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Map of Farm houses in Molise


Information on Molise


327.893 abitanti




In the north with Abruzzo, in the east with Adriatic Sea, in the south with Puglia, in the west with Lazio.


The agriculture in the region of Molise is not a good source of income. This is because the land is somewhat infertile, the methods of working it are still traditional and there is little or no irrigation or mechanisation. For years, new cultivation has centred on wheat, maize, tobacco,olives and vinicolture. Cattle rearing is fairly important but pigbreeding, which used yield high results is gradually losing ground in economic importance. Fishing is hardly practised at all.


If we look carefully at a map of the region, we will see that the only flat areas are the coastal strip and the Venafro plain, while the larger part of the territory is mountainous (the Sannita Appenines). The Appenine tract in this small region of Italy consists of the Mainarde Group, the central mountains of the Meta Group and the Matese mountains. The only rivers which are wholly Molisian are the Trigno, which marks the border with the Abruzzo region, and the Biferno. The most important water-course in Molise is the Volturno even though it only flows for a short distance through Molisian territory before reaching the Tyrrhenian Sea. Finally, the region has a mediterranean type of climate along the coastal area and a mainland type further inland. The temperature is never verycold, except on the mountains, neither is it very warm. Topography: Mountain 55,3% Hill 44,7%


Industry like agriculture is not at all active except for around Termoli where there is one of the most technologically advanced Fiat car factories. In general, Molise is one of the least industrialised regions in Italy and the onlyfactories of reasonable output are those of metalmechanics, food products and building material. As far as the services sector is concerned we have to say that because of poor means of communication (road and rail) and the lack of hotels and pensions, tourism is nowhere important in this region compared to the others which lie along the Adriatic Sea. Commerce is on an ever lower level than the other "industries"because it is also hampered by the lack of communications.


Campobasso is the capital of this region. It stands on a limestone rise of highground which lies between two rivers, the Bifermo and the Fortone. This provincial city has heither industry nor an agriculture which is very well developed; the only and rather modest source of income comes from wheat growing and the fishing centre at Termoli. The only "artistic works" of any interest are the Monforte Castle and the Piazza Vittorio Emanuele with the Town Hall. The other province of Molise is Isernia. This city is situated on elevated ground in the Volturno basin at the confluence of the fast-running rivers Carpino and Sordo. Isernia is the centre for some small industries which are slowly developing (food products, textiles and paper-making) and for fairly good agricultural produce (wheat, cereals and potatoes). This small town has no important buildings. Touristic resort: Termoli is a lovely seaside resort.


The only important person belonging to the small region of Molise is Francesco D' Ovidio (1843-1933), a noted philologist and critic. A lecturer in the Comparative Hitory of Language and Romantic Literature at Naples University, he devoted himself first to the study of philology and then to the detailed study of Italian medioeval literature. His critical essays on the writing of Manzoni and Dante are very well-known; these are "Correction to the Betrothed and the language question" and "Studies of the Divina Commedia". Other interesting literary works are "A historical gramma of the Italian language and dialects" and Romance versification: poetry and poems".


Molise, which was inhabited by the Sannites in the ancient times, was sacked and pillaged by the Longobards in 572 A.D. and, later, became part of the Duchy of Benevento. When the terrible invasions by the Saracens finally come to an end, Molise was partitioned into the countries of Venafro, Larino, Trivento, Boiano, Isernia, Termoli, Campomarino and Sangro and the largest and most important country was Boiano. This country was ceded first to Margerite of Navarre in 1166 and then, in the 13th century,to Thomas of Celano. In 1260, the King of Naples Charles D' Anjou again divided up the country going the lands to various feudal overlords; after this partition, Molise experienceda very sad periodin her history when the region was the scena of battles between the Durazzese, Angevins and the Aragonese. After a brief period under the domination of the rough Albanian mercenaries, the region was annexed to that of Capitanata at the beginning of the 15th century and Lucera became the capital city. For several centuries, Molise was in such a sad state of serious disorganisation and showing the first symptoms of backwardness that she suffered a real crisis. In the 19th century, banditism was rife and actively encouraged by the English and the Bourbons, causing the subsequent patriotic rebellions. The entry of Abruzzo into the Kingdom of Italy brought Abruzzo and Molise together into one region until 1963, when Molise then became autonomous.

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