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Piemonte  (Italian)
Piemont  (Piedmontese)
A view over Piedmont's Lake Maggiore, Mount Rosa, and Verbania
Coat of arms
Piedmont in Italy.svg
Country Italy
Capital Turin
  President Alberto Cirio (FI)
  Total25,402 km2 (9,808 sq mi)
  Density170/km2 (450/sq mi)
Demonym(s) English: Piedmontese
Italian: Piemontese
Time zone UTC+1 (CET)
  Summer (DST) UTC+2 (CEST)
ISO 3166 code IT-21
GDP (nominal) €133 billion (2017) [1]
GDP per capita €30,300 (2017) [2]
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.



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 from the end of the 12th century. [5]

Major towns and cities

Population rankCity NamePopulation
(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
(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


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 part with Emilia Romagna. The geography of 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 drains the semicircle formed by the Alps and Apennines, which surround the region on three sides.

From the highest peaks, the land slopes down to hilly areas, (sometimes with a brusque transition from mountain to plain) and then to the 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 Gran Paradiso to the damp rice paddies of Vercelli and Novara, from the gentle hillsides of the Langhe, Roero and 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, between Piedmont and the Aosta Valley.


The Palazzina di caccia of Stupinigi, in Nichelino, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Exterior of the Palazzina di caccia of 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, Saracens and Muslim Moors. [6] 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 [7] and 1848–1849. This process is sometimes referred to as Piedmontisation. [8] However, the efforts were later countered by the efforts of rural farmers. [9] [10]

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. [11]


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. [12] 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 centres of Montferrat, one of the best known Italian wine districts in the world, declared officially on 22 June 2014 a UNESCO World Heritage site. [13]

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. [12] 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). [12]

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%. [14]

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 Gross domestic product (GDP) of the region was 137.4 billion euros in 2018, accounting for 7.8% of Italy's economic output. GDP per capita adjusted for purchasing power was 31,300 euros or 104% of the EU27 average in the same year. The GDP per employee was 111% of the EU average. [15]

The unemployment rate stood at 8.2% in 2018. [16] [17]

Unemployment rate4.1%4.2%5.1%6.8%7.5%7.6%9.2%10.5%11.3%10.2%9.3%9.1%8.2%
The campus of the Polytechnic University of Turin. Cdda.jpg
The campus of the Polytechnic University of Turin.


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. [18]


Historical population
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 2018 largest resident foreign citizens groups[ citation needed ]
Country of birthPopulation
Flag of Romania.svg Romania 147,916
Flag of Morocco.svg Morocco 54,151
Flag of Albania.svg Albania 40,919
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China 20,091
Flag of Nigeria.svg Nigeria 12,638
Flag of Peru.svg Peru 11,579
Flag of Ukraine.svg Ukraine 10,435
Flag of Moldova.svg Moldova 8,945
Flag of Egypt.svg Egypt 7,889
Flag of Senegal.svg Senegal 7,626
Flag of North Macedonia.svg North Macedonia 6,463
Flag of the Philippines.svg Philippine 6,309
Flag of India.svg India 5,301
Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan 5,084

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). [19]

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. [19] 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, Albania, and Ukraine) 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). [20] 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 (inhabitants/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



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).


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. [21]

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

Related Research Articles

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.

Vercelli Comune in Piedmont, Italy

Vercelli, is a city and comune of 46.552 inhabitants (1-1-2017) in the Province of Vercelli, Piedmont, northern Italy. One of the oldest urban sites in northern Italy, it was founded, according to most historians, around the year 600 BC.

Province of Alessandria Province of Italy

The Province of Alessandria is an Italian province, with a population of some 425,000, which forms the southeastern part of the region of Piedmont. The provincial capital is the city of Alessandria.

Northern Italy Place in Italy

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Battle of Staffarda

The Battle of Staffarda, 18 August 1690, was fought during Nine Years' War in Piedmont-Savoy, modern-day northern Italy. The engagement was the first major encounter in the Italian theatre since Victor Amadeus, the Duke of Savoy, had joined the Grand Alliance in opposition to France earlier that year. The battle was a clear victory for the French commander, Nicolas Catinat, who proceeded to take other Piedmontese strongholds. The French also overran most of the Duchy of Savoy, but due to sickness, lack of infantry, and problems with supply, Catinat was unable to besiege Amadeus's capital Turin as King Louis XIV had hoped.

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Novara is the capital city of the province of Novara in the Piedmont region in northwest Italy, to the west of Milan. With 104,268 inhabitants, it is the second most populous city in Piedmont after Turin. It is an important crossroads for commercial traffic along the routes from Milan to Turin and from Genoa to Switzerland. Novara lies between the rivers Agogna and Terdoppio in northeastern Piedmont, 50 kilometres (31 mi) from Milan and 95 kilometres (59 mi) from Turin.

Canavese Traditional region in Italy

Canavese is a subalpine geographical and historical area of North-West Italy which lies today within the Metropolitan City of Turin in Piedmont. Its main town is Ivrea and it is famous for its castles.

Roero geographical area in Piedmont, north-west Italy

Roero is a geographical area in the north-east corner of the province of Cuneo in Piedmont, north-west Italy. This hilly region is known for its wines and for its fruit production: particularly the peaches of Canale and the local variety of pear known as Madernassa which originated in the late eighteenth century in Vezza d'Alba. Strawberries are also grown.

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Piemonte (wine) range of Italian wines made in the region of Piedmont

Piemonte wine is the range of Italian wines made in the region of Piedmont in the northwestern corner of Italy. The best-known wines from the region include Barolo and Barbaresco. They are made from the Nebbiolo grape. These wines are ideal for storage and a well-aged Barolo for instance may leave a feeling of drinking velvet because the tannins are polished and integrated more and more into the wine. As the wine matures the colour becomes more brownish and rust-red.

Lega Nord Piemont regionalist political party in Italy active in Piedmont, Italy

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Turin city in Piedmont, Italy

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Turin–Milan railway Italian railway line

The Turin–Milan railway is a major Italian railway that links the cities of Turin and Milan. The railway is double track, standard gauge and fully electrified at 3 kV DC. It connects the cities of Settimo Torinese, Chivasso, Santhià, Vercelli, Novara, Magenta and Rho. Since February 2006 high-speed trains have operated over the Turin–Milan high-speed line between Turin and Novara. The remainder of the high-speed line between Novara and Milan was opened in December 2009, when the Bologna–Florence high-speed line and the remaining sections of the Rome–Naples high-speed railway line and the Naples–Salerno high-speed line are opened, completing the high-speed network between Turin and Salerno.

Northwest Italy geographic region of Italy

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Vercelli railway station railway station

Vercelli railway station is the main station serving the city and comune of Vercelli, in the Piedmont region, northwestern Italy. Opened in 1856, it forms part of the Turin–Milan railway, and is also a junction station for two other lines, to Valenza and Pavia, respectively.

Benedetto Alfieri Italian architect (1699 -1767)

Benedetto Innocenzo Alfieri was an Italian architect, a representative of the late-Baroque or Rococo style.

Cassa di Risparmio di Biella e Vercelli S.p.A. known as BiverBanca, is an Italian saving bank based in Biella, Piedmont. It was acquired by fellow Piedmontese bank Cassa di Risparmio di Asti from Banca Monte dei Paschi di Siena in 2012. BiverBanca had almost all the branches in Piedmont and Aosta Valley, especially in the area around Biella and Vercelli : 46 branches in the Province of Biella and 46 branches in the Province of Vercelli, 10 in Turin and 6 in the Province Novara; 3 in the Province of Alessandria; 5 branches in Aosta Valley; 1 branch in the Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola, and lastly 1 branch in Milan, the financial hub of Italy.

Flag of Piedmont flag

The flag of Piedmont is one of the official symbols of the region of Piedmont, Italy. The current flag was adopted on 24 November 1995.


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Coordinates: 45°04′N7°42′E / 45.067°N 7.700°E / 45.067; 7.700