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Photo courtesy of Walks of Italy

Molise

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Rarely traveled, or even spoken about by the American tourist, Molise is nothing less than any of its more-glamorous neighbors and harbors some very distinct and tasty food. There are no five-star hotels in Molise, and virtually no restaurants in the super elegant category. However, there stand several that I have found to be honest, delicious and excellent representatives of local, tasty cooking.

 

Molise is the central roadway of the transumanza, the centuries-old migration of people and their cattle and sheep herds. At the end of the summer, shepherds would take their animals from the cool, high plains of what is now called Abruzzo, down to the warmer, flat lands near the coast on their way to what is now Foggia, in northern Puglia. They traveled along wide-road-like paths called tratturi, many of which are still visible and even used in modern times.

Mario's Picks

Da Tonino

A tiny thirty seat trattoria that serves rigorously authentic cucina molisana, including a delicious involtino of baccala, a succulent stuffed rolled rabbit with sausage and beans, and a dessert of spumoni with pignoli and honey.

Lupacchioli

Simply the caffe society center of town, a must-go for an aperetivo before a big dinner.

Miseria e Nobilta

Miseria e Nobilta is run by some young Turks who understand the value of the great local food. They have searched out the most interesting local salumi and serve it simply and unadorned.