Piedmont Region

Brief History

The Piedmont region is in the north-west corner of Italy. The capital of the region is Turin . Turin was founded in 300BC by the Taurini Gauls (Celtic tribe) and was originally named Taurasia. Taurasia was later destroyed by Hannibal (Carthaginian general) who crossed the alps to invade Italy. The Gauls however left a lasting reminder of their past with the city of Turin still using the symbol of the bull (Taurus being Latin for bull).

Julius Caesar rebuilt the city in 28 BC as a military colony and gateway to the Western Alps but it was eventually conquered by the Goths, Lombards and Franks. In the 13th century the area became known as Piedmont, meaning "at the foot of the mountain".The House of Savoy ruled the area from the 11th century and in 1574 Turin was made their capital. From 1798-1814 Piedmont, after being defeated by the French Republican army, was held by France.

The Savoys returned to power after the fall of Napoleon's empire in 1814 and in 1861 under the Piedmontese statesman Count Camillo Benso di Cavour & King Victor Emmanuel II, the region became instrumental in achieving Italian unification. Turin became the first capital of the New Italian Kingdom.

The Peidmont region produces two thirds of Italy's rice and is one of the leading wine producers in Italy. The area is known for wines such as Asti Spumante, Barbera, Barolo and Dolcetta. The Piedmont region is also famous for Vermouth that was created by Benedetto Carpano in his shop in Turin and the martini cocktail is named after the best known producers of dry vermouth, Martini & Rossi. In 1899, during the industrial revolution, Fiat (Fabbrica Italiana Automobili Torino) established their factory in Turin .

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