500 kilometers and 5 hours after leaving our beautiful trullo, we pulled into the b&b in Agnone in the northern part of Molise. Happy to be out of the car but with Puglia still present on our minds, soon enough it was time to set out for dinner.
Grrrrr…third strike out!
As it happened, restaurants in upland Molise weren’t so dog-friendly. Whether by choice (from the Slow Food guide) or at random, every place we went to didn’t allow dogs. Even the opening hour for dinner was absurd – not before 8:30pm! We wasted an hour and a half driving around before heading back to a pizzeria next to the b&b. They didn’t allow dogs either but they had take-out. What a run of unfortunate circumstances on this trip.
Ah well, Agnone may not have been a hit for writing up a stellar meal but it has one thing going for it that makes visiting worthwhile: caciocavallo. The caciocavallo impiccato of last month still lingered in the back of my mind, and when I saw this in the breakfast room, our host explained that every home has at least two hanging in the cellar. It was time for cheese shopping.
Where to buy – Caseificio Di Nucci in the center of Agnone is the place to purchase smaller, vacumn-packed sections since their factory on the outskirts of town sells whole ones. There’s cacio with black truffle, lemon zest, hot pepper flakes, stuffed with butter, and a cheese called caciosalame that has a whole salame in the middle. I should’ve bought more, but at least I didn’t leave without a jar of mushroom/truffle topping.
A brief word of how the cheese got its name. Wikipedia in both italian and english explains it well enough but I’m going with what our b&b host told us. When herders and their livestock took part in the transhumance, cacio (cheese) produced on the way was transported ‘a cavallo’, or by horseback.
Samnite ruins over museums
Agnone’s main attractions are 2 museums dedicated to copper and bells (big ding-dong ones), but if guided tours aren’t your thing, try the ancient Samnite ruins at nearby Pietrabbondante. The entry fee is 2€, you can wander at your own pace, and dogs can go in too.
Poor little San Marino. The oldest republic in the world and all it gets is a mention. I booked an overnighter at an agriturismo so that we could come down from “vacation high” before hitting the road home. It was wonderful to experience the various cuisines, accents, change in scenery, and hospitality in the southern regions, but most of all it was great to record our travels with our dogs since we never like to go anywhere without them. Thank you for reading!