Surprise, surprise Italy is beautiful in autumn, and none more so than the small region of Molise, south of Rome. A hilly, wooded region with scattered villages, and small towns, many are built directly into the hillside. There are also impressive hilltop fortresses, and idle wind farms, which scar the horizon of the high ridges. However, it is the wooded hills, just beginning to don their colourful autumn coats that offer the most pleasant surprises.
I’ve always wanted to visit New England in the Fall, to witness the many shades of autumn spreading slowly across the countryside. The leaves of the deciduous trees, providing a final stunning show before dropping to the ground, lustrous golden hues, sunset orange shades and deep reds and even crimsons. Molise however, provided a show equally impressive, even though it was still a little early in the season.
In a few more weeks, it seems certain that the autumnal display of the Molise region will rival that of any in the world, and maybe a few other surprises too.
There was an initial surprise upon arriving in the region, while walking to meet our classy rides for the next few days. We wandered into a little glade, carpeted with little, pink blossoms. I’m not of their name, but were possibly a form of crocus, the main surprise was that they were in full bloom in the Italian Fall. They formed a thick, pink shag pile of flowers, a lovely, floral grotto.
This was the only time we saw them in such numbers, they usually appeared in small clumps, poking out of the many dead leaves. This is the usual autumn, woodland carpet, a crispy pile of dead leaves, crunching noisily under the feet of those exploring the woods. The sights and sounds were probably wasted on the horses, but I’m sure we all enjoyed our autumn ride through pretty Molise.
The weather gods smiled upon us, treating us to a beautiful Indian Summer throughout our stay. This region of Italy would be beautiful at anytime of year, but late Fall seems especially appealing; these hills will appear spectacular once they’ve donned their full autumn coat.