The Molise High Lands

... soul and heartbeat at pace

Welcome to Higher Molise, where it’s easy to be astonished!

You will feel home and realize that the beauty and tradition of hospitality have always lived this land. Not too many are aware of this yet. Therefore, don’t be astonished so easily!

I SAPORI DELLE TERRE MOLISANE

LA TRADIZIONE ARTIGIANALE

IL TRATTURO IN MOLISE

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Events and Bustles

  • Panna cotta

    An easy-to-go dessert that always delights. It can be topped with caramel, hot chocolate or fru...

  • Chicory Soup

    Soup made of chicory, oil, vegetables, broth, pepper, toasted bread and pecorino. A variation o...

  • Orange Salad

    This appetizer is very simple to prepare and low in calories. It will give a touch of color to ...

The Territory

It happens every time your sight drops onto the vast scenery of enchanting forests and prairies, where the falcon is the only creature you see in the sky, and the silence embraces browsing cattle. Your soul will find its natural pace here. Perched on the same cliffs from where stone was carved for building, lovely towns welcome the visitors unaware of such a beauty to see, a never ending history and a cuisine still deeply rooted in the rural traditions. It’s easy to be astonished in Higher Molise even when you run into magnificent country houses, the warmth of a fire place and the smile of your host. You will feel home and realize that the beauty and tradition of hospitality have always lived this land.

It’s not very easy to recognize the ancient trails of Tratturo. Those described by the poet D’Annunzio stroll down through the valleys of Molise and Abruzzo, well marked by green bushes on both sides, floored by green grass, but a different green than that of the surrounding fields. If you see it once, you spot it forever. If you hope to recognize a Tratturo trail with these poor indications you will hardly succeed, but if you look for a huge green river… then you’re on the right way and it’ll be a pleasant discovery. The Tratturo trails, traced for centuries by shepherds and their flocks are more than 100 meters wide, winding from Puglia to Molise and finally Abruzzo. History itself has walked along these trails, as they initially represented the road system used by the Samnites, the Roman legions and even Hannibal around 200 BC. Amongst the most characteristic we list the Celano and Lucera trails that cross the forests of Collemeluccio and Montedimezzo (Men and the Biosphere Unesco reservation), they bring you to the historic foundries of Agnone or the Samnites remnants at Pietrabondante. You can end your trip dipping a spoon in a mouth-watering dish as the shepherds’ use to do!
The group of trails has been recently included in a natural reservation enclosed by the Gargano National Park (Puglia) to the South and Abruzzo National Park to the North.

The craftsmen production stems from the work of dedicated people who pay much attention to the evolution of techniques without leaving the importance of tradition behind. The workshop that still survive are mostly concentrated in the rural towns. These were isolated from trade mainstreams in the past and had to be self sufficient by producing devices for laborers, kitchen utensils, tools and objects for the everyday life. This is where the local craftsmanship originated and that now survives in the sector of wrought iron and copper, the production of bells and “zampogna” (the Italian counterpart of the Scottish bagpipes). The tradition of hammering copper and iron is very diffuse in Agnone, where craftsmen contributed to keep alive the typical local design used for furnishing public and private buildings, for personal adornment and tooling of various use. This made Agnone the well-known place that still is even nowadays. Copper is still worked today to produce items that respect the style and design of many centuries ago and that are a must for amateurs of farmhouse country-style. In the ancient Marinellis’ foundry the most prestigious bells are produced for many, many churches located worldwide. The bells are totally handmade: the expert hand carves the models for a bell, controls the melted copper while flows underground to fill in all the gaps and voids that will eventually shape the solid bell. Looking at the process as it takes place is an experience beyond description. The Marinellis’ opened a museum annexed to the foundry where the visitor can find information on many tools of hard work and refined art, which have shaped many local civilizations through time and space.

Besides the fascinating art of bell making, the love for our land, the kindhearted and laborious people, whoever decides to visit Higher Molise will be lost in the delicious local cuisine. All the local restaurant owners will proudly offer their version of “sagne a taccune”, “sagne e fagioli”, maccheroni alla chitarra and the mouth-watering “zuppa alla sante’”. The second dishes are also particularly varied. Local meat and cheese goods produced at high elevation pastures are particularly well-known and top-ranked nationwide. Mozzarella and caciocavallo cheeses, lamb shank with tomato sauce, grilled lamb ribs, sausages, “ciff e ciaff” kid are among the many options that guests can select form local menus. A particular mention goes to truffle. Forests around Agnone are rich with truffles of the Black and Scorzone variety, White truffle is less common, but can still be found. Truffle is the king of the local cuisine, it can be virtually found in any local recipes. The close-by towns of Carovilli and San Pietro Avellana are members of the National Association of the Cities of Truffle. The truffle fair in San Pietro Avellana attracts tourists and experts every year in August.
You cannot forget sweets and bakery products at the end of your meals. You can choose among “confetti ricci” (almond and sugar candies), chocolate filling or covering any kind of pastry you can think of, waffles. The list is breathtaking.
A haven made true for the greediest of any age!

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