Case Study

Ecotourism in Casacalenda (Campobasso)

Contact name

Carlo Meo

Institution name

Oasi LIPU Casacalenda

Region & country

Regione Molise - ITALIA


Since 1994, the village of Casacalenda (2100 inhabitants) has experienced a strong increase of tourism, even if it is mainly concentrated in the nature reserve located 7 km away from the village. In the meantime, two farm guesthouses were stablished and two B&B, welcoming now hundreds of tourists every year. Actually, nearly 500 people each year (among the reserve visitors) use local tourist facilities and buy products from Casacalenda farms and shops.

Winter paths

Photo by Carlo Meo

Nature and families

Photo by Carlo Meo

Background of the project

Before 1993 (the year of creation of the Oasis LIPU of Casacalenda) there was no activity related with tourism, nor a significant production and diffusion of local products

Therefore, it was needed to communicate to the general public and users of the LIPU OASIS about the beauty of the landscape, the rich biodiversity and the goodness of typical local products

Solution and actions taken

  • Distribute illustrative material on local farmhouses at the Nature Reserve;
  • Provide information face to face or by telephone;
  • Assist tourists interested in staying overnight on the area and in buying local products;
  • Participate in fairs and exhibitions to enlarge the knowledge of typical products and village points of attraction;
  • Release interviews for the TV news and periodical press releases.
  • We established a tourist information point inside the Visitor center of the Reserve and established exchange agreements with local producers, B&B and farmhouse owners;
  • Prepared articles for tourism magazines and websites;
  • Sent booklets and leaflets to travel agencies;
  • Created a Facebook profile;
  • Sent news to a regional LIPU members mailing list;
  • Organized monthly nature events in the Reserve.

Other institutions or parties involved

  • Municipalities of Casacalenda and Provvidenti;
  • local cooperatives (Coop. Koinè, Coop. F.Nardaccione, Coop. Il Mosaico);
  • farmhouses (La Quercia, Fontemazzocca);
  • Bed&Breakfast (Arcobaleno);
  • local schools (Istituto comprensivo);
  • shops (Biosapori, La Fonte Nuova);
  • the artistical association (KalenArte) and the community center (Pro Loco Casacalenda).


In 23 years of presence, the cooperation with local private entities who deal with accommodation and eno-gastronomic sectors with a focus on local and organic food have strongly increased, and we work closely together. A University survey (2006) estimated that the village receives profits for the value of 24.000 € per year by various tourism activities related to the existence of the Reserve.

In order to keep constant interest , we organize monthly Nature Events and special opening days inside the LIPU’s Nature Reserve.


Low interest of tourists for some points of attraction in the village (eg Contemporary Art Gallery) and Sundays closure of commercial activities of interest

Lessons learned

The importance of establishing and maintianing contacts with the local public and private entities and always showing interest in the novelties and in the proposals from the producers of typical and local products. Cooperation is the best way to work for the development of a site.

Contact name

Carlo Meo

Institution name

Oasi LIPU Casacalenda


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