A trip to Molise, embracing history and nature

This itinerary is the perfect blend for those travellers who love to plunge into nature and look back on the historical and cultural presence left by populations that succeeded one another in this specific area.

It also gives the chance to appreciate the rich architectural and culinary heritage of the region, where beautiful expanses meet ancient food delicacies.

During moments of rest, we will taste typical products tied to the ancient culinary tradition of Molise, such as truffles, fresh and seasoned cheeses, wines, cold cuts, and extra virgin olive oil. Moreover, we will be meeting local communities and experiencing pleasant and intimate family vibes.

A trip to Molise, embracing history and nature
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The travel day by day

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Isernia and accommodation, followed by a welcome “aperitivo” accompanied by typical local products and a meeting to explain the scheduled itinerary.

Guided visit to Old Town Isernia.

Raised on a hill with sloping sides, carved by two waterways and surrounded by mountains, Isernia is a fascinating city that stands out for its historic and cultural heritage. Walking the alleys will lead us to appreciate the Samnite and Roman civilizations remains, and the churches and palaces dating to more recent times. Other works of considerable interest are the monuments raised in commemoration of the soldiers perished in WWI and the bombardment of September 10, 1943.

Dinner at restaurant and overnight stay in B&B or in an Albergo Diffuso (Dispersed Hotel).

Day 2

1st leg: Isernia – Pesche – Miranda

Leaving Isernia, we will cross the Regal Pescasseroli-Candela Tratturo (pathway), an ancient path now transformed by mankind’s hands.

Close to La Pineta hill, lie the archeological site (dating back to 700.000 years ago) and the Paleolithic museum. In those days, Homo Erectus and animals such as rhinoceros, elephants and hippopotamus still roamed the area. Leaving the Tratturo Pescasseroli-Candela we will then approach the fortified medieval centre of Pesche, with its castle, city walls and the last standing towers. With its white stone houses, this small village is perched on the slopes of Monte San Marco (923 m above sea level). From the top of the village, an easy access to the Pesche Natural Reserve; a protected area created by the merging of public, private and ecclesial land properties. The Reserve is an harmonious blend of typically mediterranean and alpine vegetations.

Overnight stay in Miranda, a beautiful town with coloured houses and castle ruins, in a great position for looking over the surrounding landscapes below.

This leg is of medium difficulty and develops over a length of 17.1 km with an altitude gain of 902 m and 482 m of overall loss.

Dinner at restaurant and overnight stay in B&B or in an Albergo Diffuso (Dispersed Hotel).

Day 3

2nd leg: Miranda-Pescolanciano

With a view over the northern part of Molise, the third day will guide us along the slopes of Pesche – Monte Totila, moving through the Site of Community Importance (S.C.I or S.I.C, in italian) and finally reaching Pescolanciano, a village located on another Regal Tratturo: the Castel di Sangro-Lucera.
This is where the D’Alessandro Castle stands; a building displaying a peculiar hexagonal plant, dominating the Tigrino river valley from a rocky spur. Other significant buildings are the Church of San Salvatore and Taverna del Duca. The itinerary runs along mountain trails surrounded by beech tree forests.

This leg offers no particular difficulty, developing over 14.6 km with an altitude loss of 620 m downhill, gaining 529 m uphill.

Dinner at restaurant and overnight stay in hotel.

Day 4

3rd leg: Pescolanciano- Colle Arso (Carovilli)

This portion leads through the Castel di Sangro-Lucera Regal Tratturo, once used by transhumant shepherds and their sheep for centuries.

For about a kilometre outside of Pescolanciano, the route regains its original width of 111 meters, (corresponding to the ancient Neapolitan measurement unit of 60 passi(footsteps)) with hedgerows lined at its sides.

We will then hike to the summit of Santa Marta’s hill, where the ruins of a medieval tower testimony the ancient existence of Santa Marta’s feud alongside the remains of Samnite city walls. Then we will visit the church of San Domenico, along the route connecting Tratturo Castel di Sangro-Lucera and Regal Tratturo Celano-Foggia, where lies an inscription including taxes that shepherds had to pay in order to cross with their herds.

Moreover, we will hike up Monte Ferrante (1051 m above sea level), a Site of Community Importance (S.C.I) winning the chance to appreciate the landscape from a different point of view.

Once descended, a visit to the village of Carovilli and the neighbouring Castiglione di Carovilli will allow for some sightseeing in a wonderful mountain setting that carries an artistic, cultural and historic heritage; the Church of Santa Maria Assunta (XVII c.) and of Santa Maria del Colle are among its main attractions.

At the end of this leg, we will go through another S.C.I: the wood of Collemeluccio-Selvapiana-Castiglione-La Cocozza.

This leg offers a mixed difficulty level from easy to medium and 17.1 km of total length, dropping 551 m downhill and gaining 659 m uphill.

Dinner at a farmhouse, overnight stay in the former, or accommodation in B&B.

Day 5

4th leg: Colle Arso (Carovilli)-Pietrabbondante

Hike along the Oriented Natural Reserve and the Biosphere Reserve of Collemelluccio, protected by UNESCO. Visit to the temple and Hellenic-Samnite Theatre in Pietrabbondante.

The forest of Collemeluccio is a mere relic of the ancient fir tree woodlands which once covered the Apennine range. White fir trees make up about 80% of the Reserve’s forests and are very rare in this area.

The archaeological area of Pietrabbondante is a spot of great importance due to its cultural, political and religious role in Samnium, from the third to the first century BC. Remains of the ancient temple and theatre are still in place.

With an easy challenge for hikers, it unfolds over 17.1 km with 544 m downhill and 550 m uphill.

Dinner at restaurant and overnight stay in B&B or at the guesthouse.

Day 6

5th leg: Pietrabbondante-Vastogirardi

From the village of Pietroabbondante, we will summit Monte Caraceno (1212 m above sea level), gaining sight over the wonderful hillside landscape of Molise where, with clear sky conditions, it is possible to catch a glimpse of the Campania and Apulia regions. Furthermore, the descending trail unfolds through old beech forests and arrives in Tre Termini, where three villages (Agnine, Carovilli e Pietrabbondante) live in close proximity to one another.

From here we will continue to the Staffoli plateau and, following the Tigrino river, will reach the village of Vastogirardi.

An easy leg of 13.5 km with an altitude drop of 479 m and a gain of 598 m.

Dinner at farmhouse and overnight stay in B&B or at the farmhouse itself.

Day 7

6th leg: Vastogirardi-Capracotta

From Vastogirardi, we will reach Piano Sant’Angelo with a visit to the Samnite Templum, then will proceed towards La Crocetta and Monte Cavallerizzo, to visit the cyclopean fortification walls. From there, we will summit Monte Capraro and descend, reaching Capracotta.

This leg presents a medium difficulty of 14.5 km, losing 705 m downhill and gaining 934 m uphill.

Dinner at restaurant and overnight accomodation in B&B.

Day 8

A relaxing day with a visit to Agnone and the Marinelli foundry.

Full of natural beauty, the city of Agnone preserves a nice historic centre. Tower bells were forged for more than 800 years and for such reason foundries and copper shops are still thriving today; among these the renowned Venetian neighbour. The most important family-run foundry is Marinelli.

Day 9

Breakfast, end of the journey, farewell greetings and departures.

Travel information

Dates and any rescheduling of the programme can be agreed upon with the agent.

The itinerary is subject to change based on availability. Costs and overall quality will not be altered.

Necessary equipment: hiking shoes/boots, 1 liter thermos flask, rain jacket, 20/30 liter hiking backpack, full brim hat, sunscreen, personal effects.

Local representative

The tour will be lead by an environmental hiking guide who will introduce travellers to landscape, flora and fauna, history, culinary aspects and local folklore belonging to the Molise region.

Level of difficulty

Easy to Medium (out of five categories: Easy, Moderate, Medium, Challenging, Difficult): 4-5 hours hiking per day (rest-times not included), covering a total distance of 93.9 km in four days. The trail develops mostly along flat trails and only a few uphill and downhill sections. Elevation difference is averagely 500 m per day, both uphill and downhill, except for the first day. The route is suitable to everybody; however, a good shape for hiking is desirable. The trails do not pose major challenges. Most of the itinerary involves walking, except for short stretches involving a car ride. Overnight accommodations are comfortable.

Available dates

All year round.

Specific dates need to be agreed upon with the local representative.

Prices

Price per person from
12 people 8 people 4 people
Adults € 750 € 840 € 1115

FOR FURTHER DETAILS CONCERNING THE PRICING TAB YOU MAY CONTACT THE AGENT

What is included:

  • 8 overnight accommodations, including breakfast
  • expenses, guide fee, agency fees
  • on-the-go lunches and dinners
  • guided hiking and luggage transport service
  • medical insurance

What is not included:

  • return trip to Molise
  • personal expenses, extras and anything not expressly mentioned as “included”.
  • travel insurance

All quotations are subject to availability at the time of confirming a reservation

Conditions

The minimum number of participants required to activate the trip is 4 people. Travellers will be informed 15 days prior to departure, in order to confirm.

Registrations

For registration terms and conditions please consult the following website:
How we travelitaly.viaggiemiraggi.org

For further information feel free to contact us:

italia@viaggiemiraggi.org


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