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MOLISE AND THE ABRUZZI

Molise is situated south-east of the region Lazio (Rome) en north of Campania (Naples).

 

History in a nutshell

Long ago this was the territory of the Samnites. After three centuries of warfare it was annexed to the Roman Empire in 79 B.C.

 

In the 16th and 17th century the wool-trade flourished. In the south of Italy millions of sheep were kept. In summer they were taken to our mountains. This transport is called “transumance”. Hereto very old cattle roads, named “tratturi”, were used. With the arrival of cotton the boom came to an end and was never to return.

 

The Abruzzi and Molise were always considered and governed as one area. In 1963 Molise became a separate region. Nowadays it is sparsely populated. Out of 1.000 Italians six live in Molise; only 0,6% of the total national population.

 

Landscape and nature

The hills and mountains are sloping. In the Abruzzi the Apennines are taller and rougher.

 

There is no industry to speak of. Everything over here is still pure nature. The Abruzzi house approximately 40 brown bears. Furthermore there are wild-boars, foxes, hares, squirrels, chamois, eagles, falcons, owls, woodpeckers, bats and a handful wolves.

 

There is an outstanding wealth of flowers. Species we grow in our gardens or put in vases at home abound as wild flowers here. In early spring there are crocuses, primroses and violets. In May and June the roses, irises, various anemones and different kinds of orchids blossom. In July a beautiful and rare orange lily appears in the woods and autumn is the time of the cyclamen and autumn crocus.

 

On horseback

On the plateaus and in the valleys we make long canters. The horses, however, have to climb and go down a lot. Therefore the pace is generally not very fast. The safety of the rider and that of the horse is the main thing!