morgia di Pietravalle rises majestically, close to the Tratturo Celano - Foggia, a rocky outcrop of limestone and sandstone dating back millions of years ago when the sea covered the Apennines. This rock has really bizarre profiles, just think that its "excavations" were shelters since the dawn of Molise history.
Continue with your personal guide to Pietracupa, whose name might suggest dark stone houses, but the toponym would have indicated a rock made up of dark and gloomy concavities so that around 667 many Latin fugitives found shelter in the caves of the Morgia, frightened from the invasion of a new people in Molise: the Bulgarians. Around the year 1000, a Lombard castle was built on the Morgia. The main attraction is the ancient rock church dating back to 1200. Inside you can admire a beautiful wooden crucifix from the 1500 and the millstone of an ancient mill that serves as an altar. Return to the farmhouse for dinner and overnight stay.

5th day: Bagnoli del Trigno / Frosolone / Roccamandolfi / Campitello Matese (km 59)
Breakfast. Departure with your car to Frosolone, another Orange Flag city of this unexplored region. Here you will visit with your guide the precious village, of Osco-Samnite origins, from the medieval old town with its three arched gates whose narrow streets lead to the Baronial Palace, once a Longobard castle, its baroque churches, and the artisans of knives. After the visit of the city, you will be immerse yourself, with your sense of smell and taste in a typical local dairy to admire the mastery of the Mastro Casaro in handling the spun dough with which cow's milk products are processed such as: Caciocavallo, Scamorza, Manteca, Treccia , Bocconcino, Mozzarella, the succulent “Stracciata” and aged cheeses. Tasting of these delicacies.
Your journey continues with your guide to Roccamandolfi, another Orange Village. The small medieval village is a dense intertwining of narrow streets and small houses, which surround the church of San Giacomo. This town also retains one of the most beautiful and ancient road crosses in Molise, which features Christ on the cross on one side and Christ seated on the throne on the other, in the act of blessing. Overcoming the upper part of the town, following a path in the green, you reach the castle. Only the walls and towers of the fortification, recently partially restored and which already existed at the end of the 11th century, remain. Dinner and overnight stay in a 4* Hotel in Campitello Matese.

6th day: Goodbye Molise
Breakfast and check-out of your room. Departure for your destination of origin or extension of your stay in Molise with our other proposals. Before leaving Molise, both in the Adriatic direction and in the A1 direction, we planned a sort of “goodbye stop” at one of our partner wineries, for a small visit with tasting.
** guided tours can be postponed and reshaped according to your arrival and departure needs from Molise

2 nights in a double room in Dimora Storica in Isernia on bed and breakfast basis; 3 nights in the Agnone or Bagnoli del Trigno area in a farmhouse on half board basis (drinks not included); local guides for 6 days during visits to the places indicated in the itinerary; entrance to the Paleolithic Museum of Isernia and the Pre-Romanesque Theater of Isernia; entrance to the Abbey of Castel San Vincenzo; entrance to the Scapoli Bagpipe Museum; entrance to the Garden of the Apennine Flora of Capracotta; entrance to the Samnite Temple of Pietrabbondante; guided excursion to the Carpinone waterfalls; guided excursion to Roccamandolfi and the Tibetan Bridge; 1 Lunch in a restaurant in Capracotta (drinks not included); 1 Cooking Class in Isernia with lunch; visit to the dairy in Frosolone with tasting; visit to the winery and tasting at the end of the trip; medical/baggage insurance; Easyweeks Tour Operator telephone assistance h24/7

Means of transport to reach Molise; tips to guides and drivers; meals where not indicated; what is not expressly indicated in the rates include

WARNING! It is not possible to make reservations for this tour
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