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Molise is located in central-southern Italy, an almost unknown land that hides history, art and ancient traditions; in fact, once you visit it, you have a sense of discovery. This region extends over a mostly mountainous and hilly territory, crossed by the “tratturi”, sheep pasture tracks in Abruzzo and Puglia. Here, the Abruzzo National Park offers real magnificent landscapes, with numerous species and natural unspoilt sceneries, such as Campitello Matese and Capracotta. On the part of the coastline, on the contrary, there are sandy beaches surrounded by Mediterranean vegetation and by a crystal and clear sea, that this year has been awarded by the Blue Flag. The survival of customs and traditions, of handcraft activities and ancient jobs, that disappeared elsewhere, is a unique feature of the region, which makes the Molise a “small ancient world”. The provinces are: Campobasso (regional capital) and Isernia.
Things To See
This region is a meeting point of past and present cultures: from a urban center rich in culture and history, where there’s the imposing castle Monforte, to Samnite Museum, which exhibits the evidences of past civilizations. Also the historical center of Isernia is very beautiful: here the most interesting features are the thirteenth-century fountain and the ancient prehistoric area. Agnone, once one of the handcraft centers, was a point of reference where they created the bells for the most important churches in the world. Finally, Scapoli, the town of the ancient musical instrument “zampogna”, and the small village of Bagnoli del Trigno are other places of Molise to visit. Here there are many archaeological sites you can visit: definitely the Samnite Pietrabbondante, with its theater and the ruins of the Roman settlement, and Larino. Other towns of interest are Termoli, tourist location and port, with the majestic Castle Svevo and the Romanesque Duomo, and Venafro, with Pandone castle, the Romanesque-Gothic Cathedral and the archaeological finds from the Roman and pre-Roman age. The religion of the various periods has left its mark too: the church of San Giorgio in Petrella Tifernina and the church of Santa Maria della Strada in Matrice, the abbeys and the sanctuaries; however, there are also many castles, such as Pescolanciano one. For the walkers who want to enjoy calm and peace, there are the tracks, which are dirt roads travelled by shepherds who once brought their sheep to pasture. A must for fans of winter sports is finally Campitello Matese, one of the most famous ski resorts of central and southern Italy.
What to Do
Thanks to its characteristic places into nature, Molise offers real opportunities for a holiday dedicated to relax and sport. In the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise, or in the WWF oasis of Guardaregia-Campochiaro, among woods, streams, gorges and waterfalls, you can walk in peace; for those who love mountain biking, there are the hilly areas where you can admire different views following the bike trails, not only by bikes: in fact, along the “tratturi” there are horse riding trails. In Campitello Matese there is the most important ski resort in Molise, in fact this place, with the one of Capracotta, is famous also for tracked cross-country ski.
From Termoli to Campomarino there are a lot coast areas which are excellent to practice sports or to relax in the sun and in the water, thanks to the fabulous facilities that can accomodate you. Don’t miss the wine tasting tours from the coast to the high lands of Molise, passing through vineyards and typical villages, where you can stop to taste the wines and typical products, even the renowned white truffle of San Pietro Avellana. Finally, you cannot forget the various festivals in the towns: the International Festival of “zampogna” in Scapoli, the White Truffle Fair, or folklore events, like “La ‘Ndocciata”, that is a torchlight procession in traditional costumes which takes place every year in Agnone, the “Pezzata”, the festival of the lamb in Capracotta, and many more.
What to Taste
The cuisine of Molise is based on the products of its land and of pastoralism and it’s influenced also by neighboring lands. The characteristic dishes are the macaroni “alla chitarra”, “pallotte” with cheese and eggs, pasta and beans, polenta, lamb and roasted “turcinelli”, formed by lamb entrails and offal. Here the extra virgin olive oil, truffles from Isernia and the durum wheat pasta stand out, all accompanied by many sausages, like “salsicciotti” (made of liver), baked bacon with chili. As far as pastoralism is concerned, you can find the “caciocavallo” cheese and the “stracciata”of Agnone and, from Upper Molise, “fior di latte” of Boiano, buffalo mozzarella from Venafro, “pecorino” cheese of the Matese. Moreover, “scamorza” and “burrini” cheese are produced. To accompany desserts, such as grape mostarda or “cauciuni” (pastries filled with pasta and chickpeas), stuffed “ostie” (wafers filled with walnuts and almonds), “peccellate” (pastries filled with cooked must or jams) and “cippillati” (baked ravioli stuffed with black cherries), you can taste local wines, like Biferno and Pentro.
Made in Italy products on Macrigi are of high quality and made following the traditions and craftsmanship of the past. By “Made in Italy” we mean products produced in Italy with local raw materials or ingredients.