Campobasso is the capital of Molise. Though the town has more than fifty thousand inhabitants, it still maintains its original human dimension. It is generally held to be of Longobard origin, but the remains of polygonal walls which have come to light on the flank of the hillside seem to indicate an older Samnite settlement.
Castello Monforte on the top of the hill reminds us of feudal times, with particular reference to Nicola Monforte, a supporter of John of Anjou in 1459 who was later forced to flee to France. The town is still composed of the old part, the district built under Murat and the more modern developments in different directions. Sights worth seeing include the Samnite Museum and the Fair of the Mysteries, which are living pictures on "machines" built by Paolo Saverio Di Zinno in 1740, representing the Christian mysteries.