Campobasso is a historic city built on the slopes of the Appennine mountains at an altitude of more than 600 meters. Surrounded by the Matise and Sanneo mountains it commands impressive views over the dramatic Molise countryside.
The main monument in Campobasso is the Castello Monforte, an imposing castle built in 1450 on earlier ruins, though rebuilt after earthquakes in 1456 and 1805. The castle is an imposing rectangular structure whose base slopes outwards. At one end is a large square turret. Inside the castle there is not much to see but there is a terrace and as the castle sits at the top of the hill it has impressive 360° views over the surrounding countryside.
The castle has a large basement which is currently a water holding area for the city. In the past it has been used as a prison and probably also as a storage area and shelter.
Opposite the castle is the church of the Madonna del Monte which dates back to the 11th century but was rebuilt in the 16th. Take a look inside to admire the 14th century statue of the Incoronata - the coronation of the Virgin Mary.
Below the castle is the oldest church in Campobasso, the church of Saint George, which was built around about the year 1000. When looking at the skyline of Campobasso the attractive, tall square bell tower of Saint Bartolomeo stands out. This is another ancient building and dates back to the 11th century.
The streets around the castle in the historical centre are an interesting warren of narrow streets, stone steps, and small squares. The attractive stone buildings often have inner courtyards and doorways are often decorated with coats of arms and decorative stonework - the richer the family the more decorated the door!
In the 18th century a new town was built further down the hill and it is in this part of the city that most of the locals live and work.
Places to Visit Near Campobasso
Campobasso is close to the pretty medieval village of Sepino and not far from the historic town of Isernia.
Where is Campobasso?
Campobasso is the capital of the Molise region and lies between the Appennine mountains and the Adriatic Sea. It is about 2 hours to the north east of Naples.