Itinerary: Venafro, Scapoli, Castel S.Vincenzo, Carovilli, Agnone
A tour across Venafro, Scapoli, Pietrabbondante and Agnone to discover Molise's ancient history and traditions
This tour is dedicated to discovering Molise, a small but beautiful Italian region. Let's start from Venafro (pic n°1) located in the valley of river Volturno. This village has kept the ancient urban structure and some important monuments of the past, such as the theater, the Nymphaeum and the amphitheater known as Verlasce.
The Archaeological Museum of the village displays interesting artifacts dating back to the Roman era, including a beautiful statue known as the "Venus from Venafro". Also, do not miss the Medieval Castle (pic n°2), a beautiful structure that was turned into a Renaissance residence in the fifteenth century by Enrico Pandone, lord of the city. He was also the one who had frescoed the castle's walls with the famous images of horses. Those images are still well preserved so you can admire the 26 beautiful stallions that had been painted on the walls to decorate the first floor. These frescoes are among the most important Renaissance paintings of southern Italy.
Our tour keeps going along Valley of Volturno, but not before a quick detour to Scapoli. It is famous for the manufacturing of bagpipes and besides that, this village houses an interesting museum with many musical instruments.
Continuing on the same road, you will reach the old Benedictine Monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno (pic n°3), dating back to the eighth century. The archeological excavations have brought to light the ancient monastic complex and the Cripta dell'Abate Epifanio (Crypt of Abbot Epifanio), a wonderful crypt decorated with ninth-century frescoes.
You can also enjoy a little bit of time on the shore of Lake of Castel San Vincenzo, lying in a pristine natural environment. Although it is an artificial lake, it well-fits the surrounding landscape of mountains and forests.
Going further, you will come across the Medieval castle of Cerro al Volturno, that is located on an impressive rock. After Carovilli, whose fortifications and second-century temple are worth a visit, another detour will take you to the charming archeological area of Pietrabbondante (pic n°4), an important Samnites' center both at a civil and religious level.
Few kilometers away you will find the small village of Agnone (pic n°5). Its Samnites' origins are testified by the remains of the cyclopean walls and several archeological finds.
"Pontifica Fonderia di Campane Marinelli" (pic n°6) is also located in Agnone. This ancient bell foundry has been functioning for at least seven centuries: do not forget to pay a visit to it, and the nearby historical Museum of the Bell.
More about Agnone: Agnone, a beautiful town where art and nature live together
Venafro (pic n°1); Medieval Castle of Enrico Pandone (pic n°2); Benedictine Monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno (pic n°3); Pietrabbondante (pic n°4); Agnone (pic n°5); Pontifica Fonderia di Campane Marinelli (pic n°6)