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Wine tourismMOLISE


Wine tourism

Article published in Speciali di Motociclismo magazine in 2005.

With the occasion of the "open cellars", here is a beautiful itinerary to discover the smallest region of the peninsula and, probably, one of the least known: Molise. A pleasant route that connects the 2 provincial capitals, between scenic roads, remains of ancient buildings, historic cities and Italic temples.

Read the story published in the magazine.

"Next time you come to Molise, call me for an unforgettable fish meal in Termoli !!" Pierluigi, is an agronomist from Pescara, temporarily on loan from the Abruzzo Region to the Molise institution of the same name, collaborator for "slow food" and in these "Cantine Aperte 2005" invited to the presentation of wines in the Di Tullio cellar. We quickly socialized and in a short time the discussion from wines reached food, even if this time both Dino and I, who accompanies me in this ethyl raid, do not agree very much with the impressions and judgments that our expert interlocutor has of some restaurateurs from Termoli. Of course, our experience is simply based on hours and hours of "forced", difficult and demanding sessions at the tables of various restaurants, but at least the opinions he has of "us 3" and "Nicolino" need to be rectified and on this we have no doubts.

"Next time we will let you try a mystical experience based on raw fish and seafood !!" the challenge is launched, but the tastings continue. Let's repeat a second taste of a very honest Montepulciano in purity and off to the second stage of this alcoholic tour. Too bad because the first winery, that of "Colle Sereno", among other things adhering to the initiative and practically in the proposed route (on the bottom of the Biferno valley that we crossed less than 10km further west), unexpectedly and even incredibly did not even open its gates to visitors !! At the end we will visit 3 of the wineries that have joined this initiative.

The occasion of this itinerary was precisely this second edition of the "Open Cellars" which involved a small number of companies in this region which is one of the smallest regions and also, probably undeservedly, one of the least known.

So a first part to discover small towns with departure and arrival in the two provinces and the second part in search of the companies that participated in the 2005 edition. Of course, you can also consider a couple of days, perhaps more, including a nice and invigorating stop on the Molise coast.

And that's exactly what the undersigned has decided to do. You must know, it is common opinion, that Molise has a reputation for not having an excellent quality road system: an often slippery asphalt would not allow a safe, satisfying and relaxing touring motorcycle practice. Even my friends do not shy away from these considerations, who often prefer the safest and most satisfying Abruzzo roads. There are exceptions and in the first part of the path I found one, but often the judgment corresponds to reality. All this is a real shame because I believe that the landscapes, especially in the interior of the region, have a characteristic that is difficult to find in other areas of the peninsula: the view that can be enjoyed along its streets is so total that one is surprised to be on roughness that are little more than high hills. 360 ° panoramas, a kind of plateau where the view runs free as far as the eye can see.

So I made an appointment with the group for the next day for tastings in the cellar and I leave for this itinerary to discover the interior of Molise. We start from Isernia with its historic center and its clubs, but the protagonist, in spite of the detractors, is immediately the road: the SS17 that leads to Roccaraso is really exciting. Could they all be wrong? The fun could continue at least up to Rionero Sannitico, but at the crossroads with the SS86 you go right: will it be the right choice? The first curves seem to confirm the decision and up to Agnone it will be pure fun. Very beautiful and picturesque are the villages along the route with Forlì del Sannio and Agnone which, in my humble opinion, deserve some more attention. In particular, the latter, home to illustrious writers, so much so that it is called "the Athens of Sannio", surrounded by lush woods, is very interesting for its artistic values ​​and monumental-environmental situations. To underline the flourishing confectionery industries, copper objects and above all that of the bells, which dates back to the Middle Ages (Papal Foundry Marinelli), as well as from that time the goldsmith's art flourished and in the 18th century the production of clocks.

From how many churches do the melted bells ring in this village? Local production boasts real works of art and having the papal state as customers is certainly a sign of some success.

Unfortunately, going down from this center the road changes: a real metamorphosis and from this point, except for brief and sudden stretches, you will have to drive, enjoying the always beautiful landscape and lending to the asphalt conditions. The descent towards the SS17 will take place along provincial roads with little traffic but really slippery until you see the sanctuary of the Addolorata which dominates the state road. From here the entrance to the ss618 is a stone's throw away and will lead us to the point of arrival. Beautiful views and medieval villages perched on rocky spurs that dominate the valleys below: Macchiagodena, Frosolone and Castropignano seem to have been built and designed by the same hands, but in reality, much more simply, they show that the defensive needs were the same for everyone. We are at the end of the itinerary and we can start thinking about tastings: Dino, Donato and Glauco are already in the operations area, it's time to join them.

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