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Molise Region of Italy

One of Italy's Least Visited Regions

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Molise is a hilly region with a border on the Adriatic Sea, offering mainly rural activities. Located south of central Italy’s Abruzzo region, it was part of Abruzzo until 1963 when it became the second-smallest region in Italy (after Valle d’Aosta). There are several small inland towns settled by Albanians and Slavs. The hills are dotted with medieval villages and castles.

Although some towns can be reached by train or bus, a car is recommended to explore the region.

Highlights:

  • Termoli is a fishing port with a long, sandy beach. The town has a castle and 13th century cathedral.
  • Isernia is one of the largest towns and was an ancient Samnite town and evidence of a Paleolithic village has also been found. The town has an archeological museum and small historic center with a fountain made from pieces of Roman remains. It is known for lacework and embroidery.
  • Agnone is known for its production of bells used in Italy’s bell towers and church steeples. You can visit the bell foundry and museum and there’s a good restaurant near it. Wander the picturesque historic quarter at the other end of town.
  • Pietrabbondante , between Isernia and Agnone, has ancient Samnite ruins including an amphitheater just outside town.
  • Larino is one of the prettiest small towns. It has a good 14th century cathedral, art works, and remains of a Samnite town that include an amphitheater and villa ruins.
  • Cero ai Volturno is an impressive 10th century castle, rebuilt in the 15th century, perched on a big rock overlooking the town.
  • Saepinum is a top example of a provincial Roman town. Surrounded by defensive walls, four gates led into the town. Visible are the forum with civic buildings and shops, a temple, baths, fountains, a theater, houses, and part of the original Roman road. There is also a small museum.

For more about where to go see this Molise map and guide.

What to Eat: Inland food is based on meat, with lamb, pork, and goat being popular. Isernia’s typical dish is baccala, prepared in a variety of different ways. Cacio e Uova is a meat dish cooked in an earthenware pot and served with egg and sharp cheese. Olive oil, wine, cheeses, and salumi are produced in the Molise. Good seafood is the mainstay on the coast.


At A Glance

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