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an excursion in the land of the Samnites, nature and genuineness!

The Molise Highlands, a land suspended in time in secrecy

Molise is the second smallest region after Val D’Aosta and,  quite surely, the least known of the peninsula.  A territory extremely rich in history and nature which has well upheld its traditions, the incredible flavors of a “humble cuisine” and, above all, the human dimension of life. The ancient land of the Samnites is also a region of castles and stone towns, the Romantic and Baroque period, prehistoric Roman and Longobard archaeology.  It is also the region of vast extensions of green areas, Livestock Migration Trails, wide prairies and forests of the Molise Highlands.

Discover our itineraries!

 

The Livestock Migration Trails

The ancient paths of communication, the major and minor livestock migration trails, the local paths of connection, the archaeological sites and the most remote populated centers are, on the whole, a complex but also homogeneous territorial structure set up around larger centers stretching out over the entire territory. 
The downward transition towards the plains is achieved, in part, following directions given in Abruzzo and throughout the Molise Lowlands leading  into Puglia, up to Capitanata. The major and minor livestock migration trails appear to one’s sight as green strips, also identifiable by plant species.

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The MAB Reserve of Montedimezzo

Montedimezzo was part of the Montedimezzo - Feudozzo – Pennataro Foresty complex which belonged to the Angevins as of the Twelve Hundreds.  In 1606, it was entrusted to the Carthusian monks of Naples who preserved it up until 1799 when it became part of the royal heritage of the Bourbon Household and declared, by Royal Decree 981/1825,  a Royal Hunting Reserve.  With the Unity of Italy, it was escheated by Government and entrusted to the Forestry Authority (Law 376/1908).  The Montedimezzo forest occupies the eastern portion, with vegetation arising on the northern side, on  fliscicoidi formations made up of marly and clayey sandstone to the touch, and the North-East side, a rather thin strip of whitish limestone slightly marly, which represents the most ancient  formation.

 

The Verde Waterfalls... in the municipality of Borrello

The Rio Verde springs forth in the area of Quarto, located between Abruzzo and Molise, and after a short course it flows into the Sangro river at a noticeable height difference creating three consecutive spectacular waterfalls of approx. 200 meters.These waterfalls are the highest among the Apennines, second in Italy and among the highest in Europe and the World.  They are fed by perennial water of variable quantity throughout the year.  The site, covered by  luxuriant vegetation among  awesome rock bastions and steep cliffs, dominates the Sangro river.
The Waterfalls are located in a wide canyon; the rocky cliffs which surround them are covered by thick Mediterranean vegetation and species typically mountainous, such as beech-wood and white fir.

 

Agnone – the Ancient Marinelli Papal Foundry

The Marinelli Foundry has a history which spreads over a Thousand years.
The most significant event dates back to 1924, year in which Pope Pius X granted the Marinelli family the privilege to represent the Papal Coat of Arms.
The highest honor awarded was received in 1954 when the President of the Italian Republic granted the Marinelli family the gold medal, a “highly prized award to the oldest company for their work activities and loyalty on the National level”. Work carried out by the Marinelli smelters continues unchanged in time, a production technique dating back to the Medieval period, not to mention their expertise, passion and professionalism dedicated to such work for the past 18 centuries.

 

The Garden of the Apennine Flora

Set up in 1963, an idea of Valerio Giacomini created by Paolo Pizzolongo, the Garden of the Apennine Flora of Capracotta, situated at a height of 1525 meters above sea level, is one of the highest in Italy. It is well represented by the symbol of the Lobelius Maple Leaf, a tree common to our woods and exclusive to the central-southern Apennines.
​It extends way beyond 10 hectares, up to the boundary of a forest consisting of white fir – legacy of the quaternary era  - which covers the northern slope of Monte Campo. The Garden is a natural botanical garden which nurtures and safeguards the innate flora of the central-southern Apennines. Thanks to diverse soil properties, it hosts several natural habitats, from marshes to rupicolous, from beech-wood to shrubs.

 

Sanctuary and Italic Theater  - Pietrabbondante

The theater-temple of Pietrabbondante represents the most impressive testimonial of the Samnite civilization dating back to the 5th century B.C. as confirmed by the necropolis of Troccola su Monte Saraceno.  The summit is surrounded by a fortification consisting of polygonal walls pertaining to the 4th century B.C., restored in the 3rd century B.C. after destruction in 217 B.C. by Hannibal (as reported by some historians). The monumental complex takes on, without a doubt, the title of first covered temple replacing the Samnites’ worship areas in woods or open spaces  with surrounding walls.

 

Bagpipe Museum in Scapoli

Scapoli is also most famous on the international level for being the home of the bagpipe.  It is one of the few towns in Italy where, along with skilled and gifted performers, the ancient tradition of bagpipe production still survives thanks to a restricted number of craftsmen who pass on the workmanship technique keeping alive the musical tradition of this instrument and guaranteeing transition to future generations. The origin of this instrument is most ancient and throughout the centuries it has accompanied shepherds during the seasonal herd migration and its sound is still common and familiar to us as it announces the advent of Christmas.