Molise is Italia's newest region, having been established in 1970.

Prior to recognition as a separate region, Molise was linked with Abruzzo, the regional neighbor to the north. There is a short, 21 mile (35km) coastline on the Adriatic Sea, a southern border with Puglia and Campania, and a western boundary with Lazio.

The mountains and highlands dominate the terrain in Molise with less than 10% being coastal lowlands.

Being small has not spared Molise from the attention of conquering powers. Prior to the Romans, Molise was inhabited by Saminite and Frentani tribes. The fall of Rome brought the Ostrogoths, Lombards, Saracens, Normans, Spanish, and the French. Each of these visitors has left traces of character and culture for the ambitious traveler to discover.

There are just 2 provinces in Molise, Campobasso and Isernia, with a combined regional population of just over 320, 000.

Travelers looking for a charming option in Molise should consider the medieval hill town of Larino. Following an earthquake in 2002, residents rallied and created pastel shaded neighborhoods in the ancient city center. Larino has become a magnet for the artistic set in the centro storico (historic center).

The unhurried pace of Molise can be enjoyed in Campobasso amid the architectural remnants of the past millennium. The church of St. George, built in the 10th C. is built over the ruins of a pagan temple. The most prominent structure is the Castello Monforte built in the 15C. over Lombard and Norman ruins. Adjacent to the castle is church of Santa Maria Maggiore originally built in the 11th C. The Villa de Capoa has an impressive garden with period statuary works.