Molise is perhaps the region that has best preserved its authentic soul, maintaining a strong relationship with its most ancient traditions and with nature: not everyone knows that this small region preserves one of the largest biodiversities in Italy, with varied and rare animal and plant species. Molise allows you to experience a reality on a human scale, so much so that there are no large cities but only picturesque villages, including Trivento. This village, located just 17 km from Campobasso, has an important historical heritage, alongside traditions that have been handed down for centuries, such as crocheting.
Trivento is a small village on the border with the Abbruzzo region, in the heart of the Trigno Valley: perched on a hill, it is surrounded by a territory dotted with larch woods, oak groves and rock formations called morge, part of the Parco delle Morge Cenozoiche del Molise.
The name refers to the geographical position of the village in Molise, exposed to winds from the east, south and north. The village is of Samnite origin, although from III BC it became part of the famous Regio IV under Augustus. In the course of its history Trivento has been ruled by numerous seigniories, the Caldara and the Angevin, which followed one another in occupying the Ducal Castle dating back to the 13th century.
Photo by prolocoterventum.altervista.org
Strolling in peaceful silence through the narrow alleys of Trivento is like stepping back in time, past stone houses, limestone and cast-iron fountains from the 1930s and steep stairways connecting the upper and lower parts of the village. Next to the remains of the Ducal Castle, in whose noble hall valuable frescoes can still be seen, is the Romanesque Cathedral dating back to 1076 and dedicated to the patron saints Vittore, Celso and Nazario: the 13th-century stone portal and a mosaic of Christ stand out on the neoclassical façade, while inside there is a beautiful wooden choir, 18th-century stucco work and a high altar dating back to 1743.
Cattedrale dei Santi Nazario Celso e Vittore, Instagram/michelepermanente
The church stands on the 11th-12th century crypt of San Casto, which is striking with its 13th century frescoes on the walls and bas-relief depicting the Holy Trinity between dolphins and angels. The crypt is itself erected on an ancient temple dedicated to the goddess Diana, and it seems that this pagan place of worship was commissioned by the Florio family, amphora producers who lived in nearby Roccavivara, 13 km from Trivento: indeed, the remains of a domus from the 1st century AD are here, a stone's throw from the 12th-century Sanctuary of the Madonna di Canneto, flanked by a bell tower built in Gothic style in 1329 and decorated with three-light windows and battlements at the top.
The Scalinata di San Nicola (St Nicholas' Staircase) is the symbol of the village of Trivento and was built in three lanes of white limestone: the 365 steps connect the lower part of the village to the upper part called Piano. As you walk up this beautiful slope, it is not uncommon to see some craft shops displaying crochet work, one of Trivento's typical features.
It all started in 2018 when Mrs Lucia Santorelli, in collaboration with the whole town, created a crocheted carpet so long that it covered the entire San Nicola staircase. This initiative, with its absolutely charitable purpose, has gone around the world, arousing clamour and interest. During Advent of the same year, a large Christmas tree made of hundreds of crocheted doilies was erected in Trivento's Piazza Fontana, making it look like a colourful mosaic. No wonder then that Trivento is now considered the Crochet Capital.
Photo by prolocoterventum.altervista.org
In 2019, the Molise village had the honour of hosting the first edition of the Yarn Bombing Day event: artists and crochet enthusiasts from all over the world, from Canada, Australia, the U.S.A. and the rest of Europe, came to Trivento to make their crochet crafts. Each item was then exhibited in a path that led from Piazza Fontana to the heart of the historic centre, in Piazza Cattedrale.
One of the best times to visit Trivento may be in September, during the Sagra dello zapp'ttone e dei cavatelli (Festival of the zapp'ttone and the cavatelli): these are two typical Trivento dishes, the first based on lamb livers and veal tripe, while the second is the classic fresh pasta served with broccoli or cardoncelli mushrooms.
Photo by Lucia Santorelli
Main photo of Instagram/paoloscaranofotografo