MILANO ILLUMINATIONS TO STAY

Milan’s city council has decided that some of the magnificent lighting effects introduced during the festive season should be kept on a permanent basis.

21 Jan 2010 More

ITALIAN CARTOON CHALLENGES DISNEY

“Cuccioli. Il Codice di Marco Polo!” (“Babies. The Marco Polo Code”) is the title of a new Italian cartoon film about to arrive in Italian cinemas. ...

18 Jan 2010 More

SPECIAL MOLISE (3)

   

Beaches:

Molise has 35 kms of coastline on the Adriatic sea, stretching from the Abruzzo beaches to the Gargano promontory in Apulia . Much of this is made up of long strips of sandy beaches bordered by farmland and woods of typical Mediterranean trees and shrubs. The unspoiled divers’ paradise of the Isole Tremiti, though officially part of Apulia, are most easily reached by boat from Termoli, Molise’s main beach holiday resort.....

13 Jan 2010 More

SPECIAL MOLISE (2)

Where to stay in Molise

Molise is keen to attract the independent tourist who wants to sample authentic Italian small town and village life.  The “Albergo Diffuso” is ideal for this purpose and the region is doing its best to encourage and promote this formula.  The “Albergo Diffuso”, invented in Carnia (Fruili) after the earthquake of the 1970s, is a new concept in hotel accommodation, where rooms are in restored old houses dotted around the historic centres of small towns and villages. The formula has been particularly successful in Molise’s neighbouring region, Abruzzo, which, like Molise, abounds in charming medieval mountain villages that had been largely abandoned by the native population.

These “Village Hotels” can be found in 15 Molise communes and offer a total of 456 beds. Facilities, however, vary considerably. The authentic “Albergo Diffuse” has a central core, acting as a reception area, and can also offer dining facilities, either directly or through agreements with local restaurants. Many “Village Hotels” that we visited were little more, in effect, than rental accommodation with self-catering facilities . There is also a wide choice of properties for sale in these “borghi” (historic centres) at extremely reasonable prices. Those looking for a second home in the heart of Italy will be welcomed with open arms. Depopulation is a big worry here. The people of Molise are very proud of their home patch and keen to keep it  alive. 

Along with Farm Holidays (agriturismo), the Albergo Diffuso and rented accommodation in an old “ borgo” are ideal solutions for families. Prices are lower than in normal hotels and children can enjoy the freedom of playing in  unpolluted traffic-free streets and piazzas in a small centre where everyone knows everyone else.....

09 Jan 2010 More

SPECIAL MOLISE

 

Italyupdate opens this year with a new feature. Periodically, we shall be concentrating on lesser known areas of Italy that are anxious to encourage international visitors. These features will take the form of a panoramic tour of the region or province involved, where we report on the main art cities, monuments, festivals, gastronomic specialities and general attractions. All the places described have been visited personally by our correspondent.

 

Our first Special concentrates on what is possibly Italy’s least known region ¿½ Molise. Molise, in fact, only became a separate region in 1963. Before that, it was considered part of Abruzzo, its neighbour. Sandwiched between the four regions of Abruzzo, Lazio, Campania and Puglia, Molise also has its own bit of coast on the Adriatic sea, so it can offer many different kinds of holiday, ranging from ski resorts to sun-and-sand, mountain trekking to quiet farm stays, exclusive wine tours and local food tastings, or all-the-fun-of-the-fair at some of the many colourful feasts and festivals that punctuate the calendar.

 

What I didn’t know about Molise:

            Some of the best truffles come from here, only they all go up to the famous annual Alba truffle fair and are passed off as Alba-produced truffles. In 2009, the massive truffle that fetched the price of $200,000 in the Alba auction actually came from Molise.

 

Molise's Special Qualities:

 

            With a total of some 300,000 inhabitants, Molise is one of Italy's least populated regions. Largely mountainous and rural, there are plenty of wide, open spaces, unpolluted air and all the peace and quiet it is becoming increasingly difficult to find in our busy, modern lives.  Bordering on the National Park of Abruzzo, it shares much of the park's rich variety of wildlife, including wolves, wild boar, deer, eagles and other birds of prey. Having been so much of a backwater, Molise has been spared the tasteless building developments and industrial spreads that have blotted the beauties of many other Italian regions and most of its towns and villages have preserved their air of old world charm. Tradition is still firmly rooted here and foreigners will be fascinated by many of the unique and age-old customs and festivals. Local food production is a source of pride and you can visit many of the cottage industries that produce top-quality gastronomic specialities. Shrinking populations is a big problem in many of the charming, historic old villages and many local councils are keen to encourage the purchase of old properties to be converted into holiday or retirement homes for foreigners. House prices are low and, since Molise is still “undiscovered”, this would be the time to find a bargain retreat in an authentic Italian village.  

 

05 Jan 2010 More

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