Province of Campobasso, Molise
In the east of the province, mainly centred around Acquaviva Collecroce, San Felice and Montemitro, there is a large area inhabited by a population of Croatian descent who arrived in Italy during the 15th century. They still speak an ancient Croatian dialect as well as Italian.
This is the capital city of the province of Campobasso and is home to the the University of Molise.
Campobasso panorama - Red devil 666
Campobasso is also famous for growing pears and for making a type of cheese called scamorza.
It is a quiet, relaxed and peaceful city which more resembles a large village than a provincial capital. The beautiful cobbled streets and lack of traffic make it a pleasant place to wander around and there are plenty of things to see on the way.
Built in 1450 by the local ruler Nicola II Monforte this is one of the mains attractions of Campobasso. The castle has Guelph merlons and stands on a commanding point, where traces of ancient settlements (including Samnite walls) have been found. The current construction is the result of later rebuilding after the earthquakes of 1456 and 1805. Chiesa della Madonna del Monte - near to the castle this was built in the 11th century and was rebuilt in 1525. Inside there is a precious wooden statue of the Incoronata from 1334.
Castello Monforte - Photo: Red devil 666
- The main points of interest in Castello Monforte are:
- Church of St. George - just below the castle this church was built on top of the ruins of a Pagan temple around the year 1000 AD making it the oldest church in Campobasso.
- The Cathedral, also known as Chiesa della Santissima Trinità - this was built in 1504 just outside the city walls. In 1805 it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1805 and replaced in 1829 be a new Neoclassical structure.
- The church of San Bartolomeo - an 11th century Romanesque church built out of limestone.
- San Leonardo - built in the 14th century this church is a mixture of Gothic and Romanesque architecture. and a side mullioned window with vegetable decorations influenced by the Apulian architecture of the period.
- Villa de Capoa - this recently restored garden has many lovely statues and a vast range of plants and trees.
Termoli- Photo: Antonio Raspa
This town is a regional seaside resort on the Adriatic sea and is very popular with Italian families, particularly from Naples and the region of Puglia. The wide, sandy beaches are of a very high quality and the water is clear and pure.
Termoli was once just a fishing port but although the fishing industry still exists there it is not as important as the tourist tourist and commercial port. From the port you can catch a ferry to the little known Tremoti islands in the Adriatic Sea. The old walled, historical town centre has been very well restored with many of the houses renovated and painted in pretty pastel colours. There is a 12th century cathedral and a Norman castle in the centre.
This is a small town known as the 'Balcony over the Biferno river valley' due to its elevated position and beautiful views. It is possible from this town to overlook all of the surrounding towns and hillsides.
Castropignano is famous for its medieval castle, Castello d'Evoli which was constructed during the 14th century. Colletorto A very pretty village which is completely surrounded by olive groves. Colletorto is famous for these particular olives which are known as 'oliva nera di Colletorto' and are used to make very special extra virgin olive oil.
Castello d'Evoli - Photo: Sdv18sdv
An ancient village built on a hillside overlooking the artificial Lake Guardialfiera. The main church, Santa Maria Assunta, dates back to the 11th century and was built from 7th century stones, many of which have Pagan and Early Christian engravings.
Like many other towns in Italy now, particularly in the south, Larino is really two small towns, the old town and the new town. The new town here actually has a different name, Piano San Leonardo, and is built on the side of a mountain. The old town, when seen from above, is shaped like the wing of a bird.
There is a first century Roman amphitheatre built into a natural depression in the terrrain and which could seat up to 12,000 people.
The 10th century cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Italy.
Limosano is a totally unique medieval hilltop village with the external structure of the houses remaining totally unchanged while the interiors have all been modernised.
Limosano - Photo: GDG