The wheels of the mountain bike spinning, it’s a slow climb up the hills, to then swoop down the mountain, a hundred shades of green rush past you as you glide through the forests, squares of golden wheat fields emerging as you descend, until finally the sky above you touches the sea in an expanse of brilliant blue.
We are in the Molise region, a small strip of land protected by the Appenine mountains on one side and the Adriatic sea on the other, with a history of feudal dominions set in the rocky hills, connected by ancient migratory paths. The cities are full of art and surrounded by nature, like the Norman castle of Termoli perched over the sea, and the churches and cathedrals facing out over landscapes of mountains, fields and forests. What you will fall in love most of all are the borghi, tiny, ancient villages set in the hills like precious gems, where you can savour genuine, traditional dishes, and enjoy the breathtaking views. They are places from another time, with one room schools and ancient traditions, like the handmade carts pulled by oxen for the festival in honor of Bishop Pardo in Larino, the blaze of color of the ox-cart races of the Carrese festival, and the grape festival in Riccia, which has been held since 1930 to honor the hard work of the grape farmers.
Simple, genuine, magnificent. Molise is all that and more, just waiting to be discovered, so pack your bags!