Amid the Apennine ridge and the Adriatic Sea lies a land of immense natural beauty, history, art and age-old traditions that will take you on a journey off the beaten path to experience another kind of Italy – one untainted by the hands of time.
Tucked between Abruzzo and Puglia along the Adriatic seashore in south-central Italy is Molise, the place where Italy transitions from north to south. This majestic mountain region with its wealth of colours and scents, unspoiled countryside, impressive ruins, green forest sand deep blue sea, provides a glimpse of an authentic Italy.
Of Italy’s 20 regions, Molise probably ranks 20th in terms of name recognition. In fact, until 1970, it was part of Abruzzo, the adjacent region it closely resembles. Both are sparsely populated mountainous regions, and both have been outside the mainstream of Italian affairs since the Middle Ages.
While largely undiscovered, Molise has everything to delight one’s taste buds and provide a coveted peace of mind. From rolling hills to seascape, Molise’s culinary delights are a bountiful fusion of local, northern and southern cooking traditions. Locally-grown ingredients such as sheep, sheep’s milk and lamb are abundant in regional dishes. With its impressive range of pristine pastoral landscapes and local delicacies, including high mountain pasture cheeses (e.g. mozzarella di Bojano, caccio cavallo di Agnone) traditional cavatelli pasta, scores of cured-meats and salumi (e.g. lamb torcinelli and pork pampanella), prime wine and olive oil, and a bounty of orchard fruits and seasonal vegetables, that would make most parts of our global village green with envy. The second largest producer of truffles in Italy, Molise is known for its white truffles and scorzone truffles. The traditional cavatelli pasta is renowned, as is the extra-virgin olive oil. Seafood recipes include anchovies, swordfish, mussels and clams. This pairing of ocean and mountain is truly exceptional!