Italy is made up of 20 regions, each with distinctive characteristics. Here, you’ll get an overview of Molise to get you started on planning a Molise trip.

Before 1970, the little region of Molise didn’t even exist (it used to be combined with what is now Abruzzo). Today, it’s Italy’s second-smallest in area and in population, and all but forgotten by tourists.

Much of the south is considered “underdeveloped,” and Molise is no exception – but it’s precisely the sort of place that appeals to travelers who really want to get away from the usual tourist crowds. There are no big-name attractions in Molise to speak of, but there’s plenty of real Italian life.

Molise Basics

  • The Italian name for Molise is the same as the English, and it’s pronounced moh|LEE|zeh.
  • The demonym for people or things from Molise is molisano (masculine singular), molisana (feminine singular), molisani (masculine plural), or mulisane (feminine plural).
  • The capital of Molise is Campobasso.
  • Molise is in southern Italy and shares borders with the regions of Abruzzo, Lazio, Campania, and Puglia, as well as the Adriatic Sea.
  • There are no UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Molise, though there are two on the tentative list.

Molise Travel Tips

creative commons graphic by Otourly, modified by me

creative commons graphic by Otourly, modified by me

Molise is predominantly made up of hills and mountains, once you get away from its small coastline along the Adriatic. It’s largely agricultural, with tourism playing a much smaller role in the regional economy than in most other regions of Italy. Not even the beaches are as crowded in summer as beaches in neighboring regions.

The combination of the mountainous terrain and the chronic underdevelopment means that Molise isn’t exactly a haven of public transportation. You won’t get much farther than the regional capital and a few other main cities by train, after which you’ll need a car if you want to get around at all.

All this to say that if you’re an intrepid traveler who’s looking for something besides the usual Rome-Florence-Venice route, Molise might be just the thing.

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