My wife and I enjoy towns in rural regions and were intrigued by unspoiled Molise.
Seeking a longer stay, we had a most pleasant exchanges with Carlo and Helene, who graciously agreed to rent their beautiful home for three months this past winter.
We have stayed in some fine villas in Italy, France and Spain, but this is our favorite. Surrounded by lush fields (even in winter) the house offers incredible views. Daily we enjoyed the sight of snow covered mountains just over the line in Abruzzo (amazing sunsets), while the Adriatic glimmered to our north. The house is very attractive, comfortable and welcoming with three modern baths, an excellent and functional kitchen (we are serious cooks) and plenty of sleeping space. The upstairs bedrooms are at either end of the house, offering privacy when we had guests. With an open concept, this was a brilliant and practical renovation. Photos do not capture all the charm.
Location is ideal for exploring Molise, Abruzzo and Puglia, with the high speed Autostrada a few kilometers from the house. We especially enjoyed the historic walled town and fishing port, Termoli, which is on some short lists of the best food towns in Italy (our favorite restaurant in
Termoli is Trattoria Tipica L'Opera, via Adriatica, run by a friendly family. Nearby Vasto has many fine restaurants and has a pretty historic center and panoramic views of the Abruzzi and Moilse coast. Other towns not to be missed: Agnone (famous bell foundry and perched on a picturesque ridge), Campobasso and historic Lanciano in Abruzzo. Do eat at Locanda Mami , just outside Angone, with a brilliant young chef,Stefania. She blends traditional recipes with modern techniques. Great food at very fair prices.
The area is rural farm country, but the food culture is sophisticated and varied. Along the coast, the most fresh and perfect seafood is served, while elsewhere lamb and poultry are prepared traditionally. The area proudly produces great cheese and sausage, along with truffles. We found the food in Molise to be as good as in France, with much lower prices! Wine from San Zenone Coop in town is exceptional!
This is a superlative house and area. Carlo and Helene and their family welcomed us and are now friends. The locals are welcoming and friendly. The vacation of a lifetime-we plan to return.
Recommended without reservation!