Molise is Italy’s most recently created region, along with being the smallest and the least populated amongst those with normal status. Amongst the many adjectives that could describe Molise, one alone can attract tourists: uncontaminated.
The region’s economy is based on agriculture, even though its terrain is not particularly fertile. Its principal products are cereals, fruit, olive, grapes and tobacco; animal farming is not widely spread. Industry is largely made up of artisan industries, in the food, metal mechanic, clothing and building materials sectors. Tourism in both mountain and seaside locations is still fairly insignificant.
The region is uncontaminated for three reasons: because it is little known and visited, for its tight links with agriculture and sheep farming and for its terrain. Molise is a region that stretches from Monte Miletto’s peak at 2050 metres to the Adriatic coast and has cultural and historic assets as well as a unique landscape. It offers a surprising amount of attractions when you consider its size. These range from the Termoli beaches to the ski resort of Campitello Matese, from the Guardiaregia natural oasis to the medieval fortifications and towns from the archaeological findings of the Samnites (an ancient population that lived in this area) and Romans to baroque sacred art.
All in all it is a combination of nature, beauty and tradition that has been preserved in the appeal of a land yet to be discovered and known. Despite the development of industrial activity, Molise remains a largely agricultural economy. It is due to this strong rural tradition that craftwork is still an important business in the region. The area only became a region in 1963, after having been part of the Abruzzo region and previously part of Terra di Lavoro (province of Caserta) and Capitanata (currently Puglia). Five rivers flow through the region (Biferno, Trigno, Fortore, Volturno and Sangro), whilst three artificial reservoirs used for electrical energy production have created three lakes: Castel San Vincenzo, Guardalfiera and Occhito. Finally, we cannot forget one of the region’s most well known products, caciocavallo cheese. This cheese already existed in the Magna Grecia period, and is traditionally produced in southern areas with native cow breeds.