If you are looking for a European tourist destination, consider visiting Campobasso, the capital and largest town (only about fifty thousand) of Molise, one of the smallest regions of Italy which finally gained regional status in 1963. Campobasso is geographically near Rome, except for the intervening Appenines Mountains. But if you want to visit the real Italy and be a million miles from Rome culturally, consider touring Campobasso. Be sure to read the companion article describing other sites in Molise.
You’ll want to see the Castello Monforte, located atop of the Sant’Antonio Mountain. This castle was built in the mid-Fifteenth Century and rebuilt after earthquakes, the first one happened only six years later. It is perched on the hilltop dominating the town. There are still the traces of ancient settlements including Samnite walls built prior to the Christian era. Next to the castle you will find the Eleventh Century Chiesa della Madonna del Monte (Santa Maria Maggiore Church). Don’t miss the Cathedral, also called the Chiesa della Santissima Trinità (Church of the Holy Trinity), first built after the turn of the Sixteenth Century and then rebuilt in a Neoclassical style after an earthquake destroyed it three centuries later. The city includes many other classical churches.
Cosenza’s population is about seventy thousand but the nearby University adds a lot more. The area was home to the legendary Visigoth King Alaric who captured Rome in the year 410. Shortly afterwards he died and his treasure, said to be buried in the river has never been found. Cosenza has been called the Athens of Calabria. Enjoy its Castello Svevos virtually destroyed by earthquakes and lightning. Of course there is a Cathedral and several churches to visit. The new city’s open-air museum includes Saint George and the Dragon by Salvador Dalì.
The Museo Provinciale Sannitico (Archeology Museum ) which was recently opened in the Palazzo Mazzarotta boasts a fine collection of Samnites art and artifacts. The recently restored Villa de Capoa boasts a fine garden with statues and a wide variety of plant species. The town is also home to the University of Molise.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten books on computers and the Internet, but to be honest, he would rather just drink fine Italian or other wine, accompanied by the right foods. He teaches classes in computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his website www.travelitalytravel.com devoted to Italian travel with an accent on fine Italian wine and food. Visit his central wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with weekly reviews of $10 wine and columns devoted to various aspects of wine including wine and food, humor, trivia, organic and kosher wine and lots more.Click to access the original, longer article on this Italian tourist location.
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