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What to see in Molise: 10 places not to be missed

One of the less well-known Italian regions also by Italians is without a doubt Molise. Enclosed among the Apennines, the Matese Mountains and the sea is usually skimmed when travelling along the motorway, but by bike everything changes. Discovering slowly what to see in Molise, cycling from one hill to another, flanking mountains and climbing their arduous slopes, is an experience we recommend to everyone. After cycling in Molise during "Transitalia", our adventure through the Apennine by bike, we want to suggest you a few places absolutely not to be missed...
Molise region has a varied territory: it’s mostly mountainous, but hills occupy more than 40% of its while surface. Crossed by the ancient transhumance routes of the Apennine, the tratturi, was inhabited by the ancient Italic people of the Samnites and still nowadays it is possible to visit some important historic sites. Cycling from the Apennine through the Sannio and the Matese Mountains till touching the sea in Termoli, we want to suggest you what to see in Molise during a trip by bike..
  1. Vastogirardi: it’s one of the first villages in Molise we visited by bike. Not far from the village there’s the spring of the river Trigno that flows then till the sea in the province of Chieti. At the entrance of Vastogirardi, that you reach going up at an altitude of 1200 meters, it is possible to venture along a secondary road on the left towards the sports field. Passed the field, you can continue by bike till the remains of an ancient Italic temple rather abandoned to time. The village has medieval origins and one of its most interesting characteristics is the nucleus of the fortified castle where you go in and out from the same gate. vastogirardi
  2. Pietrabbondante: it surely owes its name to the perched location among huge rocks called Morge. Before entering the village (be prepared to cycle uphill!!!) you meet the evocative Bovianum Vetus, the ancient Hellenistic-Italic site dating back to the 95 B.C. once capital city of the Sannio. Entrance to the site is paid (about 4€) but is something you have to see in Molise because of its beauty, historic, cultural and landscape interest. From the theatre of Bovianum Vetus you have a beautiful view of the Molise where the perched villages dot and characterize the territory. If your legs still have strength go up till the square of Pietrabbondante and then climb among the Morge, cross the small church of Santa Maria Assunta and go up till the cross, the highest point in the village.pietrabbondante
  3. Bagnoli del Trigno: from the road abandoning Pietrabbondante losing altitude you spot this suggestive village standing among the rocks to east, suspended between the land and the sky. The origin of Bagnoli di Trigno is linked to some legends which we don’t have any historical foundation of. Picturesque like Pietrabbondante, you have to face a demanding climb to reach the village. Don’t miss a visit to the church of San Silvestro built on the rock, the evocative San Felice Castle and a walk in the streets of the villagebagnoli di trigno
  4. Duronia: it dominates the surroundings from its promontory above, a rather widespread peculiarity in Molise. The real uniqueness of Duronia can be noted if you look at the village attentively: a strip of thin vegetation, of a different green, seems to cut the mountain culminating right where the village lies, what is it? Duronia lived on the ancient tratturo Lucera – Castel di Sangro traveled every year by millions of sheep that left a remarkable mark on the territory. It’s worth reaching it by bike and visit it.paesaggi molise duronia
  5. Carovilli: an interesting resort because of its position recalling that of a nativity scene. In Carovilli we really felt at home and we were offered the possibility to know a bit better the Molise region talking with its people about history, culture and tourism. In its surroundings there is Castiglione di Carovilli with the WWF oasis of Collearso, a must-see place for those who love nature.carovilli
  6. Tratturo Pescasseroli - Candela: if you travel by mountain bike you have to try the experience of cycling along the ancient tratturo. We were accompanied by Mauro, native from Molise and great connoisseur of the territory. We got covered in mud, got stuck, had fun, we pushed, cycled and sank our tires in the sludge, well, it was an unforgettable ride. The tratturo reaches the ancient, unmissable Roman city of Saepinumtratturo pescasseroli candelaThe Roman Saepinum lies on the tratturo Pescasseroli - Candela and keeps some buildings of that time in good conditions. The forum, the basilica, the theatre, the thermal baths and the Decumanus which crossed Saepinum from east to west, take some time and explore it slowly. Arriving by bike is a strong emotion antica altilia
  7. Spring of  Biferno river: the river Biferno, whose source is to be counted among the things to see in Molise, is born at the feet of the Matese Mountains. On the roadside water spouts in a big tank: here you can refill your bottle with fresh water from the spring. sorgento biferno
  8. Pescolanciano: we reached it traveling almost entirely along secondary roads with the exception of the last part of the route where we couldn’t find an alternative option. Pescolanciano lies on the tratturo Castel di Sangro - Lucera and the ancient communication way is still well visible on the edge of the village even if unluckily isn’t preserved nor promoted. Pescolanciano boasts a nice historical center and a castle.pescolanciano
  9. Civita Superiore: it lies where the Matese Mountains begin, in the municipality of Bojano. Civita could boast one of the castles of Frederick II that today unluckily is in ruins. Bojano instead has Samnite origins. To reach Civita it’s necessary to climb for a few kilometer.ai piedi dei monti del matese
While recommending what to see in Molise I didn’t linger too much on roads, slopes and other peculiarities of the territory that you’ll be able to know downloading the gps track of our trip by bike, and, soon, reading the story of our experience. To get to know and discover a territory visiting it by bike isn’t enough, you have to smell its perfume, taste its typical products, know its people... the people from Molise are a friendly, helpful population, lavish and open, so don’t miss the opportunity to exchange information and opinions. The typical characteristics of Molise are many but those we recommend you to try absolutely are: caciocavallo (famous also that from Vastogirardi), cavatelli, a kind of pasta eaten only with pork meat sauce, bread, so good (ask for bread with potatoes!), Pampanella (I let you find out by yourself what it is) and tasty cold cuts.

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ITA - Correva l'anno 1983 quando ha sorriso per la prima volta alla luce del sole estivo. Da sempre col pallino per l'avventura, ha avuto la fortuna di girare l'Europa e l'Italia con i genitori e poi, per la maturità, si è regalata un viaggio in 2 cavalli da Milano verso la Russia. Al momento giusto ha mollato il lavoro senza alcun rimpianto per volare in Nuova Zelanda dove ha viaggiato per cinque mesi in solitaria. Nel 2007 ha provato per la prima volta l'esperienza di un viaggio in bici e, da quel momento, non ne ha potuto più fare a meno... così, dopo alcune brevi esperienze in Europa, nel 2010 è partita con Leo per un lungo viaggio in bicicletta nel Sud Est asiatico, la prima vera grande avventura insieme! All'Asia sono seguite le Ande, il Marocco, il Sudafrica-Lesotho e #noplansjourney. Se non è in viaggio, vive sul lago d'Iseo! Carpediem e buone pedalate!

EN - It was 1983 when he smiled for the first time in the summer sunlight. Always with a passion for adventure, she had the good fortune to travel around Europe and Italy with her parents and then, for maturity, she took a trip in 2 horses from Milan to Russia. At the right moment he quit his job with no regrets to fly to New Zealand where he traveled for five months alone. In 2007 she tried the experience of a bike trip for the first time and, from that moment on, she couldn't do without it ... so, after some short experiences in Europe, in 2010 she left with Leo for a long cycling trip in South East Asia, the first real great adventure together! Asia was followed by the Andes, Morocco, South Africa-Lesotho and #noplansjourney. If he's not traveling, he lives on Lake Iseo! Carpediem and have good rides!

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