Up and down through mountains of Matese

The tour "Up and down on the mountains of Matese" gives the chance to find out the most important mountain range of Samnite Appenine, rich in history, art and villages. Nature you will be run across here is superb, among marvelous woods, deep caves, breathtaking views, interesting rocky environments, Apennine peaks to reach, deep valleys carved by ancient glaciers and evocative canyons.

Walking from Sepino to Basilica Minore dell’Addolorata (Castelpetroso) to find out one of the most amazing mountain range of Apennines: Matese.

Historical and cultural itinerary

Matese, a mountain range with many historical and cultural examples. On the way we will visit the archaeological areas of Saepinum (Roman city), San Pietro di Cantoni (Samnite temple and Medieval church), the Conventino (Franciscan convent) and Saipins (Samnite village). We meet a sample of countless transhumances, Regio Tratturo Pescasseroli-Candela, we visit the place of apparitions (occurred in 1888) of Madonna Addolorata and Cristo Morto and we admire the amazing neo-gothic sanctuary of Basilica Minore of Castelpetroso. Finally, there are numerous mountain acquaintances in the different historical periods: the phenomenon of banditry stands out in particular.Peaks to climb

The path is characterised by the ascent to some of the different peaks of Matese. Monte Mutria (1823 meters above sea level) is characterised by the presence of lush woods, steep and rocky slopes, a great panoramic ridge line and a wide peak separated by several crevices with small outcropping rocks. Gallinola (1923 meters above sea level) is the other peak of the journey and is characterised by being a rocky mountain without arboreal vegetation, especially in the highest part, with an extensive and elegant ridge. Finally, Monte Miletto (2050 meters above sea level), which is the highest summit of Matese and stands majestic, with an austere appearance. From all the peaks you can see the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian seas at the same time.

Amazing historical towns

Villages we meet and visit are interesting. The villages are small and perched on the first mountain climbs: Sepino and its Medieval village; Guardiaregia and its church of San Nicola; Roccamandolfi, with the castle on the top of the hill and its beautiful old town.

Untouched and wild nature

The Nature Reserve of Guardiaregia-Campochiaro, which gives life to the second Italian oasis by extension of the WWF (3135 hectares), highlights the high naturalistic quality of this route. In this protected area we can find out the accesses of two of the deepest caves of the peninsula: Pozzo della Neve and Cul di Bove. In addition, we get the great chance to admire the side of Roccamandolfi of Monte Miletto, awe-inspiring and wild, which starting from 1200 meters shows signs of ice erosion, between steep valleys, canyons, overhanging rocks, glacial cirques, moraines and rocks. The journey becames even more beautiful while crossing the gorge of the Callora stream and climbing up Colle di Mezzo (1426 meters above sea level) and La Difenzola (1398 meters above sea level).

Delicious food and excellent drinks

The journey is enriched by the excellent traditional cuisine of Molise and its excellent drinks. Typical products and traditional dishes, often handmade and old-fashioned, cheer up the evenings of walkers. You can taste cheeses such as caciocavallo, pecorino, burrata, manteca and others; cured meats like soppressata, ventricina, capicollo, rolled up ventresca, etc.; white and black truffles. You can drink Moscato white wine and Tintilia red wine.Folklore and local music

During the rest, you can attend performances of folklore and traditional music typical of the rural and pastoral Molise’s culture and you can visit farmhouses, artisan dairies and a family-run stable.


First day Sepino

Arrival at Sepino and welcome aperitif. Accommodation and explanation of the journey. Dinner and night in farmhouse.

Second day From Sepino to Guardiaregia.

A day dedicated to archeology and history. Once visited the village of Sepino, we set off towards the Roman city of Saepinum, before moving on to the Medieval temple / church of San Pietro di Cantoni, to Conventino (Franciscan convent) and arriving at the Samnite village of Saipins. After the last excavation, we go up towards the mountain cottage called Casino Albanese. From here down to the village of Guardiaregia, among wide views of the underlying plain of Bojano. Picnic. Dinner at farmhouse. Night in farmhouse or in B&B.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5/6 hours.
Lenght of the trek: 18.1 km.
Total difference in height (up): +722 metres.
Total difference in height (down): -717 metres.
Difficulty: moderate.

Third day From Colle Macchio (Guardiaregia) to Sella del Perrone (Guardiaregia).

Transfer by car to Colle Macchio and departure on foot. We enter the Regional Reserve of Guardiaregia-Campochiaro, a WWF oasis as well, and admire the monumental beech trees of " Tre Frati ". Then we keep going on climbing, first on Monte Palumbaro (1552 meters above sea level), characterised by a rocky peak and by the beautiful view over the valley of the village of Pietraroja, and then on Monte Mutria. Once reached the summit, we go down again on the opposite side up to Sella del Perrone, between the "dwarf beech forest", wide openings on the beautiful lake of Matese and panoramic views on Monte Mutria. Transfer by car to the accommodation. Picnic. Dinner and night in farmhouse.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5/6 hours.
Lenght of the trek: 16.2 km.
Total difference in height (up): +1172 metres.
Total difference in height (down): -811 metres.
Difficulty: challenging.

Fourth day From Sella del Perrone (Guardiaregia) to Campitello Matese (San Massimo).

From Sella del Perrone we will be following the path that leads to the accesses of Cul di Bove caves first and then of Pozzo della Neve II and Pozzo della Neve. Then we walk up to Sogliette degli Abeti, and then reach Piano della Corte. From here we start climbing up to the top of La Gallinola (1923 meters above sea level). Once we reached the summit, we go down to the other side and get to Campitello Matese. Picnic. Dinner at restaurant. Night in a rural residence.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5/6 hours.
Lenght of the trek: 17.5 km.
Total difference in height (up): +944 metres.
Total difference in height (down): -776 metres.
Difficulty: challenging.

Fifth day From Campitello Matese (San Massimo) to Roccamandolfi.

From Campitello Matese we climb up to the top of Monte Miletto. Once we reached the summit, we go down towards Roccamandolfi, through the awe-inspiring and challenging Fondacone valley, where erosion has given life to two very characteristic rocky spurs: Campanarielli (small bells shaped). The wood surrounding the two peaks gives an added value to the whole place. Picnic. Dinner at restaurant. Night in the hotel.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5/6 hours.
Lenght of the trek: 16.1 km.
Total difference in height (up): +763 metres.
Total difference in height (down): -1383 metres.
Difficulty: difficult.

Sixth day From Roccamandolfi to Basilica Minore dell'Addolorata (Castelpetroso).

From Roccamandolfi we cross the gorge of Callora stream, characterised by waterfalls and pools. Once crossed the water course, we go up and down first on Colle di Mezzo and then on La Difenzola. These two modest peaks are real panoramic balconies on Molise and surrounding areas. Then we pass under Monte Patalecchia (1400 meters s.l.m.) and we get to the place of the apparitions of Beata Vergine and Cristo Morto, and then keep going down to the Neo-Gothic sanctuary below dedicated to the Madonna. Picnic. Dinner at restaurant. Night in the hotel.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5/6 hours.
Lenght of the trek: 15.8 km.
Total difference in height (up): +952 metres.
Total difference in height (down): -983 metres.
Difficulty: challenging.

Seventh day Basilica Minore dell'Addolorata (Castelpetroso)

Time to say goodbye and go back. After breakfast, transfer by car to to the railway or bus station of Isernia.

Su e giù per i Monti del Matese Summing-up

- Apennine environments of Matese, with its luxuriant nature and breathtaking landscapes that give life to a Site of Community Importance (S.I.C.);
- climbing up to the various peaks, including the three main peaks of the mountain range;
- WWF oasis of Guardiaregia-Campochiaro and the deepest Italian caves;
- the Roman city of Saepinum and the Samnite archaeological areas of San Pietro dei Cantoni and Terravecchia;
- the amazing Neo-Gothic sanctuary of Castelpetroso and the place where Vergine Maria and Cristo Morto appeared;
- the places of brigandage;
- the small mountain villages;
- local folklore;
- traditional regional cuisine;
- zero miles food;
- a cosy and familial place;
- an expert guide always with you.

Period: from April to October.
Duration: 5 days walk involving 5 to 6 hours of walk per day, 6 nights, 7 days overall
Length of the itinerary: 83.7 km.
Total height difference, uphill: +4553 metri.
Total height difference, downhill: -4670 metri.
Difficulty: difficult.
Destination: from Sepino to Basilica Minore dell'Addolorata (Castelpetroso).
Guide: Antonio Meccanici.
Typology: medium level mountain itinerary.
Features: itinerant; cultural and historical; folkloristic; natural; food and wine.
Accommodation: bed and breakfast, guesthouse, farmhouse, rural residence and hotel.
Where to eat:restaurant and farmhouse.
Group size: from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 16 people.

Price: 615 € (370 € costs + 245 € fee) per person, in a group from 3 to 16 people.

Tour planned with the technical contribution of Le vie dei canti. If you desire to choose this tour you need to book it through the following website: www.viedeicanti.it .

Difficulty level (sbjective)
Difficult (out of five categories: Easy, Moderate, Medium, Challenging, Difficult): 4/ 5 hours walking tour per day (about 3 hours rest-times, not included), covering a total distance of 83.7 km in five days. Difficult uphills and downhills and flat stretches. Campitello Matese-Roccamandolfi is marked out by very demanding stretches, which require an adequate physical and mental preparation. Every day the total height differences are approaching or exceeding 1000 meters, both uphill and downhill. The trek is accessible to suitably trained people and used to walking, to mountains and, therefore, to long ascents and descents. However, the trails are not technical routes and mountaineering material are not necessarily required, though hiking equipment is needed. The journey is on foot and is itinerant. Short trips are by car. The overnight stays are comfortable.

Prices shown here are intended per person.

Prices include
Price includes the following services:
- travel planning;
- welcome aperitif, all breakfasts, lunches and dinners;
- all nights in twin rooms (for single rooms an additional of 30 € is required);
- nature and walking guide;
- insurance;
- luggage transport and transfer during the seven (7) days in Molise;
- tax stamp;
- tickets to archaelogical areas or museums;
- extras.

Price will not include
Services not provided:
- trip from the own residence, with any transport, to and from Molise;
- any service not described.

A lot of partner accomodations are small, with few rooms and few beds. For this reason, “Molisetrekking” needed to be associated with second lodgings for its customer.
It could happen that all first partner accommodation will be booked with few reservations. Therefore, groups will not sleep in the same place.
All accommodation can provide single or twin or double rooms.
Accommodation will be reserved according to the chronological order of trip bookings. The one who books the trip will get first partner accommodation. Once accommodation will be full, second partner accommodation will be booked.

Calendar 2019

from 3 to 16from 29 june to 5 july 20197 days 615 € per person (for 7 days)Available
from 3 to 16from 27 july to 2 august 20197 days 615 € per person (for 7 days)Available
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