And then it happens that Giulia's teacher, of all the Italian regions, assigns Molise to her as the subject of her research. At home we all reply laughing: "Molise does not exist", tam tam that has been raging on social media for years.
In fact, Molise is a small region, but not the smallest in Italy, which is the Aosta Valley, so the reason for its phantom non-existence must be elsewhere.
Benito Jacovitti - work by Michele Carafa
Carlo Cappella, the work of Gianluca Spanu
Perhaps it is due to the fact that Molise does not appear first among the popular destinations of the peninsula, neither for abroad nor for domestic tourism. There are no tourist itineraries on the peninsula that insert Molise between the noble Venice, Florence, Rome and Amalfi.
But perhaps to say that Molise does not exist is just an invitation to the challenge, a way to draw attention to a territory that has its own to tell, because the region is a small treasure chest that contains gems for every taste and season.
It has the sea: a small piece of the Adriatic, only 35 of the 8000 kilometers of Italian coasts, but occupied by equipped sandy beaches or other more natural ones, dotted with trebuchets, the ancient fishing machines, resistant witnesses of a culture of waiting that seems vanished.
It has mountains, where you can ski in the winter and enjoy the woods, lakes, grottoes and caverns in the summer.
It has several cities with a respectable historian, because the territory was already inhabited in the Palaeolithic era by hominids Homo Aeserniensis and over time it has undergone invasions by different peoples, from which it has assimilated habits and customs, which have created what it is today. the cultural structure of this land, proud and very tied to its millenary traditions. The grass paths still resist, those sheep tracks that were used for the transhumance of livestock, which today offer an original and completely unique way to design tour itineraries.
We wanted to testify in person, that Molise does exist and it also knows how to surprise.
We walk and play in the streets of Termoli, rediscovering that Molise pride that lies within all its stories.
We meet the bench-statue of the poet-painter Carlo Cappella, created by the artist Gianluca Spanu. He has his gaze turned to the old city towards that Belvedere Tower that bears his name.
A little further on, at the intersection with Via Frentana, we meet the bench with Benito Jacovitti, the great Molise cartoonist depicted, with his inevitable cigar between his lips, by the artist Michele Carafa.
A third bronze statue, installed at the crossroads with Via XX Settembre, depicts Gennaro Perrotta, another famous Molise citizen who has given so much to philology and classical culture.
But the pride of this land knows how to express itself even beyond the classical arts
The great gastronomic traditions of the territory reach the whole peninsula and beyond, mostly unconsciously. Fusilli were born here, as is the origin of Caciocavallo di Agnone, the typical pear-shaped cheese, already winner of the Italian Cheese Awards. Recent news is also the winning of the Superior Taste Award 2022 for Caffè Camardo, coffee producers since the 1950s.
And how not to mention the success of the Molise car brand DR Motors, which, thanks to the skills of the entrepreneur Massimo Di Risio, has grown exponentially from the year of its birth to today.
All to reiterate that Molise, albeit with a timid voice, has its beautiful story for all those guests who feel the attraction towards less fashionable but authentic realities.
Ancient village of Termoli