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Molise Express

Updated: Dec 13, 2021

Yesterday, the 11th of December 2021, I had the chance to take a trip on a historical train, crossing Molise's territory from Termoli, a beautiful town on the Adriatic coast, to Campobasso, the Capital of the region. The event was organized by a local association named "Le rotaie" ("The railway") which takes care of and promotes historical trains routes. The train on which I had the pleasure to travel has beautiful coaches from the 30s, with surprisingly comfortable seats made in wood.

The exterior of the train, named "Centoporte" ("Hundred doors") for the presence of a door in each compartment.

The interior of the coaches with seats and overhead compartments made in wood and many small windows.

The coaches are beautiful but of course, being from the 30s, they haven’t got a heating system. Fortunately, the organizers warned all the attendees to wear warm clothes since December is a very cold month over here.

The train made a couple of stops and one of them was at Casacalenda, a cute village located about 25 km northeast of Campobasso. Here we were welcomed by the mayor and the community, which offered us a typical Christmas snack: local wine and bread fritters. A local music group, Bufù Kalena, was the best entertainer. They play a traditional instrument, called Bufù. This is a sort of drum made of a wood barrel covered with a cloth, on which there is a whole. In this whole the musician inserts a reed that they pull up and down, creating a unique sound.

The Bufù Kalena performing at Casacalenda station.

Casacalenda is special for one more reason besides the music, its welcoming people and its good food. It is home to MAACK, an outdoor contemporary art museum. Walking around the village you can spot several permanent art installations of local and international artists.

Tonino D'Erme, "Cromoscala", 1990

Baldo Diodato, "L'albero della Cuccagna", 2015

And besides the art, there is something else that is worth to see in Casacalenda. In the upper part of the village there is a beautiful view: between the hills you can spot the Adriatic sea, even on a cloudy day like yesterday. And let me tell you, it is something special.

View from the upper point of Casacalenda


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