Agnone stands on a hill overlooking the valley of the Verrino River. The wide valley can be spotted from various points along the streets of the town. Every terrace or panoramic viewing point showcases a different side of the mountain, with its abundance of cultivated fields, forests, woods, and scattering of houses.
Three out of the original seven medieval gates remain: Porta di San Nicola, l’Arco Semiurno and Porta Maggiore, while others have been destroyed over time.
The entire town is dotted with churches, a good thirteen structures embellished by paintings and archeological details that tell the story of the evolution of Agnonese history.
If you lose yourself along the laneways of the historic center it’s not unusual to come across old shops that at one time housed blacksmiths, shoemakers and goldsmiths. Agnone was a town of artisans, some of whom are still here.
In fact among the many points of interest we can’t fail to mention the Fonderia Marinelli, the historic foundry whose bells ring out all over the world. Similarly attention must be drawn to the copper tradition. Today you can still purchase copper artefacts and take part in themed tours.
As mentioned previously, the Athens of Sannio (this is one of the names that Agnone is known by) today offers many opportunities to anyone who wants to pay it a visit.
Discovering the Art of Cheese-making
The link between Agnone and cheese is already well-known to lots of people. The town is home to many producers who will also organize tours of the dairies and the cellars where cheese is aged. A multisensory visit that will be difficult to forget!
The Art of Copper-working
In the past the sounds of the copper foundries resonated in the silence of the forests, even reaching Agnone. Today none of the old foundries is still active although some brave artisans continue to carry on this ancestral tradition, even organizing tours inside a dedicated museum.
The Sweet-making Tradition
The Alto Molise center is not only noted for its vast production of cheeses and sausages, but can also boast an excellent confectionary tradition. It’s easy to book a tour in one of Agnone’s patisseries or sweet-shops. A delicious experience that will enrich your stay.
The Bell-making Tradition
Fonderia Marinelli has represented and continues to represent one of the most interesting places to visit. Apart from a museum full of artefacts that tell the story of the tradition of one of the oldest foundries, a visit to the foundry will reveal the curious and interesting process that transforms bronze into a bell.
A dip in the Verrino
The banks of the Verrino River at one time fed mills, irrigated fields and were fundamental to the numerous copper-making activities that took place along the river. Today you can take part in excursions that let you relax, putting aside the stresses of everyday life.
There are about 15 restaurants scattered around the area, between the town’s streets and the outlying districts – where, apart from enjoying the food, you can relax in the silence of the natural surroundings. The local restaurants offer typical dishes and innovative recipes based on local products. The Agriturismo establishments, situated in the countryside, are equally interesting. Here you will rediscover recipes handed down by generations of grandmothers which are not only delicious but will let you taste excellent food in unique locations.
Dishes and typical products
Agnone and Alto Molise offer a cornucopia of flavors, preserved in a context that is still fresh, one in which culinary traditions have been preserved and handed down, and dishes are served just as they would have been in the past.Therefore among many other examples it would be impossible not to mention the famous “Zuppa Alla Santè”, a soup that is based on bread that has been soaked in beaten egg, toasted, cut into cubes, immersed in chicken broth and enriched with meat balls and cheese balls. Among the specialities “Mostaccioli” stands out, as well as the “Ostie ripiene”, wafers filled with a stuffing of honey, chocolate, walnuts and almonds, and the “Pizzelle”.
Among the typical products available is “Stracciata”, mozzarella cheese that has been formed into thick strips and folded in on itself by hand, and the teardrop shaped cheese known as “Caciocavallo”.
In the hospitality sector, there is even more on offer. Agnone can host over 400 guests in various hotels, bed & breakfasts, holiday homes etc. Ancient palaces, family houses of the town’s residents and old restored farmhouses today provide elegant locations for overnight stays. Whether they look out over the little lanes of the historic center, or whether you can see valleys and woods from the windows, the accommodation facilities offer rest and relaxation, either in the cold Apennine winters or the warm summers or even during the rare torrid nights.