relations between the coastal area of Molise and Dalmatia were already common
in the 4th century B.C..
During the Roman period these relations continued to flourish, and in the
Byzantine period they were intensified. With the Normans the influence of
Ragusa (the present Dubrovnik) over the western shores of the Adriatic grew
thanks to a number of commercial treaties (1203, with Termoli) for the trade
of raw materials: silver and lead from Serbian mines, timber, furs and horses
were exchanged for agricultural products, especially corn, which abounded in
Capitanata and the Molisian countryside.
On the eastern coast, traces of trade relations with the opposite shore are
still evident today in the arts (often facilitated by the presence of the
Benedictines and, later, of Venice) and architecture, especially defensive
architecture (Dubrovnik, Trogir, Split and the island installations, for
example). Today, Lower Molise is still characterised by the presence of
settlements founded by ethnic minorities, the descendants of ancient
migrations from across the Adriatic Sea (Albanians who followed Giorgio
Castriota Scanderberg, Slavs and Slavonians): settlements that still preserve
significant, though deeply transformed, imported elements.