For the region of the United States, see Piedmont (United States). For other uses, see Piedmont (disambiguation).
Region of Italy


Coat of arms
Country Italy
Capital Turin
  President Sergio Chiamparino (Democratic)
  Total 25,402 km2 (9,808 sq mi)
Population (30-10-2012)
  Total 4,646,251
  Density 180/km2 (470/sq mi)
Time zone CET (UTC+1)
  Summer (DST) CEST (UTC+2)
GDP/ Nominal €134.0[1] billion (2016)
GDP per capita €30,800[2] (2008)
Website www.regione.piemonte.it

Piedmont (/ˈpdmɒnt/ PEED-mont; Italian: Piemonte, pronounced [pjeˈmonte]; Piedmontese and Occitan: Piemont; French: Piémont) is one of the 20 regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,402 square kilometres (9,808 sq mi) and a population of about 4.6 million. 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” (attested in documents of the end of the 12th century).[3]

Major towns and cities

Population rank Coat City Name Population
(m s.l.m.)
Province or
metropolitan city
1 Torino 895.377 130,17 6.878 239 TO
2 Novara 104.411 103,05 1.013 162 NO
3 Alessandria 93.884 203,97 460 95 AL
4 Asti 76.424 151,82 504 123 AT
5 Moncalieri 57.060 47,63 1.197 260 TO
6 Cuneo 56.116 119,88 468 534 CN
7 Collegno 49.940 18,12 2.756 302 TO
8 Rivoli 48.819 29,52 1.653 390 TO
9 Nichelino 48.182 20,64 2.334 229 TO
10 Settimo Torinese 47.704 32,37 1.473 207 TO

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

Population rank Arms City Name Population
(m s.l.m.)
Province or
metropolitan city
11 Vercelli 46.808 79,85 586 130 VC
12 Biella 44.860 46,68 961 417 BI
13 Grugliasco 37.906 13,12 2.889 293 TO
14 Chieri 36.778 54,30 677 305 TO
15 Pinerolo 35.778 50,28 711 376 TO
16 Casale Monferrato 34.565 86,32 400 116 AL
17 Venaria Reale 34.248 20,29 1.687 262 TO
18 Alba 31.419 54,01 581 172 CN
19 Verbania 30.933 36,62 844 197 VB
20 Bra, Piedmont 29.705 59,61 498 285 CN
21 Carmagnola 29.052 96,38 301 240 TO
22 Novi Ligure 28.257 54,22 521 199 AL
23 Tortona 27.575 99,29 278 122 AL
24 Chivasso 26.704 51,31 520 183 TO
25 Fossano 24.743 130,72 189 375 CN
26 Ivrea 23.598 30,19 781 253 TO
27 Orbassano 23.240 22,05 1.053 273 TO
28 Mondovì 22.592 87,25 258 395 CN
29 Borgomanero 21.709 32,36 670 307 NO
30 Savigliano 21.306 110,73 192 321 CN
31 Trecate 20.329 38,38 529 136 NO
32 Acqui Terme 20.054 33,30 602 156 AL


Main article: Geography of Piedmont
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%).

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 risorgive springs, typical of the Padan Plain which supply fresh water both to the rivers and to a dense network of irrigation canals.

The countryside is very diversified: 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.


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 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.

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 and 1848–1849. This process is sometimes referred to as Piedmontisation.[4] However, the efforts were later countered by the efforts of rural farmers.[5][6]

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.[7]


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.[8] 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.[9]

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.[8] 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).[8]

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%.[10]

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 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.


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.[11]


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%
Source: ISTAT 2001
31 December 2014 largest resident foreign-born groups
Country of birth Population
Romania Romania 150,216
Morocco Morocco 60,384
Albania Albania 40,339
China China 19,042
Peru Peru 14,021
Ukraine Ukraine 9,994
Republic of Macedonia Macedonia 7,602
Nigeria Nigeria 7,574
Philippines Philippine 6,305
Senegal Senegal 6,248
Egypt Egypt 6,117
Ecuador 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 province of Turin is considered, whereas Verbano-Cusio-Ossola is the less densely populated province (72 inhabitants per km2).[12]

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.[12] 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

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).[13] 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 is divided into eight provinces:

Province Area (km²) Population Density (inh./km²)
Province of Alessandria 3,560 431,885 121.3
Province of Asti 1,504 219,292 145.8
Province of Biella 913 181,089 204.9
Province of Cuneo 6,903 592,060 85.7
Province of Novara 1,339 371,418 277.3
Province of Turin 6,821 2,291,719 335.9
Province of Verbano-Cusio-Ossola 2,255 160,883 71.3
Province of Vercelli 2,088 176,121 84.3



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 Provinces of Cuneo and Turin), and Franco-Provençal (spoken by another minority in the alpine heights of the Province 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.

Turin hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics.[14]

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, the most of 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.

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 CERS Cups.

See also


  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
  3. Touring Club Italiano, Piemonte (non compresa Torino), Guida d'Italia, 1, 8th edn (Touring Editore, 1976), p.11.
  4. Collier, Martin (2003). Italian Unification, 1820–71. Oxford: Heinemann. p. 75.
  5. 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 January 2007.
  6. Anna Bull, Regionalism in Italy, Europa 2(4). Retrieved 7 January 2007.
  7. Marco Meriggi, (1996). Breve Storia dell'Italia Settentrionale, dall'Ottocento a Oggi. 1st ed. Italy: Donzelli Dditore, Rome.
  8. 1 2 3 "Eurostat". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  9. The Vineyard Landscape of Piedmont: Langhe-Roero and Monferrato
  10. Archived 26 March 2009 at the Wayback Machine.
  11. Template:UNICRI
  12. 1 2 "Eurostat". Europa (web portal). Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  13. "Sito Ufficiale della Regione Piemonte: Giunta regionale". Regione.piemonte.it. Retrieved 23 April 2010.
  14. http://www.canoe.ca/SlamOlympicScandalArchive/jun19_tur.html
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