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Molise is without a doubt Italy's least known region. It is also Italy's youngest region as it only became independent in 1964. Until then it was a part of the neighbouring region of Abruzzo.

It is also one of Italy's least developed and poorest areas, where customs and traditions are still as they were hundreds of years ago. In the town Ururi, which was founded by Albanian refugees in the 14th century, a chariot race, reminiscent of Ben Hur in its brutality, is held every year through the town's streets. And standing next to the black clad grandmother who looks as if she has not heard of invention of the telephone you see young girls in colourful Benetton clothes carrying mobile phones. Here you will see underdeveloped villages seemingly forgotten by the development going on around them and maladjusted overdeveloped large cities where furious and ugly progress is clearly apparent. You don't go to Molise to visit the large cities but to enjoy its magnificent nature, its unspoilt beaches and its archaeological excavations.

Tuscany Sardinia Sicily Abruzzo Aosta Apulia Basilicata Calabria Campania Emilia-Romagna Friuli Lazio Liguria Lombardy Marche Molise Piedmont South Tyrol Umbria The Veneto Map of Italy

Visit for example the little fishing and beach town Termoli close to Puglia. Its lovely sandy beach is a popular place especially for the locals of Molise. The castle of Termoli from the middle of the 13th century is impressive as is the cathedral with its Roman architecture from an even earlier date. Over 40% of Molise is covered by mountains and you get a good idea of their wild beauty if you take a trip to the Matese area, which is on the border with Campania. Eagles, wild boar, bears and wolves live in the deep woods but this does not deter the locals from visiting the area in large numbers, especially in the autumn when the mountains are covered with good edible mushrooms. If antiquity is more your cup of tea, then an excursion to Saepinium would be in order. Here you can visit unusually well preserved Roman ruins. They are not as extensive as Pompei but it is possible to enjoy your visit without the hordes that plague Pompei in the summer.

Molise is unusual in both the positive and negative sense of the word and is a region which must be experienced – both positively and negatively – before it becomes like the rest of Italy.

Towns

You don't go to Molise to visit the large cities but to enjoy its magnificent nature, its unspoilt beaches and its archaeological excavations. But when you are here, don't miss out on the village Agnone, which is known for its Pala Bell Foundry, which is one of the most antique artisan workshops founded in 1000.

Termoli is a little fishing and beach town known for its lovely sandy beaches. The town castle from the 13th century is impressive as is the town's cathedral.

Isernia is known for its typical bobbin laces manufactures and the close by village Frosolone where scissors and knvs have been forged since animes.

In Saepinium you can see the well-preserved Roman ruins. They are not as extensive as in Pompei but you can enjoy your visit without the hordes of tourists who visit Pompei in the summer.

History

The history of Molise is to a large degree connected with the Duchy of Benevento. The church also had a large influence over the region especially in the Middle Ages.

Sun and sea

There are wonderful sandy beaches in Molise, which are a popular hangout for the locals.

The little fishing and beach town Termoli close to Puglia has lovely sandy beach and is a popular place especially for the locals of Molise. The castle of Termoli from the middle of the 13th century is impressive as is the cathedral with its Roman architecture from an even earlier date.

Nature

Over 40% of Molise is covered by mountains and you get a good idea of their wild beauty if you take a trip to the Matese area which is on the border with Campania.

Eagles, wild boar, bears and wolves live in the deep forests but this does not deter the locals from visiting the area in large numbers especially in the autumn when the mountains are covered with good edible mushrooms.

Food and wine

The cuisine of Molise is often characterised as being slightly rustic but nonetheless it also has a reputation for being rather good.

Fish and seafood: Anchovies, squid, crabs, mussels and sea snails are often seen on the menu here

Meat, game and poultry: Lamb and goat kid are popular types of meat in Molise. Pork is often used to make sausages etc.

Sausages and ham: Soppressata molisana is a very widespread type of sausage made of pork.

Cheese: Caciocavallo Silanom made of cows' milkm is probably the most usual type of cheese in Molise.

Sweets: Molise has good bakers where you can get a wide range of cakes and biscuits.

Wine and Vineyards: Very good wine is not produced in Molise. The most widespread grapes are Montepulciano d'Abruzzo and Aglianico, which are in fact more typical for Campania and Basilicata. The best vineyard of the region is, without a doubt, Masseria di Majo Norante.

 
 

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