Molise the second smallest region and the youngest (separated from Abruzzo in 1963) is often overlooked however it  is truly is hidden treasure. Those that venture to this underappreciated area quickly realize there is much to offer by way of the natural wonders such as parks, mountains rivers and wild life, culture, art, music, architecture, food and wine. There are a few keywords to keep in mind when thinking of Molise; old world, authentic and compelling.

The Molise are known for their multitude of gorgeous castles, tending of sheep, simple open fire grilled dishes of meat or fish with simple seasoning of herbs olive oil and butter (mostly sans sauces). Additional specialties include peppers, organic vegetables, as well as the art of making silky smooth, melt in your mouth, high quality pasta  such as chestnut filled ravioli. Popular cheeses include caciocavallo, scamorza, straciatta di Agnone, fior di latte, and pecorino. A signature dish is called sfarricciato, which is a blood pudding made with sfarro wheat, raisins, pine nuts, pigs blood, sugar, orange peel, cocoa, pancetta, and lard. The region also features outstanding, interesting yet not especially well recognized wines including molise d molise DOC, Biferno, Pentro di Insernia a montepulciano-sangiovese blend, tintilla, nieluccio, Malvasia, Trebbiano toscano, aglianico, cabernet sauvignon, as well whites such as pinot grigio, moscato, falanghina, trebbiano and bombino. Welcome to Molise, Benvenutti a Molise!

Specialty foods:

Farro breads and pastas, (stewed, grilled, roasted and pit fire roasted) lamb, as well as rabbit are very common as well as organ meats. The region specialty is tripe as well as fried ravioli stuffed with ricotta, prosciutto and herbs served with fried artichokes. Other specialties include various breaded and fried vegetables including stuffed hot peppers.

Must see places or places of interest:

One of the highlights of the region is the castle in Campobasso, Castello Monforte, which dates to 1450. The structure dominates the landscape and to this day remains a formidable site. It is important to note that traces of the moat, side towers and drawbridge which is simply a marvel to see. Another must see is the Church of Santa Maria Maggiore; it is not so much the church itself that is of importance, although it is a wonderful place, it is the contents. Or specifically a wooden statue dating from the early 1300’s that depicts the Virgin Coronation. In Isernia visit the Piazza Trento e Triestse and the Fontana Fraterna. Another wonderful attraction is the Cathedral of Isernia which houses numerous artifacts, and works of art.
An additional place of interest is the giant Fiat plant in Termoli for the car enthusiast.

Wine Zones or appellations:

DOC wine zones: Biferno, Molise, Pentro di Isernia

IGT wine zones: Osco, Rotae

Capital: Campobasso
Population: Under 300,000
Provinces of Molise: Campobasso (CB), Isernia

Key Grape Varieties:

White (bianco): Falanghina, Trebbiano.

Red (rosso): Aglianico, Montepulciano

Wines of Interest:

Aglianico, Montepulciano and Trebbiano

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