13-Jul-2003 -- Travelling back home from my annual visits in Western Austria it is standard
practice since many years to see my broker in Ancona and spend overnight
When continuing my trip to Sicily this morning I decided to visit 42N 15E.
I left the Highway A14 (Bologna-Taranto) at the Exit "Termoli" and with a
small printout of a "mapquest"-plan I found immediately the via Abruzzi in
the largely rebuild new centre of Termoli.
So I knew not to be too wrong. I parked my car and went over a bridge from
where I had a look over the railway station.
From there I went directly to the Norman Castle, the most significant building of the so
called "paese vecchio" (old village), the ancient centre of the town. It is
of Medieval origin. During the Longobard domination Termoli belonged to the
Duchy of Benevento and, later, to that of Spoleto. In Norman times it was
part of the County of Loritello.
The Swabian interest for the fortified city of Termoli is well documented.
The castle was repeatedly damaged over the centuries (by the earthquake of
1456 and during the Turkish attack of 1567, for example). Frederick II of
Swabia (1239-1247) set up an excellent defence system, though the city was
probably already protected by an enceinte prior to this. According to the
king's complex military project, the castle was completed, a rampart was
erected and the enceinte was reorganised. Recent investigations have enabled
the identification, within the castle, of a central nucleus (a donjon?)
incorporated in more recent structures, and along the walls, of the remains
of the gate structure with a steeply escarped wall (like the castle and
keep), as well as traces of houses built against the enceinte. The castle
stands on a frustum of pyramid base, and this is not very common. The
hypothesis that the four corner towers represent an addition made after the
post-earthquake works of 1456 cannot be excluded.
Of the functional elements, traces of the waterworks, service galleries, the
drawbridge mechanism and residential rooms are still visible. The military
elements consist in a rich case history of arrow slits, which have often
been adapted to more recent functions.
From the Castle it is only a few steps down to the Port of Termoli, which I could anyway not miss. The
typical smell of a mixture of gasoil and rotten fish, so common in
summertime in Mediterranean ports is inequivocable.
When walking down to the Port I passed a beautiful tower, being as well an attraction
there, as the postcard prooves. It is part of the old fortification of the
At the port I paid a visit to the Coast Guard first, and then I walked a two
hundred metres South to the Confluence, which is about 10 metres inshore from the
Another shots have been taken to the North, to the East and to the South.
The beach there is not very exciting. It is the so called "zona libera",
that means in other words: open to everybody due to not good enough for the
guests of the expensive hotels.
The Italian Region of Molise, which came into being only in 1964 and is the
second smallest of Italy (after Valle d'Aosta). Molise is quite mountainous.
It is a region of emigration, scarcely populated and is not playing a very
important role in the Italian Republic.
Agriculture there is strictly traditional, industry is rare.
After this visit I continued my trip home, where I arrived after a nine