On the wool roads of Molise

The tour " On the wool roads” aims to raise awareness of the environments, the history and the architectural and culinary examples of transhumance in central and southern Italy, as well as the sensations that itinerant shepherds enjoyed through the slow steps and the succession of the different daily work phases.

Walking from Campobasso to Larino to rediscover the road sheeps and shepherds came across during the seasons.

Historical and cultural itinerary

We will be walking on Cortile-Centocelle track and on Tratturi Celano-Foggia and Sant'Andrea-Biferno Regi, which effectively are historical and cultural heritages, as well as tracks designed for the movement of animals and men. All the three tracks represent centuries of comings and goings through the hills of Molise, with the final aim of reaching summer mountain pastures of Abruzzo and Molise and the flat and winter ones of Apulia.

Architectural examples

Along their routes we can admire some remains of buildings of transhumant civilization: Taverna del Cortile (built before 1600), a rest place for shepherds; the church of Santa Maria della Strada (12th century), one of the best examples of Romanesque architecture in central and southern Italy; the elegant Villa di Centocelle and the next church of Santa Maria delle Rose, the first one a rest place for shepherds and herds, the second one a religious landmark along the green road; the beautiful eighteenth-century rural chapel of Sant'Elena, another place of worship of herdsmen; the old Well of Sant'Andrea, a further important point of transhumance; the awe-inspiring and ruined Vecchio Molino, located on the left bank of the large river Fortore.

Amazing historical towns

"On wool’s roads" offers as well the opportunity to learn about the historical and architectural heritage of some of the most beautiful towns of Molise: Campobasso and its medieval hill with the castle Monforte on top, as well as the nineteenth-century district and the liberty villas; Ripabottoni and its conspicuous heritage of churches, palaces and fountains; Rotello and its medieval center composed of baronial palaces and churches; Larino and its remarkable Roman, medieval and modern sample.

Rural places

The journey crosses a hilly area, used for centuries in agriculture and transhumant pastoralism. While keep going from the internal side of Molise towards the coast, hills become less marked, woods here and there stretched on them will decrease and the rurality of the places will be more evident, until becoming an exclusive feature in the valley of the river Fortore and along the entire Regio Tratturo Sant'Andrea-Biferno. In this journey we can walk immersed in fields planted with cereals and forage, as well as admire beautiful olive groves and large and small farms, especially concerning sheeps.

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. In addition, the trip is characterized by a familiar and cosy atmosphere, a high experiential value with a guide always with you.


First day Campobasso

Arrival at Campobasso and welcome aperitif. Accommodation and explanation of the journey. Dinner and visit of the historical center. Dinner at restaurant. Night in Bed and Breakfast.

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

Transfer by car from the center of Campobasso to Taverna del Cortile. From Taverna del Cortile we follow what remains of Cortile-Centocelle, to plunge into the silence of Molise countryside. Along the Medieval village of Matrice, we visit the Romanesque Church of Santa Maria della Strada and climb to the pass of Campolieto. We still walk in the direction of the hill of Femmina Morta (898 meters above sea level), and to go down, then, to the beautiful and elegant Villa di Centocelle. Transfer by car to Ripabottoni. Packed lunch. Dinner in trattoria. Night in B&B.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 5/6 hours.
Lenght of the trek: 21.3 km.
Difference in height (up): +523 metres.
Difference in height (down): -484 metres.
Difficulty: medium.

Third day From Villa di Centocelle (Sant'Elia a Pianisi) to Cappella di Sant'Elena (San Giuliano di Puglia)

Transfer by car from the village of Ripabottoni to Villa di Centocelle. From Villa di Centocelle we descend towards the graft with Regio Tratturo Celano-Foggia. Once reached the main artery, we will cross hilly places with toponyms related to transhumance: Scorciacapra and Taverna Vecchia. Then we go down and climb up the valley of Cigno stream (a tributary of Occhito’s Lake) and we reach the pass between Monte Ferrone (759 meters above sea level) and Colle Cinolfo (732 meters above sea level). From here, we start to see Tavoliere delle Puglie and the promontory of Gargano. We slowly reach the Chapel of Sant'Elena, enjoying the landscape on the surrounding hills, Dauni Mountains (extreme north of Puglia) and the villages of Bonefro and San Giuliano di Puglia. Transfer by car from Tratturo to the farm and / or the village of Bonefro. Picnic. Dinner at farmhouse. Night in farmhouse or in guesthouse and B&B.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 4/5 hours.
Lenght of the trek: 15.6 km.
Difference in height (up): +537 metres.
Difference in height (down): -641 metres.
Difficulty: moderate.

Fourth day From Cappella di Sant'Elena (San Giuliano di Puglia) to Colle Nevera (Rotello)

Transfer by car from the farm and / or village of Bonefro towards Tratturo. We descend into the valley of Fortore, between cultivated fields and farms, until crossing the river. Once slightly climbed, we leave Celano-Foggia to take Regio Tratturo Sant'Andrea-Biferno. We will always be walking between cultivated fields and farms or animal husbandry, in silent places and with very little human presence. After crossing Tona stream, we get to Colle Nevera, the final point of this stage. Visit of Rotello and transfer by car to the resting place. Packed lunch. Dinner in osteria. Night in B&B.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 4/5 hours.
Lenght of the trek: 20.7 km.
Difference in height (up): +517 metres.
Difference in height (down): -783 metres.
Difficulty: moderate.

Fifth day From Colle Nevera (Rotello) to Fiume Biferno (Larino)

Transfer by car from the place of rest to Tratturo. We go down to the bed of Biferno river, among easy ups and downs on rolling hills suitable for the cultivation of olive trees, fodder and cereals. You may see Adriatic sea. We will meet many small waterways. The stretch where we get to Cigno stream (the largest tributary of the Biferno river) is really suggestive. Once got to the main river of Molise, we can drive to Larino for a rest. Packed lunch. Dinner in osteria. Night in bed and breakfast.

Technical features of the journey
Duration: 4/5 hours.
Lenght of the trek: 19.7 km.
Difference in height (up): +468 metres.
Difference in height (down): -811 metres.
Difficulty: easy.

Sixth day From Larino to Termoli or Campobasso

Time to say goodbye and go back. After breakfast, transfer by car from Larino to Termoli or Campobasso to take the train or bus.

On the wool roads Summing-up

- wool and transhumance roads with Cortile-Centocelle, Regi Tratturi Celano-Foggia and Sant’Andrea-Biferno with their historical and cultural examples;
- hilly and great rural environments;
- silence and the loneliness of places;
- hilly, mountain and sea landscapes of Molise, as well of southern Abruzzo, Apulia and northern Campania;
- river environments that give life to some Sites of Community Importance (S.I.C.);
- small villages and towns of Molise with their historical-artistic heritage;
- local folklore;
- traditional regional cuisine of Molise;
- zero miles food;
- a cosy and familial place;
- an expert guide always with you.

Period: from April to May and from September to October.
Duration: 4 walking days involving 4 to 5 hours of walk per day, 5 nights, 6 days overall
Length of the itinerary: 77.3 km.
Total height difference, uphill: +2045 metri.
Total height difference, downhill: -2719 metri.
Difficulty: moderate.
Destination: from Taverna del Cortile (Ripalimosani) to Fiume Biferno (Larino).
Guide: Antonio Meccanici.
Typology: low-moderate hills paths.
Features: itinerant; cultural and historical; natural; folkloristic and food and wine.
Accommodation: bed and breakfast and agriturismo.
Where to eat: restaurant, trattoria, agriturismo and osteria.
Group size: from a minimum of 3 to a maximum of 16 people

Price: 575 € (365 € spese + 210 € quota).

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)
Moderate (out of five categories: Easy, Moderate, Medium, Challenging, Difficult): covering a total distance of 77.3 km in four days. Few difficult ascents. Many descents and flat stretches. Every day the total uphill height differences are about or slightly exceed 500 meters. Downhills height differences are slightly larger - roughly more than 600 meters on average daily - but they do not present any difficulty because they are spread over good distances. The trekking is accessible to everyone, even if you need to be trained for walking. Cortile-Centocelle and Tratturi Celano-Foggia and Sant'Andrea-Biferno are not technical routes and are not particularly difficult. 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, lunches, aperitifs and dinners;
- all nights in twin rooms (for single rooms you need an addition of 40 €);
- nature and walking guide;
- insurance;
- luggage transport and transfer during the six (6) days in Molise;
- tax stamp;
- tickets to archaelogical areas or museums;
- extras.

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 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 6 to 11 april 20196 days 575 € per person (for 6 days)Available
from 3 to 16from 19 to 24 october 20196 days575 € per person (for 6 days)Available
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