Piedmont

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Piedmont

Piemonte  (Italian)
Piemont  (Piedmontese)
LagoMaggiore.jpg
A view over Piedmont's Lake Maggiore, Mount Rosa and Verbania
Regione-Piemonte-Stemma.svg
Coat of arms
Piedmont in Italy.svg
Country Italy
Capital Turin
Government
  President Alberto Cirio (FI)
Area
  Total25,402 km2 (9,808 sq mi)
Population
 (31-10-2017)
  Total4,377,941
  Density170/km2 (450/sq mi)
Demonym(s) English: Piedmontese
Italian: Piemontese
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
GDP/ Nominal €134.0 [1] billion (2016)
GDP per capita €30,800 [2] (2008)
HDI (2017)0.887 [3]
very high · 10th of 21
NUTS Region ITC1
Website www.regione.piemonte.it

Piedmont ( /ˈpdmɒnt/ PEED-mont; Italian : Piemonte, pronounced  [pjeˈmonte] ; Piedmontese, Occitan and Arpitan : Piemont, Piedmontese pronunciation:  [pjeˈmʊŋt] ) is a region in northwest Italy, one of the 20 regions of the country. [4] It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to the northwest; it also borders Switzerland to the northeast and France to the west. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres (9,808 sq mi) and a population of 4,377,941 as of 30 November 2017. The capital of Piedmont is Turin.

Italian language Romance language

Italian is a Romance language of the Indo-European language family. Italian, together with Sardinian, is by most measures the closest language to Vulgar Latin of the Romance languages. Italian is an official language in Italy, Switzerland, San Marino and Vatican City. It has an official minority status in western Istria. It formerly had official status in Albania, Malta, Monaco, Montenegro (Kotor) and Greece, and is generally understood in Corsica and Savoie. It also used to be an official language in the former Italian East Africa and Italian North Africa, where it plays a significant role in various sectors. Italian is also spoken by large expatriate communities in the Americas and Australia. Many speakers of Italian are native bilinguals of both Italian and other regional languages.

Piedmontese language Romance language spoken mainly in Italy

Piedmontese is a Romance language spoken by some 700,000 people mostly in Piedmont, northwestern region of Italy. It is geographically and linguistically included in the Gallo-Italic languages group of Northern Italy. It is part of the wider western group of Romance languages, which also includes French, Occitan, and Catalan. It is spoken in Piedmont, Liguria and Lombardy.

Contents

Toponymy

The name 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. [5]

Medieval Latin Form of Latin used in the Middle Ages

Medieval Latin was the form of Latin used in Roman Catholic Western Europe during the Middle Ages. In this region it served as the primary written language, though local languages were also written to varying degrees. Latin functioned as the main medium of scholarly exchange, as the liturgical language of the Church, and as the working language of science, literature, law, and administration.

Alps Major mountain range system in Central Europe

The Alps are the highest and most extensive mountain range system that lies entirely in Europe, separating Southern from Central and Western Europe and stretching approximately 1,200 kilometres (750 mi) across eight Alpine countries : France, Switzerland, Monaco, Italy, Liechtenstein, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia. The mountains were formed over tens of millions of years as the African and Eurasian tectonic plates collided. Extreme shortening caused by the event resulted in marine sedimentary rocks rising by thrusting and folding into high mountain peaks such as Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn. Mont Blanc spans the French–Italian border, and at 4,810 m (15,781 ft) is the highest mountain in the Alps. The Alpine region area contains about a hundred peaks higher than 4,000 metres (13,000 ft).

Major towns and cities

Population rankCity NamePopulation
(ab)
Surface
(km²)
Density
(ab/km²)
Altitude
(m s.l.m.)
Province or
metropolitan city
1 Turin 883.281130,176.786239 TO
2 Novara 104.411103,051.013162 NO
3 Alessandria 93.884203,9746095 AL
4 Asti 76.424151,82504123 AT
5 Moncalieri 57.06047,631.197260 TO
6 Cuneo 56.116119,88468534 CN
7 Collegno 49.94018,122.756302 TO
8 Rivoli 48.81929,521.653390 TO
9 Nichelino 48.18220,642.334229 TO
10 Settimo Torinese 47.70432,371.473207 TO

Other towns of Piedmont with more than 20,000 inhabitants sorted by population :

Population rankCity NamePopulation
(ab)
Surface
(km²)
Density
(ab/km²)
Altitude
(m s.l.m.)
Province or
metropolitan city
11 Vercelli 46.80879,85586130 VC
12 Biella 44.86046,68961417 BI
13 Grugliasco 37.90613,122.889293 TO
14 Chieri 36.77854,30677305 TO
15 Pinerolo 35.77850,28711376 TO
16 Casale Monferrato 34.56586,32400116 AL
17 Venaria Reale 34.24820,291.687262 TO
18 Alba 31.41954,01581172 CN
19 Verbania 30.93336,62844197 VB
20 Bra 29.70559,61498285 CN
21 Carmagnola 29.05296,38301240 TO
22 Novi Ligure 28.25754,22521199 AL
23 Tortona 27.57599,29278122 AL
24 Chivasso 26.70451,31520183 TO
25 Fossano 24.743130,72189375 CN
26 Ivrea 23.59830,19781253 TO
27 Orbassano 23.24022,051.053273 TO
28 Mondovì 22.59287,25258395 CN
29 Borgomanero 21.70932,36670307 NO
30 Savigliano 21.306110,73192321 CN
31 Trecate 20.32938,38529136 NO
32 Acqui Terme 20.05433,30602156 AL

Geography

A Montferrat landscape, with the distant Alps in the background. Castelnuovo Calcea from San Marzano Oliveto.jpg
A 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 geography of Piedmont is 43.3% mountainous, along with extensive areas of hills (30.3%) and plains (26.4%).

Monte Viso the highest mountain of the Cottian Alps, located in Italy

Monte Viso or Monviso, is the highest mountain of the Cottian Alps. It is located in Italy close to the French border. Monte Viso is well known for its pyramid-like shape and, because it is higher than all its neighbouring peaks by about 500 m, it can be seen from great distance, including from the Piedmontese plateau, the Langhe, the Theodulpass in the Zermatt ski area and the summits of the Mont Blanc massif. On a very clear day it can be seen from the spires of the Milan Cathedral. It has been suggested that Monte Viso could be one of the mountains which inspired the Paramount logo. In Italy is also known as Il Re di Pietra because of his prominence within western Italian Alps landscape. From 29 May 2013, it has become UNESCO's heritage as a cross-border biosphere reserve with France.

Monte Rosa massif in Switzerland and Italy

Monte Rosa is a mountain massif located in the eastern part of the Pennine Alps. It is located between Italy and Switzerland (Valais). Monte Rosa is the second highest mountain in the Alps and western Europe, after Mont Blanc.

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes Region of France

Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes or ARA is a region in southeast-central France created by the territorial reform of French Regions in 2014; it resulted from the merger of Auvergne and Rhône-Alpes. The new region came into effect on 1 January 2016, after the regional elections in December 2015.

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 drains the semicircle formed by the (Alps and Apennines), which surround the region on three sides.

Italy republic in Southern Europe

Italy, officially the Italian Republic, is a European country consisting of a peninsula delimited by the Italian Alps and surrounded by several islands. Located in the middle of the Mediterranean sea and traversed along its length by the Apennines, Italy has a largely temperate seasonal climate. The country covers an area of 301,340 km2 (116,350 sq mi) and shares open land borders with France, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland and the enclaved microstates of Vatican City and San Marino. Italy has a territorial exclave in Switzerland (Campione) and a maritime exclave in the Tunisian Sea (Lampedusa). With around 60 million inhabitants, Italy is the fourth-most populous member state of the European Union.

Sicily Island in the Mediterranean and region of Italy

Sicily is the largest island in the Mediterranean Sea and one of the 20 regions of Italy. It is one of the five Italian autonomous regions, in Southern Italy along with surrounding minor islands, officially referred to as Regione Siciliana.

From the highest peaks, the land slopes down to hilly areas, (sometimes with a brusque transition from mountain to plain) and then to the upper, and then to the lower great Padan Plain. The boundary between the two is characterised by resurgent springs—typical of the Padan Plain—which supply fresh water to the rivers and a dense network of irrigation canals.

The countryside is very diverse: from the rugged peaks of the massifs of Monte Rosa and of Gran Paradiso, to the damp rice paddies of 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 located between Piedmont and the Aosta Valley.

Langhe hilly area in Piedmont, Italy

The Langhe is a hilly area to the south and east of the river Tanaro in the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, northern Italy.

Montferrat part of the region of Piedmont in Northern Italy

Montferrat is part of the region of Piedmont in Northern Italy. It comprises roughly the modern provinces of Alessandria and Asti. Montferrat is one of the most important wine districts of Italy. It also has a strong literary tradition, including the 18th century Asti-born poet and dramatist Vittorio Alfieri and the Alessandrian Umberto Eco.

Protected area location which receives protection because of its recognised natural, ecological or cultural landscape values

Protected areas or conservation areas are locations which receive protection because of their recognized natural, ecological or cultural values. There are several kinds of protected areas, which vary by level of protection depending on the enabling laws of each country or the regulations of the international organizations involved.

History

The Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi, in Nichelino, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Stupinigi.jpg
The Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi, in Nichelino, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Sacra di San Michele symbol of Piedmont La Sacra ammantata dalla neve.jpg
The 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 Burgundians, the Ostrogoths (5th century), East Romans, Lombards (6th century), and Franks (773).

In the 9th–10th centuries there were further incursions by the Magyars and Saracens.[ citation needed ] At the time Piedmont, as part of the Kingdom of Italy within the Holy Roman Empire, was subdivided into several marches and counties.

The Kingdom of Sardinia in 1856. SardiniePiemont.jpg
The 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 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 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. 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 Vienna, the Kingdom of Sardinia was restored, and furthermore received the 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[ citation needed ] and 1848–1849. This process is sometimes referred to as Piedmontisation. [6] However, the efforts were later countered by the efforts of rural farmers. [7] [8]

The 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 importance of 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 industrialization. [9]

Economy

Rice fields between Novara and Vercelli. Piemonterisaie.jpg
Rice fields between Novara and Vercelli.

Lowland 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. [10] 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, Freisa, 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. Biella produces 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 2014 a UNESCO World Heritage site. [11]

Alba is the home of Ferrero's chocolate factories and some mechanical industries. There are links with neighbouring France via the Fréjus and the 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. [10] 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). [10]

The Lingotto building in Turin, the world headquarters of Fiat. LingottoPalazzina4.jpg
The Lingotto building in Turin, the world headquarters of Fiat.

Tourism in 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 Italians and 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 26.51%. [12]

In 2006, Turin hosted the 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 (GTA) was created to draw more attention to the manyfold of remote, sparsely inhabited valleys.

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 strives to strengthen the international role of the area and its potential. It was the first Italian institution to bring together all activities carried out by pre-existing local organizations operating for the internationalization of the territory.

The unemployment rate stood at 9.1% in 2017. [13]

Year200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017
unemployment rate
(in %)
4.1%4.2%5.1%6.8%7.5%7.6%9.2%10.5%11.3%10.2%9.3%9.1%
The campus of the Polytechnic University of Turin. Cdda.jpg
The campus of the Polytechnic University of Turin.

Education

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. [14]

Demographics

Historical population
YearPop.±%
1861 2,759,000    
1871 2,928,000+6.1%
1881 3,090,000+5.5%
1901 3,319,000+7.4%
1911 3,414,000+2.9%
1921 3,439,000+0.7%
1931 3,458,000+0.6%
1936 3,418,000−1.2%
1951 3,518,000+2.9%
1961 3,914,000+11.3%
1971 4,432,000+13.2%
1981 4,479,000+1.1%
1991 4,303,000−3.9%
2001 4,215,000−2.0%
2010 (Est.) 4,456,000+5.7%
2017 4,392,526−1.4%
Source: ISTAT 2001
31 December 2014 largest resident foreign-born groups[ citation needed ]
Country of birthPopulation
Flag of Romania.svg Romania 150,216
Flag of Morocco.svg Morocco 60,384
Flag of Albania.svg Albania 40,339
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China 19,042
Flag of Peru.svg Peru 14,021
Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukraine 9,994
Flag of North Macedonia.svg Macedonia 7,602
Flag of Nigeria.svg Nigeria 7,574
Flag of the Philippines.svg Philippine 6,305
Flag of Senegal.svg Senegal 6,248
Flag of Egypt.svg Egypt 6,117
Flag of Ecuador.svg Ecuador 5,168

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). [15]

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. [15] 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.

The Turin metro area grew rapidly in the 1950s and 1960s due to an increase of immigrants from southern Italy and Veneto and today it has a population of approximately two million. As of 2008, 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

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). [16] 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 to 2011.

Administrative divisions

Provinces of Piedmont. Piedmont Provinces.png
Provinces of Piedmont.

Piedmont is divided into eight provinces:

ProvinceArea (km²)PopulationDensity (inh./km²)
Province of Alessandria 3,560431,885121.3
Province of Asti 1,504219,292145.8
Province of Biella 913181,089204.9
Province of Cuneo 6,903592,06085.7
Province of Novara 1,339371,418277.3
Metropolitan City of Turin 6,8212,291,719335.9
Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola 2,255160,88371.3
Province of Vercelli 2,088176,12184.3

Culture

Languages

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).

Sport

The Juventus Stadium in Turin is the home of Juventus F.C., throughout the years one of the more successful Serie A clubs. Juventus v Real Madrid, Champions League, Stadium, Turin, 2013.jpg
The 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. [17]

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 "Piedmont Quadrilateral" components Novara, Alessandria, Casale, Pro Vercelli. With the pre-World War II success of Pro Vercelli and the dominance of Torino during the 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 AGIL 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 CERS Cups.

See also

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References

  1. "Regionales Bruttoinlandsprodukt (Mio. EUR), nach NUTS-2-Regionen". Eurostat. Retrieved 5 March 2011.
  2. 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
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Coordinates: 45°04′N7°42′E / 45.067°N 7.700°E / 45.067; 7.700