About Molise: between two seas
Some feel a thrill in following paths hallowed by the footsteps of 30 centuries. Others get satisfaction from boldly going where scarcely a traveller has gone before. This part of Italy, more or less corresponding to the region called Molise, offers both options if you travel the roads marked on the map, crossing the peninsula from sea to sea. West of Naples are the shores and isles to which the Greeks retired when masters of the Mediterranean – vacationlands soaked in classical mythology; while north of Capua and Caserta, which today are almost part of the Naples conurbation, you exchange the most over-populated territory for the most under-populated.
Molise, newest, smallest and least-inhabited of Italian regions, was always a lonely land. Backward in communications, in social services and job opportunities, it continues to drive its people abroad. The world acknowledges Molise’s existence only when floods or earthquakes devastate towns and villages and the international relief agencies move in. As to tourism, this is one part of Italy where you will see no campsites or caravans until you get to the beaches.
Travel slowly through Molise in order to discover the best places to visit. You will admire desolate mountain scenery and improbable mountain-top villages and will come across a wealth of little trades. Bell founding, lace making, copper embossing, leatherwork, rope making, blanket weaving and bagpipe making… Molise’s casket of hidden treasures contrasts with the hard-sell souvenir glitter of the Neapolitan shore at the western end of the trip.
From the main Naples-Caserta-Benevento-Foggia railway a branch leads to Campobasso and Termoli and another to Isernia.
Isernia and Campobasso are on a national bus route. Other Molise towns have regular local services. Capua and Caserta are served by frequent city and suburban buses in Naples.
The isles of Ischia and Procida are linked to the mainland and to each other by fast and frequent hydrofoils and car ferries. Some go round on circular tours of the isles, putting in at the different coves and harbours. Naples to Ischia is 80 minutes by car ferry, 40 by hydrofoil. Pozzuoli to Procida is 35 minutes by ferry. The Naples termini are Molo Beverello and Mergellina. A helicopter service (www.capri-helicopters.com) connects Naples (Capodichino airport) with Ischia and other islands in the Bay of Naples.