Exploring the Molise countryside on horseback for three days, had provided a great way to discover what this part of Italy had to offer. Four hoof drive had not always been comfortable however, so the opportunity to experience it in a four-wheel drive Fiat sounded like a luxurious adventure.
Italy’s newest region is south of Rome, bordered by Abruzzo, and has a short coastline on the Adriatic. It is rolling landscape with low-lying hills, mature forest, wild horses, and picturesque villages, often built into the hillside. It’s ideal horse riding territory, but the many tracks which dissect the landscape also make it ideal for off-road vehicles.
I’ve enjoyed many holidays in Italy, climbing or skiing in the Dolomites, exploring it’s stunning coastline, and the history and culture of it’s famous cities. It is a diverse country, a favourite of many travellers, and one which almost everybody is keen to visit. I felt very fortunate being able to enjoy two very different adventurous activities in the space of a few days.
The hosts for this adventure was PentriAvventura, based in Isernia. They offer a variety of four-wheel drive excursions, but what sets them apart is that they’re not just a commercial company, but enthusiasts. They take out their Fiat all terrain vehicles regardless of whether they have any clients, they just enjoy it. A group of mates that enjoy nature, having fun, and a challenge. They originally started out just heading out into the hills on their own, and then decided to share the fun with paying clients.
I’m a huge fan of Landrover Defenders, but have to admit these Fiat Campagnolas, really surprised me. They tackled some impressively rugged terrain, redefining the term track, fording streams, leaning over at extreme angles, and climbing impossible slopes. They took it all in their stride, coping with aplomb, though they do seem slightly Defender like.
Although the off-roading seemed quite extreme, I’m pretty certain without passengers, my hosts often challenged themselves to a greater extent. I guess crazy Italians just wanna have fun.
Travelling in this way allowed me to see some lovely scenery, and much than would have been possible hiking or even on a bike. Autumn is a particularly attractive season in Molise, the mature woodland, has begun to change from leafy green to golden ochre, and temperature inversions occur regularly, so getting above the clouds is relatively easy.
It was a pleasant little drive in the Molise countryside, although seatbelts were not optional extras. Taking pictures wasn’t easy either, as we weren’t travelling over a smooth, tarmac motorway.
We travelled in a small convoy of three Campagnolos, driven by friends that were having as much fun as any client. They were also taking pictures, and making videos, it’s their obvious enthusiasm that makes this so special. It’s more like a drive with friends than an organised tour, and one of the most fun driving excursions I’ve ever done.