Visiting Unknown Italy – Campobasso, Molise

Campobasso
Campobasso

If you are searching for a European tourist destination, you should consider visiting Campobasso, the capital and largest town (only about fifty thousand) of Molise. Located in central Italy, Molise is one of the smallest regions of Italy and only gained regional status in 1963. Campobasso is geographically near Rome, except for the intervening Apennines Mountains. But if you want to visit the real Italy and feel that you are a million miles from Rome culturally, consider touring Campobasso. Be sure that you read the companion article describing other sites in Molise.

Let me state one reason that might, but should not keep you from attending, before I begin telling you why you should visit Campobasso: it’s the weather. This city is nearly one-half mile (700 meters) high, making it one of the coolest towns, weather-wise, in the southern half of Italy. It snows a lot in the winter, the summer has an average temperature of approximately 22 degrees C (72 degrees F), and the fall is rainy. The first two may be quite positive. But the rain is still rain.

You really will want to see the Castello Monforte, located atop of the Sant’Antonio Mountain. This castle was built during the mid-fifteenth century and rebuilt after earthquakes; the first one happened only six years later. It is perched on the hilltop that dominates the town. Traces remain of ancient settlements, including Samnite walls, built before the Christian era. Next to the castle, you will find the Eleventh Century Chiesa della Madonna del Monte (Santa Maria Maggiore Church). Make sure that you don’t miss the Cathedral, also called the Chiesa della Santissima Trinita (Church of the Holy Trinity). It was first built after the turn of the Sixteenth Century. It was rebuilt in a Neoclassical style after an earthquake destroyed it three centuries later. The city includes many other classical churches.

The Museo Provinciale Sannitico (Archeology Museum ) was relatively recently opened in the Palazzo Mazzarotta. It boasts an excellent collection of art and artifacts that are associated with those pre-Roman Samnites. The newly restored Villa de Capoa boasts a lovely garden with statues and quite a wide variety of plant species. This town is also home to the University of Molise, which serves ten thousand students, some of whom are at satellite campuses. And remember, wherever you go, whatever you do, be sure to taste some of the excellent local wines.

About the Author

Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers Italian travel and drinking fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods and people. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website http://www.travelitalytravel.com which includes an expanded version of this article and lots more.

A few items from Abruzzo

La Cucina: The Regional Cooking of Italy
Fifty years ago, a group of Italian scholars gathered to discuss a problem: how to preserve traditional Italian cooking. They formed the Italian Academy of Cuisine to document classic recipes from every region. The academy’s more than seven thousand associates spread out to villages everywhere, interviewing grandmothers and farmers at their stoves, transcribing their recipes—many of which had never been documented before. This is the culmination of that research, an astounding feat—2,000 recipes that represent the patrimony of Italian country cooking. Each recipe is labeled with its region of origin, and it’s not just the ingredients but also the techniques that change with the geography. Sprinkled throughout are historical recipes that provide fascinating views into the folk culture of the past. There are no fancy flourishes here, and no shortcuts; this is true salt-of-the-earth cooking. The book is an excellent everyday source for easily achievable recipes, with such simple dishes as White Bean and Escarole Soup, Polenta with Tomato Sauce, and Chicken with Lemon and Capers. For ease of use there are four different indexes. La Cucina is an essential reference for every cook’s library.

Grazing In Abruzzo
Bruce Franchini (Director), Lidia Bastianich (Actor)
Lidia loves the region of Abruzzo! She describes the people there as welcoming, giving and jovial, and the hearty food of the region has left her with such fond memories. In the Abruzzese kitchens, Farro, a kind of wheat berry, is cooked as a whole grain and is manufactured in many shapes-both by small artisanal pasta makers and larger pasta companies. She makes this pasta with arugula and ricotta. Following her main course of Lamb with Olives, she creates the deliciously fun Scrippelle-which look like fettuccine-and tosses them in a hot caramel, citrus and apricot sauce for dessert.

Abruzzo. History and art guide
by Latini M. L. (Author)
Although it is a bit too synthetic, to the detriment of the overall readability of the text, the work provides an exhaustive description of the artistic heritage of Abruzzo, inserting points for observation not always recognized. Recommended.

Abruzzo 1st Edition
by Michael Kenna
Abruzzo, located in southern Italy, is known as the green region of Europe because of the system of parks and nature reserves covering more than one-third of its territory. In Abruzzo, Michael Kenna found a cultural identity that elsewhere, for the most part, has been lost to globalization and instant communication. Kenna photographed medieval ruins, ancient villages and a countryside rich in traditional cultivation. As curator Vincenzo de Pompeis writes in the book s introduction, 'Abruzzo's heritage, together with its impressive natural scenery, brings to mind romantic connotations that have historically attracted many international landscape artists, particularly in the 19th century. Michael Kenna fits perfectly into this rich historical vein of celebrated landscape artists who have worked in Abruzzo. Kenna's work often evokes the influences of Romanticism. In his photographs of historic rural landscapes, for example, there is an air of melancholy, which accompanies memories from the past. His images of ruins stir up feelings of passing time, of the constantly evolving ties between history and nature.' This gorgeous new monograph by renowned landscape photographer Michael Kenna is published to coincide with a major museum exhibition in Loreto Aprutino, Italy. Richly printed in duotone on matt art paper, and presented in an olive-green cloth slipcase with black debossed text on one side and a tipped-in image on the other, Abruzzo presents 65 images from the series, published here for the first time.

Michelin Map Italy: Abruzzo, Molise 361 (Maps/Local (Michelin))
Michelin created its first travel guide over 100 years ago to promote road travel and inspire driving confidence. Today, Michelin Travel & Lifestyle offers travelers an extensive range of travel guides, maps and online travel resources. These products deliver the same Michelin promise of quality and consistency consumers expect from one of the world's most trusted brands.
Publisher of travel guides, maps and atlases, Michelin Travel & Lifestyle offers a complete travel portfolio. Where to go, how to get there, where to eat & stay, and what to see & do ... all in one collection with extensive international & domestic coverage, especially for Europe. Our series includes Michelin (Red) Guides, Green Guides, Must Sees and Michelin maps and atlases.

Canti Della Terra D'Abruzzo
Ettore Montanaro
Buy MP3: all 51 at the same time, or each one individually.

Italian Folk Songs from Abruzzo 1927-1930
LA COPPIA SCIASCIA (Artist)
CD and MP3 reissue of the freat italian folk duo. Comes with rich notes and photos of the couple as well. Pasquale and Clara Sciascia immigrated to the U. S. from the Abruzzo region of Italy, settling in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From 1927 to 1933 they recorded 44 songs fro the Victor, Columbia and Brunswick record companies. The Sciascias were the first to record a number of Italian and Abruzzese folk songs, 14 of which are reissued here for the first time in 90 years. The songs feature wonderful duet singing and exquisite string band accompaniment. Also included are notes on the couple and their music, photos, and the transcribed and translated lyrics. Includes 20 page booklet.