Pietrabbondante was a thriving Samnite town in the 6th century BC and archaeological explorations have revealed much of interest. The town is dominated by the huge rocks of 'Morg Caraceni' which rise above it.
Excavations have revealed Pietrabbondante to have been an important Samnite town and indeed it is widely thought to have been the location of assemblies of the Samnite government.
Excavations of the ancient Samnite town have unearthed an important theatre-temple complex which consists of a horse-shoe shaped theatre, a temple and two buildings. The theatre could seat 2500 spectators and has excellent acoustics. It is still used for an annual theatre festival in the summer! The temple is less well preserved but can be seen to have had 8 columns. The 'domus publica' has also been identified. This is the official residence for magistrates and priests visiting the complex.
The Samnite town was entirely buried until excavations began in the mid 19th century.
The current town sits on the top of a hill with large craggy rocks towering up above it. Appropriately the name Pietrabbondante means 'stones in abundance'! Surrounding the town is the beautiful mountainous Molise countryside and views from here are stunning. Much of its medieval centre was built with stones taken from the ancient Samnite town. Its church is the Santa Maria Assunta and has a belltower with a Baroque portal and large Baroque window.
The main square is the Piazza Garibaldi and this is a very pleasant spot to sit and have a drink or tuck into a tasty meal. Sharing the square with you is the large statue of a Samnite soldier which is also the town's war memorial. Another monument is the ruin of a Lombard castle which sits above the town.
Places to visit nearby
Nearby is the town of Agnone which is one of Italy's "Orange flag" destinations and is another important site for Samnite ruins.
Where is Pietrabbondante
You can find more local travel ideas in the Molise guide.