The Regione in the Clouds

May 4, 2011 / Places
Monteroduni, Molise

Authentic, rural, rustic, yes even medieval, that is what Molise proves to be. This is a region that was up until the mid 1900’s part of Abruzzi. However Italian’s being Italiani, they had to have it their way. So they parted friends (sort of). Driving to Molise is a panoramic wonder. You literally ascend to the clouds. When you have the time to stop and search out the beautiful hamlets, living becomes a joy.

One such place is Monteroduni in the Isernia province. It is a small but historically interesting community. Population today of about 800 just as it’s been for centuries. (My personal interest is in the fact that my mother’s family is from that town.) Also, the more I learn about origins of certain food preparations; I become aware that so many come from this region.

One such is what we call ‘Easter Bread’, or Pizza Piena. A loaf of simple, yet very tasty dough shell, filled with Ricotta, rice and either cherries, almonds and cinnamon flavor, or salsiccia secca with sharp formaggio pieces.

As you traverse the town you learn of its history,

How these unique people were able to fight off invasions of many tribes and peoples, enabling them to preserve their cultural identity. There is so much more to this story that only a book could tell. Yet the story of this area in Italy is one of the most fascinating of all Italy! These are some of the peoples inhabiting that area, do the research and you will come out educated, entertained and… Italian?

Samnite 600 BC – Roman280 BC – Goth 489 AD- Lombard 555 AD
Norman1070 AD – Swabian1200 AD – Angevin1266 AD – Aragonese1443 AD
Partenopea 1798 – Bourbon 1815- Risorgimento 1860- WWI 1915
Fascism 1922 – WWII 1940 – A Republic 1946
Separated from Abruzzi in 1963 – Recognized as a Regione as of 1970

Giuseppe Spano

by Giuseppe Spano

  Chef,instructor,poet,lecturer,dreamer,marito,father,grandfather great grandfather; while loving it all!    Mi diletto nel popolo italiano

13 Responses to “The Regione in the Clouds”

  1. Barbara Hollowell

    Thank you for giving me such an interesting introduction to your mother’s homeland!–Barbara

  2. Mac McLean

    It is little towns like Monteroduni that I go to Italy to see the people, customs and taste their fantastic food. Thanks for the pictures and history Giuseppe.

  3. I love this web page, well hate it also. It just reminds me I am here and not there.
    I never thought I would make a correction, but regarding the Lombards, they invaded Italy in 568 and Zotto took Benevento around 570.

  4. Carole

    Well done!!! Exactly the kind of article that those of us, who can not travel to Italy right now, crave. Perfecto Guiseppe and thanks for taking us along in your shirt pocket.

  5. Patrizia

    What kind of work is there in this type of small town? Anything that could support a family? How do the people living there support themselves – tourism? farming?

  6. giuseppe spano (jojo)
    giuseppe spano (jojo)

    Ne sono grato, signore Goglia
    my fingers type crookedly and spell check does not correct date typos
    your date of 568 is accurate, I suppose I held the key too long, 555
    and for you Patrizia, a family can be supported if you are willing to live the life. Things are viewed much differently there and that is a good thing to those who love Italia and it’s old ways.

  7. Cathy Ippolito

    So enjoyed this article about Molise. Can we get a recipe for Pizza Plena? My father came from a small town named San Fele. I have never been there and always have wanted to go . I envision the town when I read articles about small towns such as Monteroduni. Has anyone been there, and are there any descriptive narratives about San Fele? Would love to visit via literature since I cannot visit right now. I enjoy all your articles. Thank you!

  8. Donald Sassi

    I love anything I can get that relates to my father’s (Damiano Sassi 1897-1974)home town of Isernia. I have been there twice…it’s a beautiful place. Thank you so much for this contribution.

  9. giuseppe spano (jojo)
    giuseppe spano (jojo)

    I am Chef Giuseppe Spano,I teach Southern Italian Cooking (and Nord)
    My heritage is Pugliese and Molisane also questo e quello. If you e-mail me directly i will forward several variations of pane pasqua

  10. Carole

    Chef Spano: how does one email you directly? I am very interested in the recipe with variations for Pane Pasqua.

  11. Betsy

    Yet another article offering insight into the wonders of Italian culture , history and people!


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