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Definition of MOLISE
region cen Italy between the Apennines & the Adriatic S of Abruzzi ∗ Campobasso pop 327,177 — see abruzzi
Autonomous region (pop., 2001 prelim.: 316,548), south-central Italy. Its western sector is part of the Apennines, and the remainder consists mostly of low mountains and hills. Under Lombard rule during the early Middle Ages, it was controlled by the duchy of Benevento. In the 13th century it successively came under Angevin, Spanish, and Bourbon rulers. In 1860 it was joined to Abruzzi to form Abruzzi e Molise, which was incorporated into the Kingdom of Italy. In 1965 Abruzzi e Molise was divided back into the separate regions of Abruzzi and Molise. It is one of Italy's most rural regions; its capital, Campobasso, is the only city of any size.