On shepherd’s tracks in Molise

Go through the sheep track “Cortile-Centocelle” and the Regio Tratturo “Celano-Foggia”, follow the shepherd’s traces in Molise, enjoy the ancient architecture of pastoral culture and the historical villages and towns of Molise.

Walking from Campobasso to San Pietro Avellana to follow tracks of ancient shepherds on the transhumant trail of Molise.

Historical and cultural itinerary

The old sheep and wool roads: the sheep track "Cortile-Centocelle" and the Regio Tratturo "Celano-Foggia", the most well-preserved and amazing paths, with architectural and religious elements of pastoral culture, through castles, churches, votive chapels, villa, stone signs and typical zero miles food.

Rural life and wild places

The green roads never end, they twist and turn through fields, farm-houses and isolated areas. Enjoy the awe-inspiring view and explore the 50 meters long roads filled with different colours. The itinerary is also an opportunity to lose yourself in the most precious places of Molise: the reserves protected by UNESCO of Collemuccio and Montedimezzo.

Amazing historical towns

Visit the picturesque and inviting medieval towns of Campobasso, Ripabottoni, Castelbottaccio, Salcito, Pietrabbondante and Isernia. Surrounded by a unique nature, the towns will enhance the journey thanks to their castles, buildings, churches, fountains and more.

Archaeological sites

There are different archaelogical sites along the way: from the rock areas of Morgia Pietra Martino and Pietravalle to the Hellenistic-Samnite temple and theatre of Pietrabbondante, heading towards the monastery of Sant’Angelo in Altissimo.

Delicious foods and beverages

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.

Significant meetings with locals

During the rest, you can attend significant people. They storytell histories and traditions of the rural and pastoral Molise’s culture. Then, you can visit a farmhouse with zero miles food products.


First day Campobasso

Arrival and meeting with Nature and Walking guide. Accommodation and briefing of the journey. Tour in the historical city centre and dinner at restaurant. Night in different bed-and-breakfasts.

Second day From Taverna del Cortile (Ripalimosani) to Villa di Centocelle (Sant'Elia a Pianisi)

From the accomodation we transfer by minivan and/or by car to Taverna del Cortile. Here we'll start to walk and we'll follow what remains of shepherd tracks Braccio tratturale Cortile-Centocelle. In a few steps we'll immerse ourself in the silence of the Molise countryside. We'll go along the medieval village of Matrice, visit the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria della Strada and go up to the Campolieto pass. We still walk towards the hill of Femmina Morta (898 meters s.l.m.), to then descend towards the beautiful and very elegant Villa di Centocelle. Transfer by car to Ripabottoni. Packed lunch. Dinner at trattoria. Night in different bed-and-breakfasts.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 6 hours (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 21 km.
Difference in height (up): +520 metres.
Difference in height (down): -480 metres.
Difficulty: medium.

Third day From Ripabottoni to Castelbottaccio

After we'll visit the village of Ripabottoni, we’ll enter the Valle del Biferno, heading towards the riverbed. Then, we’ll going up to the opposite side, to the small village of Castelbottaccio. We’ll be walking through deeply natural and green environments, often isolated, and we’ll meet some farmhouses. Transfer by car from the Tratturo (the old shepherd’s track) to the farmhouse or village. Packed lunch. Dinner at farmhouse. Night in farmhouse or in different guesthouses.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5 hours (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 15 km.
Difference in height (up): +620 metres.
Difference in height (down): -650 metres.
Difficulty: medium.

Fourth day From Castelbottaccio to Salcito

Transfer by car from the farmhouse or village to the Tratturo (the old shepherd’s track). We’ll climb the Colle Marasca (924 m), where you can see the awe-inspiring Regio Tratturo with its natural large dimensions of almost one hundred meters. We’ll go down towards the wild small valley of torrente Rivo, where we’ll admire the great buttresses of Pietra-Fenda, Pietralumanna and Pietra Martino, and we’ll go up and down towards Salcito. Transfer by car from Tratturo to the accommodation and then to restaurant. Packed lunch. Dinner at farmhouse, where we’ll visit the suggestive buttress of Pietravalle. Night in different bed-and-breakfasts.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5 hours (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 18 km.
Difference in height (up): +695 metres.
Difference in height (down): -660 metres.
Difficulty: medium.

Fifth day From Salcito to Pietrabbondante

Transfer by car from the accommodation to the Tratturo. We’ll go down to the valley of Trigno, surrounded by the beautiful views on the high Molise, on the south of Abruzzo and the villages of Salcito and Bagnoli del Trigno. Before arriving to the riverbed, we’ll go along the medieval tower of San Bartolomeo. Near the Trigno’s riverbed we can see the ruins of Taverna di Sprondasino (XVI century). Then we’ll go up to the other side of the valley, walking on Casino del Duca, an elegant architectural example of the transhumance culture, and along some old sources located in Case Frasso and Arco. Then we'll reach the important archaeological site of Pietrabbondante. Transfer by car from archaeological site to the farmhouse. We’ll be going along the great UNESCO reserve of Collemuccio. Packed lunch. Dinner at farmhouse . Night at different farmhouses.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5 hours (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 15 km.
Difference in height (up): +700 metres.
Difference in height (down): -515 metres.
Difficulty: challenging.

Sixth day From Piano San Mauro (Carovilli) to San Pietro Avellana

Once we passed again through Trigno river, we’ll cross Piano San Mauro and we’ll go up to Colle Riposi (1098 m). The view on Mainarde mountains, the village of Carovilli and the Molise pentro is wonderful. First, we’ll go along Colle Taverna (1009 m) and then Monte Pizzi (1373 m), a suggestive mountain with small stone peaks. After having passed through the small community of Cerreto (Vastogirardi), we’ll be walking in the wood of Monte di Mezzo, an other UNESCO reserve. It is impressive what remains of the sample called re Fajone (a centuries-old beech tree no longer alive). Beyond the reserve, we’ll reach the Santilli furnace (an example of industrial archaeology) and then we’ll arrive in San Pietro Avellana. Transfer by minivan and/or by car to Isernia. Packed lunch. Dinner at restaurant. Night in “restored house for tourism” and, after exhaustion of rooms, in bed-and-breakfast.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5 hours and half (rest-times not included).
Lenght of the trek: 18 km.
Difference in height (up): +580 metres.
Difference in height (down): -335 metres.
Difficulty: medium.

Seventh day Isernia

Time to say goodbye and go back. After breakfast, short visit of Isernia, then transfer to get the train or bus.

On shepherd's tracks in Molise Summing-up

- the shepherd’s track of Cortile-Centocelle and Regio Tratturo Celano-Foggia, historical and cultural assets as an example of centuries of transhumance;
- rural and solitary areas of Molise;
- the itinerant life of a shepherd in Molise;
- architectural examples of the transhumant culture;
- rock settlements of the Middle Ages and the theatre-temple of Pietrabbondante;
- the stunning overviews on Molise, on southern Abruzzo, Apulia and northern Campania;
- high naturalistic environments, shown in the Sites of Community Importance (S.I.C.) and in the two protected areas by UNESCO;
- villages and towns of Molise;
- experiences and meetings with locals;
- traditional regional cuisine;
- zero miles food;
- a cosy and familial place;
- an expert guide always with you

Period: See the dates at the bottom of the page. In addition, I am available to agree specific dates for pre-established groups.
Duration: 5 walking days (for the duration of the individual stages see the program above), 6 nights, 7 days overall
Length of the itinerary: 87 km.
Total height difference, uphill: +3115 metri.
Total height difference, downhill: -2640 metri.
Difficulty: medium.
Destination: from Taverna del Cortile (Ripalimosani) to San Pietro Avellana.
Guide: Antonio Meccanici.
Typology: from hill to mountain.
Features: itinerant, cultural and historical, experiential, natural, food and wine.
Accommodation: bed and breakfast, agriturismo (farmhouse), guest house and/or "restored house for tourism" (albergo diffuso).
Where to eat: restaurant, trattoria and agriturismo (farmhouse).
Group size: from a minimum of 8 to a maximum of 12 people.

Price: 635 € per person, in a group from 8 to 12 people.

The trip can be activated with the technical contribution of one of the tour operators affiliated with me and if there is a group from a minimum of eight to a maximum of twelve hikers.

Difficulty level (sbjective)
Medium out of five categories (Easy, Moderate, Medium, Challenging, Difficult): 5 walking days, for a total length of 87 km. Crossing a hilly and first mountain landscape, there are many climbs and descents. Few steps are flat. As a daily average, the total uphill and downhill height differences are about 600 meters, but few are really challenging steps. The trekking is accessible to everyone, even if you need to be trained for walking. Cortile-Centocelle and Regio Tratturo Celano-Foggia are not technical routes and do not present particular difficulties. 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;
- all breakfasts, packed lunches and dinners;
- all nights in twin rooms (for single rooms, in the first affiliated structures, the supplement is 60 €; for the second affiliated structures the surcharge will be communicated via email);
- nature and walking guide;
- insurance and contract with tour operator;
- luggage transport and transfer during the seven (7) days in Molise;
- tax stamp;
- ticket to archaelogical area.

Price will not include
Services not provided:
- trip to Molise, with any transport, and to the way back;
- any services not described.

A lot of partner accomodations are small, with few rooms (all with private bathrooms) and few beds. For this reason, “Molisetrekking” needed to be associated with second lodgings for its guest.
It could happen that all first partner accommodation will be booked with few reservations. Therefore, groups will not sleep in the same place (close, but not the same).
All accommodation can provide single or twin or double rooms (all with private bathrooms) .
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 2020

from 8 to 12from 9 to 15 may 20207 days 635 € (for 7 days)Available
from 8 to 12from 1 to 7 september 20207 days 635 € (for 7 days)A hikers group in the making
from 8 to 12from 19 to 25 september 20207 days 635 € (for 7 days)Available
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