Molise is the second-smallest region in Italy, located on the eastern coast just south of Abruzzo and north of Puglia and Campania. Prior to 1970, Molise didn't even exist—it was part of a combined region called Abruzzi e Molise.
There is a short piece of Molise coastline on the Adriatic Sea, and otherwise the region is quite hilly. At its western border, the landscape becomes fairly mountainous as the Apennine Mountains wind down the center of the peninsula.
Overall, Molise is one of the underdeveloped and lesser-visited regions of Italy. Its natural resources are appealing to outdoor sports lovers, especially during the summer when hikers and mountain bikers abound; and there are some beautifully preserved ancient Roman ruins to see. For the most part, however, it's Molise's lack of a long “must-see” list that attracts travelers who really want to get away from the madding crowd. Even Molise's beaches are relatively quiet in the summer, as opposed to more popular beaches on the peninsula.
Due to the aforementioned underdevelopment in Molise, public transportation is far from robust. You can get to the main cities and towns—including Campobasso (the capital), Isernia, Larino, and Termoli—but for any more in-depth exploration you would be well-served by having a rental car.
Photo credits: maudanros