A Walk Down the Tratturi of Molise

A Walk Down the Tratturi of Molise

Molise lies between Abruzzo and Apulia and is a region that, although not as popular as its neighboring regions, hosts numerous art treasures, breathtaking natural sceneries and thousand-year-old traditions. A characteristic aspect of Molise is its tratturi, a network of ancient grassy paths. From the pre-Roman era up to only a few centuries ago, ancient Italians traveled these trails from season to season. Transporting livestock, the principal mainstay of the southern peasant, was based on a rigorous journey from the cool mountain pastures of Abruzzo in autumn, to the hot and humid Apulian Plateaus.

Undertaken predominantly by the Samnites since the 6th century B.C., the practice of transhumance enjoyed a period of splendor under the Romans who expanded the tratturi “grid” in order to better connect the Empire’s urban centers. Many of the tratturi run next to the stone-paved ancient Roman roads. These green trail ways are still almost entirely intact today, thanks to the Aragonese rulers that heavily promoted the trade of livestock products in the 15th century.

The Aragonese monarchs constructed the Modern Tratturo, approximately 366 feet wide, with a series of smaller tratturi called tratturelli and bracci, which are secondary, connecting paths. The edges of the Modern Tratturo were completed in stone and featured points for bureaucratic affairs. In their totality, the tratturi expand over…

read more: italiantribune.com

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