Molise is a region of Southern Italy. Until 1963, it formed part of the region of Abruzzi e Molise, alongside the region of Abruzzo. The split, which did not become effective until 1970, makes Molise the newest region in Italy. The region covers 4,438 km² (the Aosta Valley is the only smaller region) and has a population of about 300,000. The region is split into two provinces, named after their respective capitals Isernia and Campobasso. Campobasso also serves as the regional capital.