Piedmont


Piedmont

Infobox Region of Italy
name = Piedmont
fullname = Regione Piemonte (it) |Region Piemont (pie)
isocode =
capital = Turin
status = Region
governor = Mercedes Bresso
("Democratic Party")
zone = Northwestern Italy
province = 8
municipality = 1,206
arearank = 2nd
area = 25,399
areapercent = 8.4
population_as_of = 2007 est.
populationrank = 6th
population = 4,401,266
populationpercent = 7.4
populationdensity = 173




Piedmont ( _it. Piemonte; Piedmontese and Occitan: "Piemont"; French: "Piémont") is one of the 20 Regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,399 km² and a population of about 4.4 million. The capital is Turin, the local dialect is Piedmontese and Occitan is also spoken in Occitan Valleys. The name is a contraction of the Italian "Ai piedi del monte", meaning "At the base of the mountain".Fact|date=October 2008

Geography

Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, including the Monviso (Mont Vis), where the Po rises, and the Monte Rosa. It borders with France, Switzerland and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Emilia-Romagna and Aosta Valley. The percentage of the territory which is a protected area is 7.6%. There are 56 different national or regional parks. One such park is the Gran Paradiso National Park (Grand Paradis).

Piedmont is divided into eight provinces:

*Alessandria
*Asti
*Biella
*Cuneo
*Novara
*Turin
*Verbano-Cusio-Ossola
*Vercelli

History

Piedmont was inhabited in early historic times by Celtic-Ligurian tribes such as the Taurini and the Salassi. They were later submitted 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 repeatedly invaded by the Burgundians, the Goths (5th century), Byzantines, Lombards (6th century), Franks (773). 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 marks and counties.

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 communes of Asti and Alessandria and the marquisates of Saluzzo and Montferrat. The 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 Piedmont-Sardinia and increasing Turin's importance as a European capital.

The Republic of Alba was created in 1796 as a French client republic in Piedmont before the area was annexed by France in 1801. In June 1802 a new client republic, the Subalpine Republic, was established in Piedmont and in September it was also annexed. In the congress of Vienna, the Kingdom of Piedmont-Sardinia was restored, and furthermore received the Republic of Genoa to strengthen it as a barrier against France.

Piedmont was an initial 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 contradicted by efforts of rural farmers. [Valeria Fargion, [http://www.cevipof.msh-paris.fr/rencontres/colloq/palier/Full%20paper/Fargion%20Valeria%20FP.doc 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, accessed 7 January 2007] [Anna Bull, [http://www.intellectbooks.com/europa/number2/bull.htm Regionalism in Italy] , "Europa" 2(4), accessed 7 January 2007] The House of Savoy became Kings of Italy, and Turin briefly became the capital of Italy. However, the addition of territory paradoxically reduced Piedmont's importance to the kingdom, and the capital was moved to Florence, and then to Rome. One remaining recognition of Piedmont's historical role was that the crown prince of Italy was known as the Prince of Piedmont.

Economy

Lowland Piedmont is a fertile agricultural region, producing wheat, rice, maize, and wine grapes. Piedmont is one of the great winegrowing regions in Italy. More than half of its 700 km² (170,000 acres) of vineyards are registered with DOC designations. It produces prestigious wines as Barolo, Barbaresco and Moscato d'Asti. Indigenous grape varieties include Nebbiolo, Barbera, Dolcetto, Freisa, Grignolino and Brachetto. The region contains major industrial centres, notably Turin, home to the FIAT automobile works. Biella produces tissues and silks. Cuneo is the house of Ferrero's chocolate factories and important mechanical industries, able in the past to build the trailer for the Space Shuttle Columbia.In February 2006 Turin hosted the XX Olympic Winter Games and in 2007 the Universiades, Olympic games for university students.

Politics

The region has a center-left local government with Mercedes Bresso as president, following the regional legislative and presidential election of 2005. However, at the April 2006 Italian national election, Piedmont gave 50.5% of its votes to the Centre-Right coalition led by Silvio Berlusconi.

Demographics

The Turin metro area grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s due to an increase of immigrants from southern Italy, and today it has a population of approximately two million. As of 2006, the Italian national institute of statistics (ISTAT) estimated that 231,611 foreign-born immigrants live in Piedmont, equal to 5.3% of the total regional population.

Cities of Piedmont with a population of 50,000 or more:

UNESCO World Heritage Sites





References

ee also

*The XX Olympic Winter Games
*Kingdom of Sardinia
*Battle of Marengo (14 June 1800)
*Battle of Novara (1849)
*Gianduja
*Piemonte (wine)

Image gallery



External links

pecialty sites

* [http://www.ilgiornaledelpiemonte.com/ Giornale del Piemonte] (daily newspaper)
* [http://www.piemonte-online.com/ Piemonte Magazine]
* [http://www.lalinguapiemontese.net/ La Lingua Piemontese] (Piedmontese language)
* [http://www.nostereis.org/ Nòste Rèis] (Piedmontese cultural association)
* [http://www.federpiemonte.org/ Confindustria] (manufacturers association)
* [http://cucina.piemonte.net/ Cucina Piemonte.Net] (Piemontese cuisine)
* [http://www.tempoitalia.it/meteoregione/previsione.php?reg=piemonte TempoItalia] (weather forecasts)
* [http://www.piemontesinoca.com Piemontesi Nel Mondo of Northern California]
* [http://bel-piemonte.ucoz.com/ Сайт о Турине и Пьемонте на русском языке]

Tourism portals

* [http://www.italy-weather-and-maps.com/maps/italy/piedmont.gifMap of Piedmont]
* [http://www.globalgeografia.com/italia/piemonte.htm Global Geografia]
* [http://www.piemondo.it/ Piemondo]
* [http://www.regione.piemonte.it/piemontedalvivo Piedmont Live - Piemonte dal Vivo]
* [http://www.piemonte-emozioni.it/ Piemonte Emozioni]
* [http://www.piemonteweb.it/pw/Home.asp Piemonte Web]
* [http://www.itinerari-piemonte.it/ Itinerari Piemonte]
* [http://chefmoz.org/Italy/Piedmont/ ChefMoz Restaurant Guide]
* [http://www.sacrimonti.net/User/index.php?PAGE=Sito_it/Catalogo_eng Official English website for European Sacred Mounts]
* [http://www.freewebs.com/photoitalia/piemonte.htm Piedmont Picture Gallery]
* [http://digilander.libero.it/fotogian/piemonte.html Photos]
* [http://www.paradoxplace.com/Perspectives/Venice%20&%20N%20Italy/Piemonte/Truffle_Festival/Tartufo_Festival_2006_1.htm Piedmont Wine, Truffle and Food Festival Photo Pages]


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