“If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if the simple things of nature have a message that you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive”
Molise doesn’t exist? Fortunately, people from the rest of the peninsula and the globe, who have got the chance to find and discover places, history, culture and cooking of this tiny plot of land, have deeply fallen in love with it most of the times. As a matter of fact, the best promoters of this young region (and therefore witnesses of its existence) are and have often been the “foreigners”, as they are called here. If up to some decade ago only a few seemed to be interested and attracted by this territory, in the last years this trend seems to have inverted; more and more people want to spend some days in Molise; the interest in our traditions, our small hamlets, our past, is growing. In this short but intense journey we will focus on some of the most interesting pearls that the territory can offer, from the historic, cultural and enogastronomic point of view. Follow us…
The tour starts in the Castropignano countryside. Mario and his family will be waiting for us; they are friendly and genuine people, extremely sensitive and knowledgeable about their culture. The Borraros, during all year round, deal with handmade cheese production, meat conservation and animal breeding in general. We will spend the morning in close contact with the small farm animals (sheeps, horses and dogs), in the pastures where they go grazing daily. We will follow the process of making cheese, from fresh milk, curdle until tasting, while listen to the shepherd’s suggestions and tales, maybe accompanied by the bagpipe music. At lunch time we will enter the small and very pleasant village of Castropignano, relax in a restaurant, where we will savour an exclusively km 0 banquet. After the meal we could take a walk along the village little streets and maybe visit the Evoli Castle, looking out the Biferno valley, or the fascinating hamlet little churches. Half an hour away by car, down the Biferno valley, on the main communication artery of the region, we will enter the Petrella Tifernina territory, a small and very old town in the Campobasso province, with Samnite origin. Precisely we will be in an area called Colle Sereno, that gives name to an historic farming and wine-making company of this region. Along the hillside, among the woods, there’s a wide stretch of cultivated land, with vines and olive trees, accompanied by the eternal flow of the Biferno river in the valley. Since 1975 tradition and innovation blend together in the Colle Sereno farming company. A property of about 80 hectares, entirely certified under the category of BIOLOGICAL production. We will get to know the different variety produced, Tintilla in particular, the Molise wine that’s having a big success all over the world, and have a close look at the production methods, from the vine to the bottle. Depending on the time of year, we will take part in one of the many vineyard activities, in the stillness of the valley. At nightfall we will reach the charming accomodation of an enchanting scattered hotel built up from an acient mill in the heart of Molise, precisely in the little town of Colle D’Anchise. Here we will have dinner and spend the night.
After breakfast we will move to the Isernia province, in the Upper Molise. Here the fascinating historic and unknown region itinerary will start, and it will feel like going thousands years back to the past. We will visit in fact the Paleolithic National Museum, and its archeological site of La Pineta; both centres of excellence for the investigation of our ancestors. Many evidences, many activities. After lunch, we will dedicate the afternoon visiting the astonishing archeological area of Pietrabbondante. The theatre and the Italic temple are located at about 1000 metres above sea level. They are Samnite buildings considered amongst the most important of Italy. In a higher position, ruins of fortified walls can be found, defence constructions built by the Samnite Pentri during the IV century BC. The view is breathtaking! One of the many fascinating pearl of this small region. We will then go back to our comfortable dwell to have another delicious dinner, obviously with a rural and local taste, and to spend the night in our comfortable rooms.
After breakfast, another adventure in Molise awaits our guests. A relaxing drive will take us to the little village of Busso where Vincenzo, son of three generation of truffle pickers and seller, will welcome us in his family-run farm. The passion for nature and obviously for truffles, encourage the owner to always persevere through the time to find the best tuber with care, patience and of course a bit of luck. Here, in Busso all the products transformed by Vincenzo’s family are handmade and packaged to be served in the most famous kitchen in the world. But what are the secrets for a successful harvesting? In this day we will go truffle hunting with the owners and their trusty dogs, hopefully for a good picking! The Di Iorio family has another ace in the hole… Not only do they pick truffles, but also use them in cooking. The gourmands and local cuisine lovers will enjoy a mouthwatering lunch/brunch (depending on the season) while sipping Tintilia wine of Molise. Some free time will be given to the guest to individual activities and shopping. After lunch, it’s time to set off because the history and the ancient myths are waiting to be discovered in Sepino. The site of Altilia which indicates a Roman city, is located in the archeological area of Saepinum which ruins are well preserved and still keep the former structure of the ancient village. We will get to understand how Samnites used to live around the area and we will discover the importance of the site through the gates, the theatre, the market (Macellum) and more all settled on the Regio Tratturo Pescasseroli-Candela. We will arrive to the selected hotel before dinner. Dinner time. Overnight at the hotel.
N.B. During the tour, the above itinerary may be subjected to changes due to weather conditions or technical reasons, in order to guarantee the best end enjoyable customer experience.
There’s a part of Molise where small and delightful medieval villages are abounding; in here, we can find a tiny gem called La Piana dei Mulini. Located in the Biferno valley at the foothills of the Matese Mountains, this albergo diffuso – or scattered hotel, where rooms and amenities could be located in more than one building – is a historical residence with twelve rooms and a refined restaurant. It is a magnificent structure built in the 18th century entirely in stone; today, it continues to boast the splendour of its past due to a restoration project that has not only recovered the material resources of Molise, but also the traditional values that are at the roots of this territory.
Authenticity, love for the earth and its products, simplicity, pure feelings… these are all part of the treasure that is Piana dei Mulini, not to mention the precious cultural, historical, architectural and scenic riches that surround it. Certainly, their culinary project is inspired out of the gratitude and respect towards mother earth, putting at its core the Molisan identity. This is clearly evidenced in their unique food mesh composed of people, hands, sweat, and culture, all in harmony with nature. In carefully maintained and comfortable rooms furnished with arte povera decorations of simple, yet elegant designs, a luscious breakfast prepared with home-made products is served every morning. In the main room, under beautiful stone vaults, the residence’s restaurant is located; their cuisine is refined, with meals prepared with seasonal products, considering the region’s biodiversity. An emporium of artisanal products made by local farmers and shepherds offers high-quality shopping for those guests who wish to take home a top-grade, exquisite souvenir. When shopping in the emporium, the local economy is reinforced, encouraging a small-scale production that is not mechanized nor industrialized, but nonetheless very active and sustainable. The friends of I Viaggi dell’Origano can find in La Piana dei Mulini a mix of the essences of this small but flourishing area of Molise that is absolutely worth a visit.