Can Molise be considered central or southern Italy? Perhaps it is a “hinge” between the center and the south: it is central from the geographical point of view but has always been linked to the historical events of southern Italy.
Not very populated (it has just over 300,000 inhabitants), the Molise territory has a scattered and widespread settlement, parceled into 136 municipalities that rarely exceed 5000 inhabitants, with the exception of Campobasso – the capital – Isernia and Termoli.
There are many suggestive and characteristic villages that keep the historical and urban structure of the past almost unaltered, some of which are listed among the most beautiful villages in Italy and among the Orange Flags of the Touring Club.
Molise is also green and rich in waterways: the forest area covers almost 33% of the entire regional surface (over 150,000 hectares). The territory is mainly mountainous and hilly, except for the thin flat strip along the coast and the main river valleys. The superb mountains of the central Apennines, with peaks that exceed even a height of 2000 meters, placidly slop down towards the Adriatic coast, leaving the pace to gentle and sinuous hills.
There are numerous parks, reserves and protected naturalistic areas: the National Park of Abruzzo, Lazio and Molise (the first natural park in Europe), the MaB reserve (Man and the Biosphere – UNESCO program) of Collemeluccio-Montedimezzo, WWF oasis of Guardiaregia – Campochiaro and the Lipu Casacalenda oasis, just to name a few.
The vocation of Molise is mainly pastoral and agricultural, with crops of cereals, legumes, fruit trees, vines and olives. A rural economy, mainly family-run, conducted in harmony with the surrounding environment.