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Hotel B&B Piedmont
The Piedmont (Piemonte in italian) is one of the 20 Regions of Italy. It has an area of 25,399 km2 and a population of 4.4 million. The capital is Turin, and the local language is Piedmontese.
Agriculture in Piedmont
Piedmont ranks among the leading Italian regions in terms of the quality and quantity of its wine production. Fine wines, with denominations of controlled and guaranteed origin (DOCG), are produced in the hills of the Langhe, Monferrato, Novarese and Eporediese which are appreciated worldwide.
Rice is the main crop in the lower plain, with over 50% of the total national production being grown in the provinces of Novara and Vercelli. Fruit farming is also an important sector, in particular apples, peaches, strawberries and kiwis.
Cattle farming requires a special mention. This sector has seen the region rise to second place in the whole of Italy.
The quality of the meat is protected by special regulations which mean that the products are much appreciated and guaranteed from a health point of view.
Just to mention a few figures: the total area of land used for agricultural purposes is 1,119,000 hectares of which 597 thousand are used for sown crops, 411 thousand for fields and pasture and 110 thousand for permanent crops. Piedmont’s forestry covers over 300 thousand hectares.
Industry, commerce, crafts and the service sector
Turin, capital of the car industry, occupies, together with the rest of Piedmont, a leading position compared to Italy and Europe.
But while the manufacturing and metal mechanical industries rank in the top positions in terms of numbers of people employed, we should not overlook the textile and woollen sectors (which have made the area around Biella world-famous), the clothing industry, electronics, household goods, as well as the confectionery and food industry. The latest figures confirm the extraordinary growth of the services sector. Service activities provide essential backing for industry through research, marketing, advertising and information technology, not to mention another important sector, namely commerce. This segment in fact forms part of an old tradition that has now been modernised and revived.
Crafts play a role which is anything but secondary in the region’s economy.
Thousands of artisan firms operate in Piedmont and excel both in the field of new technologies and innovation and in antique crafts which are firmly anchored to local traditions, like the goldsmiths of Valenza Po, the woodworkers in the Alpine valleys, the ceramics of Castellamonte and the lacemakers of Valsesia.
From the fineness of the goldsmithry to the production of solid wooden furniture, an activity that is present in all the Alpine valleys and has been handed down from generation to generation. Not to mention the use of cast iron, ceramics and copper and the manufacture of musical instruments. The service activities provide valuable support, especially in the fields of R&D, marketing and advertising. Commerce is a sector that preserves many traditions, but it has also been brought up to date by the construction of avantgarde shopping centres.
In 1046, the counts of the House of Savoy added Piedmont to their main territory of Savoy, with a capital at Chambéry (now in France). 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 the 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. 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 removed 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.
Exploring Piedmontese Cuisine
Piedmontese cooking has distant roots. On the one hand, the traditional dishes reflect the peasant culture, recipes with a few low-cost ingredients. On the other hand, there are other dishes that reflect the gastronomic evolution that took place in the kitchens of aristocratic palaces. A place of honor is reserved for antipastos, matchless protagonists of dinners in Monferrato or Langhe. One of the favorite antipasto dishes is made up of anchovies, prepared in a red sauce with peppers or in a white sauce, with hazel-nuts. Then there are the cold-cuts, tuna paté, eel, omelets, boiled tongue, bagnetto verde, a sauce made with garlic, parsley and anchovies. And last but not least is bagna cauda, the 'leading actor' of Piedmontese dishes. It is a sauce into which you dip raw vegetables like thistle, celery, sweet peppers, cabbage, etc.
Thin soups, minestrone, garlic soups, along with the ravioli and taglierini (thin egg noodles) are the famous first courses of this region. The main courses include, boiled beef, roast and braised beef and veal, and an assortment of fried foods called fritto misto (comprised of sausage, fried brains, cream of wheat, and other ingredients.)
Then there is a vast assortment of desserts. According to the province where you happen to be, you will find local specialties: torta monferrina, a cake made of figs and peaches, or apples and squash, the delicious zabaglione (an egg-based cream with a touch of Muscat), bonet (a firm pudding made of chocolate and macaroons), baked cream pudding, hazel-nut cake, macaroons, almond nougat and the famous fine chocolates. There’s something for everyone’s palate.
By air. Torino-Caselle Airport is linked daily with all the major Italian cities; it also has numerous flights from cities abroad including: Frankfurt, Paris, London, Amsterdam, Brussels. The following airlines operate from Caselle: Alitalia, Sabena, Swissair, Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Air France, Portugalia, Kim and Air One.
A coach service links the airport to the centre of Turin and the main railway stations. Other buses link the airport with Aosta and the main cities in Piedmont.
At the airport it is also possible to hire a car from Hertz, Avis, Maggiore, Eurocar and Budget.
From the international airport of Milano Malpensa, located on the border with the Province of Novara, it is easy to reach Turin by rail (from Milan - Novara) and motorway (A27 Voltri - Simplon and A4 Turin - Milan).
By train. Turin’s two railway stations, Torino Porta Nuova and Torino Porta Susa, guarantee daily connections with other European countries. The majority of connections are with France, and in particular there are now 11 trains every day (including 4 TGV) from/to Lyons and Paris.
The expansion of the historic line from Turin-Modane-Lyons and the construction of a new high-speed line to France will allow a considerable improvement in the range of services offered, in terms of both quality and quantity, in view of the expected boom in passenger transport.
In a more strictly regional context, with services that allow passengers to reach the main Italian cities, the most important rail lines include:
Turin - Bardonecchia (towards France)
Turin - Aosta Valley
Turin - Milan - Venice (towards Austria)
Turin - Alessandria - Bologna (towards the southern Adriatic coast)
Turin - Genoa - Rome (towards the southern Tyrrhenian coast)
Turin - Cuneo - Ventimiglia - Nice (towards the south of France)
By car. The road network which links the main Italian and foreign cities mainly consists of motorways and main roads which enable travellers to reach the countries bordering with Piedmont (France and Switzerland).
Motorways, Highways and Tunnels:
A4 Turin - Milan
A4/5 Ivrea - Santhià
A5 Turin - Aosta
A6 Turin - Savona
A7 Milan - Serravalle - Genoa
A21 Turin - Piacenza - Brescia
A26 Genoa - Voltri - Alessandria - Gravellona Toce
A26/7 Branch to Predosa - Bettole and Gattico - Sesto Calende
A26/4 Branch to Stroppiana - Santhià
A32 Turin - Bardonecchia
SATT Turin Ring Road
Turin - Caselle Airport highway
20 Colle di Tenda and the Roja Valley
21 over the Maddalena pass
24 over Monginevro pass
25 over Moncenisio pass
28 Colle di Nava
337 Val Vigezzo
Part of the information regarding the history, the art, the traditions and the events about the city of Piedmont on this page is drawn from www.wikipedia.org respecting the GNU Free Documentation License.