|Campobasso (Campobassan Dialect: Kambuà) is the capital city of the Molise region in Italy. It is located in the high basin of the Biferno river, surrounded by the Sannio and Matese mountains.
Campobasso is renowned for the craftmanship of blades (including scissors and knives), historically documented since the 14th century. It also famous for the production of pears and scamorza (cheese).
After the Norman conquest of Southern Italy, Campobasso lost its connotation of a defensive strongpoint and gained a role as a trading and administration centre.
From 1330 to 1745 the city was ruled by the Monforte-Gambatesa, who built the castle and established a mint. Later it was ruled by the Di Capua, Gonzaga, Vitagliano, Carafa and Romano families.
In 1763 the citizens abandoned the old city and settled in the lower valley. The current city was expanded in 1814 by the King of Naples Joachim Murat, and lies on the Campo Basso ("Low field").
Next to the castle is the Chiesa della Madonna del Monte (Santa Maria Maggiore), erected in the 11th century and rebuilt in 1525. It houses a precious wooden statue of the Incoronata from 1334. At the feet of the castle, the church of St. George is probably the most ancient church of Campobasso, built around the year 1000 AD over the ruins of a Pagan temple.
The main church is the Cathedral, or Chiesa della Santissima Trinità (Church of the Holy Trinity), was built in 1504 outside the city walls. It was destroyed by an earthquake in 1805 and a new Neoclassical edifice was built in 1829.
The church of San Bartolomeo is a Romanesque building from the 11th century, in limestone. The interior has a nave and two aisles.
San Leonardo (14th century) has a façade mixing Gothic and Romanesque elements, and a side mullioned window with vegetables decorations influenced by the Apulian architecture of the period.
Villa de Capoa, recently restored, is a noteworthy garden with statues and a wide variety of vegetable species, including sequoias, Norway Spruces, cypresses and Lebanon Cedars.