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Nestled between the Apennine ridge and Adriatic Sea, in the south central part of Italy, lies the largely- undiscovered region of Molise. Molise is the newest region in Italy, as it was once part of Abruzzo.  The region is split into two provinces, named after their respective capitals Isernia and Campobasso. Campobasso also serves as the regional capital. The Molise territory is characterized by its high plains, gentle valleys, and isolated peaks.

Molise has a continental climate with cold winters and warm summers. The snowy precipitations abound in the mountainous zones during the winter months, with the dry coasts boasting warm sandy beaches surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation.

Visiting Molise, you’ll get a sense of uncovering a hidden treasure. Today Molise’s heavily forested slopes are dotted with castles, many in excellent condition, overlooking medieval villages, magnificent ancient ruins, and some of the most uncontaminated nature in all Europe, so pristine, in fact, that UNESCO has chosen Molise for two of its four Italian biosphere locations.





Molise is a natural oasis where one can relax and enjoy the local life, spending some days in the many farmhouses or trekking and hiking in the mountains. There also many natural sites to visit, such as WWF oasis, the Rosello Falls, the Rio Verde sources, the Montedimezzo’s woods and the UNESCO Biosphere reserve with wild boars, weasels, squirrels and owls. Thanks to the short coastline on the Adriatic Sea it is possible to practice all kind of water sports. And if nature wasn’t enough, Sepino, an ancient site, is famous also for its thermal waters, and a perfect place to visit the spa.


Larino: Take a step back into a simpler time. Surrounded by more modern lands, Larino is an oasis of old times that has been protected by its natural surroundings. The old town includes important monuments, including the fountain Fontana Nuova, now in disrepair, and the Gothic-style Duomo, considered by some to be the most impressive example of Gothic architecture in Italy.

Termoli: Like the rest of Molise, nature has expertly preserved parts of history.
Despite its touristy trattorias and brassy bars, Molise’s top beach resort is all about low-key charm. At the eastern end of the seafront, the sweet borgo antico (old town) juts out to sea atop a natural pier. The town’s most famous landmark, Frederick II’s 13th century Castello Svevo guards entry to the tiny borgo – a tangle of narrow streets, pastel colored houses, and souvenir shops. From the castle, follow the road to the 12th century Piazza Duomo, a masterpiece of Puglian-Romanesque architecture.

Isernia: Known as a city that has been destroyed and rebuilt twelve times throughout its thousands of years of history. One outstanding monument is the 14th-century Fontana Fraterna (Fraterna Fountain). Isernia La Pineta is an archaeological excavation site containing thousands of bones and stone tools covering 5 acres.

Campobasso: Once a military stronghold of the Samnite period, Campobasso has held on to its medieval roots. As the regional capital of Molise, Campobasso has a lovely historic center with typical medieval features dating back to the period of the powerful Monforte family. Visit the Monforte Castle and the Romanesque churches of San Bartolomeo and San Giorgino.

Castel San Vincenzo: Set high up on the plains, surrounded by rockbound hills, snowcapped mountains and luxuriant evergreen forests, you will find a jewel-like lake, a beautifully restored Benedictine abbey, and 9th-century hill town which scholars have likened to the monastery described by Umberto Eco in The Name of the Rose.


Macche with honey: It’s a polenta made from the characteristic corn grown in the mountainous areas. It is dense and cooked at length, then cut into slices. It can be enjoyed arranged in layers like lasagna and covered with a pork meat sauce, or by slices of pancetta or sausage, and then baked in the oven. Alternatively it can be enjoyed as a sweeter treat with vino cotto (cooked wine) or honey.

Abbuoti or torcinelli involtini: Baked envelopes of lamb intestines filled with chopped liver, sweetbreads, and hardboiled egg.

Calcioni di ricotta rustici: Rounds of pasta dough filled with ricotta, provolone, and prosciutto (Italian ham) fried in olive oil.

Panettoncino di Mais: It’s a spongy corn-flour cake with chocolate.

Peccellate: Pastry filled with grape syrup, jams, honey, and nuts.

Pizza con le Foglie: Similar to pizza, this corn flour flatbread is baked with wild greens; pizza e minestra is a soup of pork broth and field greens with pizza crumbled into it.

Polenta Maritata: Polenta maritata is a specialty of Isernia. Slices of cornmeal fried in oil with garlic, layered with a filling of red beans and peperoncini and baked in the oven, make this a hearty dish bursting with flavor.


Sagra dei Misteri di Corpus Domini:  During Holy Week in the chief town of the Molise region, Campobasso, we can see the procession of the Mysteries, special machines created in the 18th century to celebrate the feast of Corpus Christi, by art student Paolo Saverio Di Zinno. The streets of the town are busy with thousands of people from all over Italy. The Mysteries (thirteen of them) are living pictures enacted by men, women and children, in an allegorical representation of the major feasts of the Church and of episodes from the Bible.

Sagra della pezzata: Capracotta holds one of the most traditional gastronomic festivals in the region on the first or second Sunday of August. Though its origins are lost in time, the event is a tradition dating back atleast 5,000 years.  Local dancers in traditional costume entertain the crowd while the shepherds prepare the pezzata, a dish of lamb and veal cooked on open fires.

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