On shepherd’s tracks in Molise

Next departure: 20 May 2023

Go through the sheep track Cortile-Centocelle and the Regio Tratturo Celano-Foggia, follow the shepherd’s traces in Molise, enjoy the ancient architecture of pastoral culture and the historical villages and towns of Molise, we’ll cross an extremely silent and solitary landscape, where nature is dominant and that from the hill reaches sub-Apennine mountain environments.

Duration: 5 walking days (for the duration of the individual stages see the program above), 6 nights, 7 days overall.
Destination: from Taverna del Cortile (Ripalimosani) to Taverna del Sangro (San Pietro Avellana).

Typology: from hill to mountain.
Features: itinerant, cultural and historical, experiential, natural, food and wine.

Accommodation: bed-and-breakfasts, farmhouse, guesthouses and albergo diffuso (restored house for tourism).
Where to eat: restaurants, home restaurant and farmhouses.
Group size: 8-14 people.

Difficulty: medium
Crossing a hilly and first mountain landscape, there are many climbs and descents. Few steps are flat. As a daily average, the total uphill and downhill height differences are about 600 meters, but few are really challenging steps. The trekking is accessible to everyone, even if you need to be trained for walking. Cortile-Centocelle and Regio Tratturo Celano-Foggia are not technical routes and do not present particular difficulties. The journey is on foot and is itinerant. Short transfers are by motorized vehicle. The overnight stays are comfortable.

Length of the itinerary: 113 km.
Total height difference, uphill: +3775 m.
Total height difference, downhill: -3560 m.

The green roads never end, they twist and turn through fields, farm-houses and isolated areas. Enjoy the awe-inspiring view and explore the 50 meters long roads filled with different colours. The itinerary is also an opportunity to lose yourself in the most precious places of Molise: the reserves protected by UNESCO of Collemuccio and Montedimezzo.

Visit the picturesque and inviting medieval towns of Campobasso, Ripabottoni, Castelbottaccio, Salcito, Pietrabbondante and Isernia. Surrounded by a unique nature, the towns will enhance the journey thanks to their castles, buildings, churches, fountains and more.

The old sheep and wool roads: the sheep track “Cortile-Centocelle” and the Regio Tratturo “Celano-Foggia”, the most well-preserved and amazing paths, with architectural and religious elements of pastoral culture, through castles, churches, votive chapels, villa and stone signs.

There are different archaelogical sites along the way: from the rock areas of Morgia Pietra Martino and Pietralumanna to the Hellenistic-Samnite temple and theatre of Pietrabbondante, heading towards the Paleolitico La Pineta Site of Isernia.

The journey is enriched by the excellent traditional cuisine of Molise and its excellent drinks. Typical products and traditional dishes, often handmade and old-fashioned, cheer up the evenings of walkers. You can taste cheeses such as caciocavallo, pecorino, burrata, manteca and others; cured meats like soppressata, ventricina, capicollo, rolled up ventresca, etc.; local and seasonal vegetables and legumes. You can drink Moscato white wine and Tintilia red wine.

During the rest, you can attend significant people. They storytell histories and traditions of the rural and pastoral Molise’s culture. Then, you can visit a farmhouse with “zero miles” food products.

pietrabbondante isernia molise

Program

Day 1

Arrival at Campobasso and meeting with Professional Nature and Interpretive Guide.
Accommodation and explanation of the journey.
Visit of the historical center.
Dinner at restaurant.
Night in different bed-and-breakfasts, in twin rooms with private bathroom.

Day 2

After the breakfast, transfer by motorized vehicle from the center of Campobasso to Taverna del Cortile (Ripalimosani).
Then, starting of walking day from Taverna del Cortile (Ripalimosani) to Villa di Centocelle (Sant’Elia Pianisi).
Packed lunch.
At the end of walking day, transfer by motorized vehicle from Villa di Centocelle (Sant’Elia a Pianisi) to Ripabottoni for the rest.
Dinner at home reatuarant.
Night in different bed-and-breakfasts, in twin rooms with private bathroom.

From Taverna del Cortile we’ll start to walk and we’ll follow what remains of shepherd tracks Braccio tratturale Cortile-Centocelle. In a few steps we’ll immerse ourself in the silence of the Molise countryside. We’ll go along the medieval village of Matrice, visit the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria della Strada and go up to the Campolieto pass. We’ll still walk towards the hill of Femmina Morta (898 m a.s.l.), to then descend towards the beautiful and very elegant Villa di Centocelle.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 6 hours (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 21 km.
Difference in height (up): +520 m.
Difference in height (down): -480 m.
Difficulty: Medium.

Day 3

After the breakfast, we’ll visit the village of Ripabottoni. Then, starting of walking day from Ripabottoni to Castelbottaccio.
Lunch in a bar.
Dinner at farmhouse.
Night in farmhouse, in twin rooms with private bathroom. After exhaustion of rooms in farmhouse, in different guesthouses, in twin rooms with private bathroom.

We’ll enter the Valle del Biferno, heading towards the riverbed. Then, we’ll going up to the opposite side, to the small village of Castelbottaccio and, then, to the farmhouse. We’ll be walking through deeply natural and green environments, often isolated, and we’ll meet some farmhouses.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 6 hours (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 19 km.
Difference in height (up): +730 m.
Difference in height (down): -750 m.
Difficulty: medium.

Day 4

After the breakfast, starting of walking day from Castelbottaccio to Salcito.
Packed lunch.
Dinner in a restaurant.
Night in different bed-and-breakfasts, in twin rooms with private bathroom.

From the farmhouse we’ll reach the Regio Tratturo and we’ll climb the Colle Marasca (924 m a.s.l.), where you can see the awe-inspiring Regio Tratturo with its natural large dimensions of almost one hundred meters. We’ll go down towards the wild small valley of torrente Rivo, where we’ll admire the great buttresses of Pietra-Fenda, Pietralumanna and Pietra Martino, and we’ll go up and down towards Salcito.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 6 hours and half (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 24,5 km.
Difference in height (up): +845 m.
Difference in height (down): -930 m.
Difficulty: moderate.

Day 5

After the breakfast, starting of walking day from Salcito to Pietrabbondante.
Packed lunch.
Dinner at farmhouse.
Night in different farmhouses, in twin rooms with private bathroom.

We’ll go down to the valley of Trigno, surrounded by the beautiful views on the high Molise, on the south of Abruzzo and the villages of Salcito and Bagnoli del Trigno. Before arriving to the riverbed, we’ll go along the medieval tower of San Bartolomeo. Near the Trigno’s riverbed we’ll be able to see the ruins of Taverna di Sprondasino (XVI century). Then we’ll go up to the other side of the valley, walking on Casino del Duca, an elegant architectural example of the transhumance culture, and along some old sources located in Case Frasso and Arco. Then, we’ll reach the important archaeological site of Pietrabbondante and the village, perched among big rocks. During the part from Pietrabbondante to the farmhouse we’ll meet the great UNESCO reserve of Collemuccio.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 7 hours and half (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 26 km.
Difference in height (up): +1100 m.
Difference in height (down): -865 m.
Difficulty: challenging.

Day 6

After the breakfast, starting of walking day from Piano San Mauro (Vastogirardi) to Taverna del Sangro (San Pietro Avellana).
Packed lunch.
At the end of walking day, transfer by motorized vehicle from Taverna del Sangro (San Pietro Avellana) to Isernia for the rest.
Dinner at restaurant.
Night in ‘albergo diffuso’ (restored house for tourism), in twin rooms with private bathroom. After exhaustion of rooms in ‘albergo diffuso’, in bed-and-breakfast, in twin rooms with private bathroom.

Once we passed again through Trigno river, we’ll cross Piano San Mauro and we’ll go up to Colle Riposi (1098 m a.s.l.). The view on Mainarde mountains, the village of Carovilli and the Molise pentro is wonderful. First, we’ll go along Colle Taverna (1009 m a.s.l.) and then Monte Pizzi (1373 m a.s.l.), a suggestive mountain with small stone peaks. After having passed through the small community of Cerreto (Vastogirardi), we’ll be walking in the wood of Monte di Mezzo, an other UNESCO reserve. It is impressive what remains of the sample called re Fajone (a centuries-old beech tree no longer alive). Beyond the reserve, we’ll reach the Santilli furnace (an example of industrial archaeology) and then we’ll arrive in San Pietro Avellana. From the village, we’ll go down until the Sangro river, where the homonymous Taverna is present.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 6.5 hours (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 22.5 km.
Difference in height (up): +580 m.
Difference in height (down): -535 m.
Difficulty: medium.

Day 7

Time to say goodbye and go back.
After breakfast, we’ll visit Isernia and the important archaeological area of ​​the Paleolitico La Pineta Site of Isernia, dating back to 700,000 years ago.
Afterwards, transfer to the railway or bus station.

Write to info@molisetrekking.com to have infos about price and booking.

For group from 8 to 14 people.

Dates
Start Finish Availability
20/05/23 26/05/23 Available
07/10/23 13/10/23 Available
What’s included
  • travel planning;
  • professional nature and interpretive AIGAE guide;
  • all breakfasts and dinners;
  • insurance;
  • all nights in twin rooms with private bathroom;
  • luggage transport during the seven (7) days in Molise;
  • ticket for archeological area of Pietrabbondante;
  • private transport by motorized vehicle, where necessary and according to the program.
What’s not included:
  • airfare;
  • transfer from Italian airport to Molise;
  • Single accommodation (available on request);
  • packed lunches (filled roll, fruit, and half liter water bottle);
  • wine and other beverages with alcohol;
  • private transfer by car or by another motorized vehicle, where necessary and according to the program, if the group is more bigger than eight (8) people;
  • and anything not specifically included above.

Last tips before departure…

Notice: This program may be to change, before and during the journey. Changes are based on the climate, the needs of travelers and the people that host the group of travelers.

More info about this travel!




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