Molise is Italy's second-smallest region. Its area is about 20 per cent the size of Sardinia,and its population is a mere 320 thousand. Although it is one of Italy's lesser known areas, it really is pure Italia: This is because of its very central location on the Italian peninsula, with access to the Adriatic Sea (35 kilometers). Despite belonging to central Italy, it is closer to the country's South than to its North, and Rome also is in its vicinity. With respect to landscapes, culture and the people's mentality, it is really typically Italian. The fact that it is not big and not as iconic as many other places in Italy, can be seen as an advantage: Here Italy is still unspoilt, "the way it used to be", and things are a bit slower and very reliable. This can also be said of the region's real estate sector. The people of Molise welcome foreigners with a big amount of hospitality and warm hearts, and what they offer them is real estate at very reasonable prices for the most part.

Campobasso is the region's capital and with its population of just over 50 thousand, it has maintained a relaxed and easy-going atmosphere. The Lombards founded it in the eighth century under the name of Campus vassorum as a fortification on a hill. This is now the home of Castello Monforte, the castle of Campobasso, which overlooks the town. It was built in 1450 and is still in good shape, though several times it had to be partially rebuilt, due to earthquakes and wars. In the old town, at the foot of the hill, there is San Bartolomeo, a Romanesque building from the 11th century. This limestone building is of great aesthetic value. The city's climate is Continental, thus for Italy it is surprisingly cool - this is due to its location in the mountains. In the winter even snow is not an infrequent occurrence!

Lately, a lot of movement has come into the region's economy and especially into its tourism sector. In other words, globalization has arrived. Due to its central location, Molise is expected to undergo some rapid and significant changes in the coming years. In fact, the number of travellers from such places as Germany, Holland and Britain is growing fast. What makes Molise so attractive is its relative peace and quiet. Its service sector in non-tourism-related fields has also been growing, and this has had the synergetic effect of making the region's name more known in touristic circles.

To sum it up, Molise has everything that is associated with Italy: Sandy beaches, beautiful rolling hills with picturesque villages, Italian cuisine and wine, Roman remains (like the famous amphitheatre at Lorino) - but everything is on a slightly smaller scale than in the rest of the country and filled with a lot fewer people.

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Molise, Italy

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