Molise Italy - 10 Fun Facts - Digging Up Roots in the Boot

Molise Italy – 10 Fun Facts

Ciao tutti! Welcome to The Best of Italy, a video series on Digging up Roots on the Boot’s YouTube Channel. Alessia is going to share 10 fun facts about Molise Italy. It is one of 20 Italian Regions in the South of Italy. Watch the video and continue reading below. Also, be sure and subscribe to our YouTube channel so you don’t miss out on new video posts.   

1 Molise Italy is the youngest of the 20 regions.

Molise is the youngest and one of the smallest regions in Italy.  It is a mountainous region sandwiched between Abruzzo and Puglia on the Adriatic coast.  Campobasso and Isernia are the two provinces in the region. Ubelievably, Molise is often overlooked because of its size and youth.  But, it has fascinating traditions, amazing landscapes, and great beaches.

2 Termoli - Fishing Town and Seaside Resort

Termoli is a port and fishing town, as well as, a seaside resort in Molise.  Most of the tourism is from Naples and Puglia.  Suprisingly, very few non-Italians visit Termoli. The Norman Castle is the most notable structure in the historic old town which anchored the original walled city.

3 A Taste of Molise Italy 

Molise is also a mountainous region.  So, it is no surprise that the cuisine consists of a variety of meat dishes.  For example, pampanella is pork marinated in chili powder, garlic, and vinegar and it originated in San Martino.  Next, pezzata is a tender piece of lamb shoulder served with potatoes and tomatoes. Another hardy dish, torcinelli is lamb intestines wrapped around lamb liver or organ meat then grilled or stewed.

4 The Ghost Towns of Molise Italy

Molise is full of ghost towns.  Unfortunately, the towns were abandoned because of earthquakes or emigration.  Inland, you can find crumbling medieval villages and castles and the remains of monasteries and abbeys.
Rocchetta Volturno is a good example of an abandoned village. There are ancient tombs, an aqueduct, and an impressive abbey among other ruins.

5 Albanians and Arberesh in Molise Italy

Molise also has an Albanian population that speaks Arberesh. They arrived in Molise around the 15th century after fleeing Turkish persecution. Campomarino, Portocannone, Montecilfone, and Ururi are bilingual communities called "Little Albania."

6 World UNESCO Heritage Sites in Molise Italy

The ancient architecture in Molise rivals Rome’s. Surprisingly, it is one of the few regions in Italy that does not have any World UNESCO Heritage sites.  A couple of great examples are Pietrabbondante with ruins dating back to the 5th century BC. Also, Saepinum is a well-preserved example of a provincial Roman town that is like a little Pompeii.

7 Frosolone Cuts Like a Knife

Frosolone in Molise Italy has been well-known for its craftsmanship of blades since the 14th century. They have a long tradition of crafting hand-made folding and pocket knives.  In the late 1800s and early 1900s, two laws passed prohibiting blades longer than 4 centimeters. Knife-makers quickly adapted creating new types of knives like the Sfilato and the Mozzetta.

8 The Winterline Museum in Venafro

The small town of Venafro in Molise Italy is home to the Winterline Museum. It has a permanent collection of world war two artifacts. The collection helps the visitor visualize what the soldiers on all sides of the war experienced. The battlefield artifacts, equipment, and memorabilia displays paint a realistic picture of what life was like during the war.

9 The National Museum of Zampogne in Scapoli

Scapoli is the town of zampogne or bagpipes. Traditionally, the bagpipes are an expression of ancient pastoral civilization. Shepards carried and played the zampogna made from sheepskin. Today Scapoli uses age-old techniques to hand-craft zampogna. There is so much pride in the artisanal and musical tradition that Scapoli opened The National Museum of Zampogne in 2002. You can see bagpipes from many different eras from all over the world.

10 Il Parco delle Morge in Molise Italy

If you love nature then you will love Il Parco delle Morge. It is an area in the rural hills of Molise characterized by a collection of impressive sedimentary rocks. It is a great place for hiking, biking, and climbing. Also, there are ten quaint villages to visit and explore in the park.

Do you know any other fun facts about Molise Italy? Let’s talk it out in the comment section below. Thanks for watching and reading the best of Italy. A presto!

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I am a proud third generation Italian American dedicated to promoting the richness of Italian cultural heritage.

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