Live the slow life, discover ancient traditions.
- All-inclusive MOLISE and Agnone
- For groups of 7 – 10 guests
- Our programme can be adapted according to preferences and the seasons
- Private or family groups can be organised with a minimum of 5 people
Arrival at Rome Fiumicino Airport (pm), greeted by a private driver in a minibus for transport directly to accommodation in Agnone.
Welcome aperitivo and orientation followed by dinner.
Tour of the centro storico and stories of town history. A medieval town crafted by Venetian stonemasons, with 46 separate artisan guilds - expert gold and silversmiths, watchmakers, tailors, musicians and scholars, bell makers….. there’s a story around every corner.
Light lunch in Agnone.
Visit to the Fonderia Pontificia Marinelli and Museum, the world’s oldest bell foundry. It takes 3 months to make a bell, no two are the same - the methods used today have not changed for centuries and through umpteen generations of Marinellis.
Carlo’s cantina to taste home-made wine and salami - The ‘Carlo cantina experience’ with wine and stories - life traditions of yesterday and today.
Dinner in Agnone
Explore the town shops, meet family food producers: cheese, salamis, pastries, sweets, honey, olive oil and ice cream. See how they create with such careful attention, and generations of experience.
Lunch with local specialities.
Hike from Capracotta to Agnone. 1421 meters above sea level. The views are stunning, the landscape as it has been for centuries.
Dinner outside of Agnone - My favourite restaurant is unassuming, charming, and you’d never find it on your own!
Visit countryside caseificio for cheese making - many to choose from, all making exceptional daily produce of which they’re rightly proud.
Tour of the copper foundry and museum - step back in time, film and artefacts tell part of the story - today’s work continues the tradition.
Lunch outside Agnone, il Rifugio.
Guided tour of Pietrabbondante Samnite ruins. A stunning site, hear the fascinating history of the origins of the Molisani.
Aperitivo and walk around Carovilli, famous for truffles.
Dinner at Monte Pizzi - More exceptional cooking and attention to detail in this charming hillside home.
Azienda Agricola to explore the land, vines, animals, and vegetable garden. See how it’s done and get involved. Making sausages, harvesting grapes, producing honey - every season has its flavour.
Tasting lunch – produce and local dishes.
Back to Agnone for free time for visiting the shops and the town.
Cooking and eating dinner together in private home with Molise wines and homemade digestivi. Sharing food around a family table brings visitors right into the heart of the community - see how the pasta is made, and have a go yourself!
Departure day 6
Departures in the minibus to Rome.
- In a shared room with en-suite bathroom €1,000
- In a private room with en-suite bathroom €1,150
Our accommodation is in beautifully restored family run B&Bs within walking distance of events and visits.
For centuries shepherds herded their animals along the ancient tratturi from the Apennine hills to the plains of Puglia during the harsh winter months – La Transumanza. It’s a rough and beautiful landscape, where traditional customs and the slow life can be enjoyed, far from tourism. And visitors can practise their Italian – no waiters showing off in English here! The Molisani are proud of their customs, festivals, and natural, seasonal food; artisan cheeses, local truffles, excellent olive oil, unusual wine varieties, grilled meats and the many simple dishes of their cucina povera.
Agnone is a town of artisans. There were once 36 different guilds, a place of wealth and influence. The best copper vessels in all of Italy were forged in 5 foundries along the Verrino river, then hand finished by the master coppersmiths in 171 family workshops. Learn more in our blog post ‘The Master Coppersmiths of Agnone’. The Museo del Rame recounts their story: Museo del Rame
My grandfather’s cousins have been making bells here for over 1000 years. Fonderia Pontificia Marinelli Campane Marinelli is Europe’s oldest family business, the oldest bell foundry in the world, and the only one by papal appointment.
Bells are made by methods unchanged since the middle-ages.
Nearby are the ancient Sannite (Samnite) ruins of Pietrabbondante, (meaning ‘plenty of stones’), a sacred site with two temples and an amphitheatre. With views reaching to Campobasso and the sea, we almost always get to explore all by ourselves. This Italic tribe, ancient Rome’s fiercest rival, was eventually defeated, becoming the empire’s bravest warriors. The centrepiece is Pietrabbondante Teatro. There’s a small but exceptional museum telling the Sannite story, and that of the origins of Italy – Museo Sannitico di Campobasso.
One of the best things about Molise is that there are very, very, few foreign tourists so here it is possible to live Italian, speak Italian and eat authentic, simple, and true Italian.
For keen travellers to Italy who have seen the famous sites and cities, a chance to discover this little known region and its continuing traditions, and to practise some Italian, is a delight.
Live and Learn Italian offers you study with qualified teachers, while living and engaging with a small community.
30 kilos of bread are made daily in this little oven and once that is done, Mercedes makes delicious trays of pizza and a traditional breakfast cake, ‘pagnottini’, sweetened with a little local honey. She uses a small quantity of potato in the dough, which keep the bread softer for longer – a very old recipe from a time when bread needed to last weeks. And hers does, in fact, it’s better after a few days.
There’s no sign right now that her children will take up the mantle. It’s a hard day. After a long morning, Mercedes cleans and shuts the bakery, and tends to the vegetable garden and the grain fields – although all the family help with this. Then the house needs cleaning, and there are all the other chores. When the family’s 25 goats are giving milk, Mercedes also makes cheese. Once a year they slaughter a pig to provide the family meat.
Her son would like to continue this work and expand the small holding to make his livelihood and despite being very capable and entrepreneurial – he has been forced to find a job in a factory. This kind of rural livelihood is dying out because laws and heavy taxes make the work pretty much impossible for the younger generation.
Baking was traditionally a womans job – the men tended the land. But today with taxes and laws really working against small farmers, the women are keeping the land all by themselves while the men go out and get jobs in factories, or run their own enterprises. Like our driver, Fernando, who’s really a cattle farmer but has a 9-seater vehicle and a thriving taxi service, while his wife is left to look after and milk their 50 cows. Fernando manages to keep his land going, but needs to supplement their livelihood by driving.
Mercedes is the most engaging and amusing woman, full of insights and observations. It is an incredible pleasure to spend time in the bakery as she works, tasting the crusty pizza with tomatoes and herbs from her garden, and hearing stories of her family and her life. She is cautious about the future, but resourceful.
Molise is the second biggest producer of truffles in Italy! Ottavio is from the
With his very well trained dogs, Eva and Kira, and a special licence in his back pocket, Ottavio goes out every day in the season, May to the end of August and then
With loads of experience, Eva did most of the hunting, Kira is still learning. It takes 4-5 months to train a dog and practise is key. We went out at
Molise is the second biggest producer of truffles in Italy and these are prized. The most common type is
The dogs know just where to find them, their sense is very keen and although the Scorzone sit just below the surface of the soil, the
There has been a lot of tree felling in the region, not good for truffles, and Ottavio now has to go deep into the woods. Scorzone
Ottavio’s truffles get sold to restaurants mostly – there is quite tight regulation on this too, and you can’t just sell them anywhere. Most of Molise’s truffles get made into crema or olio di