Piedmont (/ˈpiːdmɒnt/ PEED-mont; Italian: Piemonte,
pronounced [pjeˈmonte]; Piedmontese, Occitan and Arpitan:
Piemont; French: Piémont) is a region in northwest Italy, one of the
20 regions of the country. It borders the
Liguria region to the
Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the
Aosta Valley region to the northwest; it also borders
France to the
Switzerland to the northeast. It has an area of 25,402 square
kilometres (9,808 sq mi) and a population of 4,396,293 as of
31 July 2016. The capital of
Piedmont is Turin.
1.1 Major towns and cities
7 Government and politics
7.1 Administrative divisions
10 See also
12 External links
Piedmont comes from medieval Latin Pedemontium or Pedemontis,
i.e., ad pedem montium, meaning “at the foot of the mountains”
(the Alps) attested in documents of the end of the 12th century.
Major towns and cities
Other towns of
Piedmont with more than 20,000 inhabitants sorted by
Main article: Geography of Piedmont
Montferrat landscape, with the distant
Alps in the background.
Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, including Monviso,
where the Po rises, and Monte Rosa. It borders with France
Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes and Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur), Switzerland
Ticino and Valais) and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Liguria,
Aosta Valley and for a very small fragment with Emilia Romagna. The
Piedmont is 43.3% mountainous, along with extensive areas
of hills (30.3%) and plains (26.4%).
Piedmont is the second largest of Italy's 20 regions, after Sicily. It
is broadly coincident with the upper part of the drainage basin of the
river Po, which rises from the slopes of Monviso in the west of the
region and is Italy’s largest river. The Po collects all the waters
provided within the semicircle of mountains (
Alps and Apennines) which
surround the region on three sides.
From the highest peaks the land slopes down to hilly areas, (not
always, though; sometimes there is a brusque transition from the
mountains to the plains) and then to the upper, and then to the lower
great Padan Plain. The boundary between the first and the second is
characterised by resurgent springs, typical of the
Padan Plain which
supply fresh water both to the rivers and to a dense network of
The countryside is very diversified: from the rugged peaks of the
Monte Rosa and of Gran Paradiso, to the damp rice paddies
Vercelli and Novara, from the gentle hillsides of the
Langhe and of
Montferrat to the plains. 7.6% of the entire territory is considered
protected area. There are 56 different national or regional parks, one
of the most famous is the
Gran Paradiso National Park
Gran Paradiso National Park located between
Piedmont and the Aosta Valley.
See also: Kingdom of Sardinia
The Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi, in Nichelino, is a
Sacra di San Michele
Sacra di San Michele symbol of Piedmont
Piedmont was inhabited in early historic times by Celtic-Ligurian
tribes such as the
Taurini and the Salassi. They were later subdued by
the Romans (c. 220 BC), who founded several colonies there including
Augusta Taurinorum (Turin) and Eporedia (Ivrea). After the fall of the
Western Roman Empire, the region was successively invaded by the
Ostrogoths (5th century), Byzantines,
In the 9th–10th centuries there were further incursions by the
Magyars and Saracens. At the time Piedmont, as part
of the Kingdom of
Italy within the Holy Roman Empire, was subdivided
into several marches and counties.
Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia in 1856.
In 1046, Oddo of Savoy added
Piedmont to their main territory of
Savoy, with a capital at
Chambéry (now in France). Other areas
remained independent, such as the powerful comuni (municipalities) of
Alessandria and the marquisates of Saluzzo and Montferrat.
County of Savoy
County of Savoy was elevated to a duchy in 1416, and Duke Emanuele
Filiberto moved the seat to
Turin in 1563. In 1720, the Duke of Savoy
became King of Sardinia, founding what evolved into the Kingdom of
Sardinia and increasing Turin's importance as a European capital.
Republic of Alba
Republic of Alba was created in 1796 as a French client republic
in Piedmont. A new client republic, the Piedmontese Republic, existed
between 1798 and 1799 before it was reoccupied by Austrian and Russian
troops. In June 1800 a third client republic, the Subalpine Republic,
was established in Piedmont. It fell under full French control in 1801
and it was annexed by
France in September 1802. In the congress of
Kingdom of Sardinia
Kingdom of Sardinia was restored, and furthermore received
Republic of Genoa
Republic of Genoa to strengthen it as a barrier against France.
Piedmont was a springboard for Italy's unification in 1859–1861,
following earlier unsuccessful wars against the
Austrian Empire in
1820–1821 and 1848–1849. This process is
sometimes referred to as Piedmontisation. However, the efforts were
later countered by the efforts of rural farmers.
House of Savoy
House of Savoy became Kings of Italy, and
Turin briefly became the
capital of Italy. However, when the Italian capital was moved to
Florence, and then to Rome, the administrative and institutional
Piedmont was deeply reduced and the only remaining
recognition to Piedmont's historical role was that the crown prince of
Italy was known as the Prince of Piedmont. After Italian unification,
Piedmont was one of the most important regions in the first Italian
Rice fields between
Novara and Vercelli.
Piedmont is a fertile agricultural region. The main
agricultural products in
Piedmont are cereals, including rice,
representing more than 10% of national production, maize, grapes for
wine-making, fruit and milk. With more than 800,000 head of cattle
in 2000, livestock production accounts for half of final agricultural
production in Piedmont.
Piedmont is one of the great winegrowing regions in Italy. More than
half of its 700 square kilometres (170,000 acres) of vineyards are
registered with DOC designations. It produces prestigious wines as
Barolo, Barbaresco, from the
Langhe near Alba, and the Moscato d'Asti
as well as the sparkling
Asti from the vineyards around Asti.
Indigenous grape varieties include Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto,
Grignolino and Brachetto.
The region contains major industrial centres, the main of which is
Turin, home to the
FIAT automobile works. Olivetti, once a major
electronics industry whose plant was in Scarmagno, near Ivrea, has now
turned into a small-scale computer service company.
tissues and silks. The city of
Asti is located about 55 kilometres (34
miles) east of
Turin in the plain of the Tanaro River and is one of
the most important centers of Montferrat, one of the best known
Italian wine districts in the world, declared officially on 22 June
UNESCO World Heritage site.
Alba is the home of Ferrero's chocolate factories and some mechanical
industries. There are links with neighbouring
France via the Fréjus
Colle di Tenda
Colle di Tenda tunnels as well as the Montgenèvre Pass.
Piedmont also connects with
Switzerland with the Simplon and Great St
Bernard passes. It is possible to reach
Switzerland via a normal road
that crosses Oriental
Piedmont starting from Arona and ending in
Locarno, on the border with Italy. The region's airport,
Turin-Caselle, caters domestic and international flights. The
region has the longest motorway network amongst the Italian regions
(about 800 km). It radiates from Turin, connecting it with the
other provinces in the region, as well as with the other regions in
Italy. In 2001, the number of passenger cars per 1,000 inhabitants was
623 (above the national average of 575).
Lingotto building in Turin, the world headquarters of Fiat.
Piedmont employs 75,534 people and currently comprises
17,367 companies operating in the hospitality and catering sector,
with 1,473 hotels and tourist accommodations. The sector generates a
turnover of €2,671 million, 3.3% of the €80,196 million which
represents the total estimated spending on tourism in Italy. The
region enjoys almost the same level of popularity among
visitors from oversea. In 2002 there were 2,651,068 total arrivals.
International visitors to
Piedmont in 2002 accounted for 42% of the
total number of tourists with 1,124,696 arrivals. The traditional
leading areas for tourism in
Piedmont are the Lake District –
"Piedmont's riviera", which accounts for 32.84% of total overnight
stays, and the metropolitan area of
Turin which accounts for
Turin hosted the
XX Olympic Winter Games
XX Olympic Winter Games and in 2007 it hosted
the XXIII Universiade. Alpine tourism tends to concentrate in a few
highly developed stations like
Alagna Valsesia and Sestriere. Around
1980, the long-distance trail
Grande Traversata delle Alpi
Grande Traversata delle Alpi (GTA) was
created to draw more attention to the manyfold of remote, sparsely
Since 2006, the
Piedmont region has benefited from the start of the
Slow Food movement and Terra Madre, events that highlighted the rich
agricultural and viticultural value of the Po valley and northern
Italy. In the same year, Piemonte Agency for Investments, Export and
Tourism was founded in order to strengthen the international role of
the area and its potential. It was the first Italian institution
bringing together all activities carried out by pre-existing local
organizations operating for the internationalization of the territory.
The campus of the Polytechnic University of Turin.
See also: University of
Turin and Category:Universities in Piedmont
The economy of
Piedmont is anchored on a rich history of state support
for excellence in higher education, including some of the leading
universities in Italy. The
Piedmont valley is home to the famous
University of Turin, the Polytechnic University of Turin, the
University of Eastern Piedmont and, more recently the United Nations
Interregional Crime and Justice Research Institute.
Source: ISTAT 2001
31 December 2014 largest resident foreign-born groups
Country of birth
The population density in
Piedmont is lower than the national average.
In 2008 it was equal to 174 inhabitants per km2, compared to a
national figure of about 200. It rises however to 335 inhabitants per
km2 when just the Metropolitan City of
Turin is considered, whereas
Verbano-Cusio-Ossola is the less densely populated province (72
inhabitants per km2).
The population of
Piedmont followed a downward trend throughout the
1980s. This drop is the result of the natural negative balance (of
some 3 to 4% per year), while the migratory balance since 1986 has
again become positive because of an excess of new immigration over a
stable figure for emigration. The population as a whole has
remained stable in the 1990s, although this is the result of a
negative natural balance and a positive net migration.
Turin metro area grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s due to an
increase of immigrants from southern
Veneto and today it has
a population of approximately two million. As of 2008[update], the
Italian national institute of statistics (ISTAT) estimated that
310,543 foreign-born immigrants live in Piedmont, equal to 7.0% of the
total regional population. Most immigrants come from Eastern Europe
(mostly from Romania, Poland, and Bulgaria) with smaller communities
of African immigrants.
Government and politics
Main article: Politics of Piedmont
The Regional Government (Giunta Regionale) is presided by the
President of the Region (Presidente della Regione), who is elected for
a five-year term and is composed by the President and the Ministers,
who are currently 14, including a Vice President (Vice
Presidente). In the last regional election, which took place on
29–30 March 2010,
Roberto Cota (Lega Nord) defeated incumbent
Mercedes Bresso (Democratic Party). In 2014 Cota chose not to stand
again for President and the parties composing his coalition failed to
agree on a single candidate, resulting in a landslide victory for
Sergio Chiamparino, a Democrat who had been Mayor of
Turin from 2001
Provinces of Piedmont.
Piedmont is divided into eight provinces:
Province of Alessandria
Province of Asti
Province of Biella
Province of Cuneo
Province of Novara
Metropolitan City of Turin
Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola
Province of Vercelli
As in the rest of Italy, Italian is the official national language.
The main local languages are Piedmontese, Insubric (spoken in the
eastern part of the region), Occitan (spoken by a minority in the
Occitan Valleys situated in the Province of
Cuneo and the Metropolitan
City of Turin), and Franco-Provençal (spoken by another minority in
the alpine heights of the Metropolitan City of Turin), like in the
Susa valley and Walser (spoken by a minority in the Province of
Vercelli and Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola).
Juventus Stadium in
Turin is the home of Juventus F.C., throughout
the years one of the more successful
Serie A clubs.
Turin hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics.
In football, notable clubs in
Piedmont include Turin-based Juventus
and Torino, who have won 38 official top-flight league championships
(as of the 2014-15 season) between them, more than any other city in
Italy. Other smaller teams include the old "
components Novara, Alessandria, Casale, Pro Vercelli. With the
World War II
World War II success of Pro
Vercelli and the dominance of Torino
Grande Torino years and Juventus in more recent times, the
region is the most successful in terms of championships won. Also
Casale and Novese contributed with one scudetto each.
Other local teams include volleyball teams
Cuneo (male) and Asystel
Novara (female), basketball teams
Biella Basketball and Junior Casale,
ice hockey team Hockey Club Turin, and roller hockey side Amatori
Vercelli, who have won three league titles, an Italian Cup and two
2006 Winter Olympics
Kingdom of Sardinia
Battle of Marengo
Battle of Marengo (14 June 1800)
List of universities located in Piedmont
Bialbero de Casorzo
^ "Regionales Bruttoinlandsprodukt (Mio. EUR), nach NUTS-2-Regionen".
Eurostat. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
^ Regional GDP per inhabitant in 2008 GDP per inhabitant ranged from
28% of the EU27 average in Severozapaden in Bulgaria to 343% in Inner
London. EUROPA Press Release, 24 February 2011
^ rai (3 June 2015). "An aerial view of Piedmont" – via
^ Touring Club Italiano, Piemonte (non compresa Torino), Guida
d'Italia, 1, 8th edn (Touring Editore, 1976), p.11.
^ Collier, Martin (2003). Italian Unification, 1820–71. Oxford:
Heinemann. p. 75.
^ Valeria Fargion, From the Southern to the Northern Question:
Territorial and Social Politics in Italy, paper presented at the RC 19
conference 'Welfare state restructuring: processes and social
outcomes', 2–4 September 2004, Sciences-Po Paris. Retrieved 7
^ Anna Bull, Regionalism in Italy, Europa 2(4). Retrieved 7 January
^ Marco Meriggi, (1996). Breve Storia dell'Italia Settentrionale,
dall'Ottocento a Oggi. 1st ed. Italy: Donzelli Dditore, Rome.
^ a b c "Eurostat". Europa (web portal). Archived from the original on
10 February 2009. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
UNESCO World Heritage. "Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont:
Langhe-Roero and Monferrato".
^  Archived 26 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
^ a b "Eurostat". Europa (web portal). Archived from the original on
21 July 2011. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
^ "Sito Ufficiale della Regione Piemonte: Giunta regionale".
Regione.piemonte.it. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
Turin wins 2006 Winter Olympics".
Wikimedia Commons has media related to Piedmont.
Wikisource has the text of The New Student's Reference Work article
Piedmont travel guide from Wikivoyage
Regional government website (in Italian)
"Piedmont". New International Encyclopedia. 1905.
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