Off the Beaten Track

Waahoo, next trip booked and leave approved!

I’m heading for Molise and Puglia this trip.

“I know where Puglia is but where is Molise?” …you ask:


Molise is Italy’s youngest region splitting off from Abruzzo in 1963 and only becoming effectively independent in 1970. It has a low population density compared with the rest of Italy: 72 inhabitants per km2 as compared to 2232 people per km2 in Rome. The population barely remains stable, many years declining with many small villages shrinking significantly.

“Why are you going there?” you ask. Well, my research shows:

-In Molise there is delicious food!


all pictures c/o Wiki commons




Tintilia grapes c/o Wiki commons

-Walking: This is the crux of my trip, I’m heading for the Tratturi which are the ancient paths used by farmers to move livestock seasonally from high to low land. This tradition is referred to as the transumanza.


Photo from

-There is ancient pre-Roman Samnite history:


Wiki Commons.

-Incredible churches:


Santuario dell’Addolorata from Wiki Commons.

-There are zampogne:


Wiki Commons.

-The region encompasses mountains to sea within a small area:


Wiki Commons.

-There are fishing contraptions:


Trabucco in Termoli c/o Wiki Commons.



Forli di Sannio by Wiki Commons.

-Silver cutlery and artisan knives:


Photo credited to




Photos from Wiki Commons



Marinelli Pontifical Foundry Photo from Wiki Commons

-and offshore islands :


Isole Tremiti c/o Wiki Commons. (I’ll have my own pix in a few months 🙂 ).

I’ll let you know how it goes. Waahhooooo!

28 thoughts on “Off the Beaten Track

    1. Amazing how you can gain 5 kilos and turn into a potato in about 6 months following big walking trips 🙂 I’m back in training again now though so that will help me return to form. Wish I was getting to Calabria this time and really weighed it up but Molise captured me this time. Next time. There is just so much to see isn’t there. I have no idea how people can spend one week in Italy seeing Florence, Venice and Rome can say they have been to Italy???

      Liked by 2 people

      1. We head to New Zealand tomorrow to visit grandkids for 3 weeks or so. Then back to UK in May to housesit for a month. Housesitting in UK at end of August as well. I need to blog….


      2. You do! Well I hope we can turn it on for you the next 3 weeks and that you will have missed all the torrential rain, storms, and unbelievable humidity where sweat drips off you as you move about, it has been a pretty rough summer but seems to have cooled a bit the last 2 days, yay! Enjoy. Looking forward to your blogs about us. (We’re a funny lot us Kiwis!)

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I am a bit nervous about ticks but Ive been advised to just use the usual sorts of insect repellant? And bears, not so worried, I think they are pretty rare, cinghiale,… terrified. It is these wild boar that made me sign up for an organised walk rather than brave it alone!


      1. We had ticks where I grew up (Minnesota). Tuck pants into socks/boots, long sleeves when possible (although not as crucial as long pants), and check yourself carefully each night.

        Last time I had a tick was in 2012. I had been in training at Quantico prior to my deployment to Rome. On a weekend break, I went to Washington, D.C., shopping. As I tried clothes on, I noticed a “mole” on my abdomen. Ha! Not a mole! Eeewwww!

        Liked by 1 person

      1. To all except for Polignano. Just gorgeous part of the world: I’m looking forward to following along on your trip!

        By the way, Bari has a wonderful cathedral and old town (and great food), but in all the places I’ve ever traveled it was the city I felt most unsafe. Count your change and watch yourself in the old town at night and near the train station.

        Matera made my hair stand up—it hardly seems real!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Thanks for that, I’ll keep it in mind, I really value your advice. It’s the Palermos and Naples and Baris that keep us on our toes in Italy, (and Rome, and anywhere if you are in the wrong place at the wrong time). When I have talked about the roagues and charlatans before in posts I have found myself shouted down by those that say their experience of a given place was fine, they don’t know what i am talking about. But I think it needs to be discussed and shared as it is real. It wouldn’t stop me going on adventures and it probably depends alot on the part of town you base yourself, I’m thinking Naples by the station is a far cry from Naples in the port area of the city, but it is good to be mindful. Hmmm, I can feel a post coming on…

        Liked by 1 person

  1. How exciting! I’ve been wanting to go to Puglia for awhile. However, I was in Molise last spring. I went to find my paternal grandfather’s village and it was an unbelievably emotional experience. The village is tiny and the people were lovely. We were there as they were preparing the First Communion service that weekend. We went to the municipal building and were given copies of birth certificates and death certificates of many family members. Most memorable. We are going back to Campania and plan on taking a trip to Molise again. I was so surprised to see all the marvelous things and places the little region has to offer. Maybe we can get to one of them in addition to returning to the village. Also thinking of going to Campobasso in Molise.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You have even more reason than me to explore this wee region. It must be so meaningful. My husband’s parents are Dutch and they emigrated to New Zealand in the late 50s so he grew up with parents for whom English was a second language and not always welcomed by the locals; no extended family and an embarassingly hard to pronounce surname. When we were pregnant with our first child we travelled to Holland and went to the town his parents came from. He met more relatives than he could have ever dreamed of and he looked like them. For the first time in his life he had a sense of belonging, a tribe so to speak and felt some pride in his heritage. it was a life-changing experience. I can understand somewhat what you have experienced from this time. Enjoy! I am envious, i wish i had a deeper more tangible connection like you.


    1. I’ve done a bit of a google of Trani on the back of your comment, it looks magical. Thanks for that. I did study the train timetable for the transiberiana d’Italia, (also on the back of your input) but just couldn’t make my dates work. So with much disappointment… I will just have to return again to catch this wonder. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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