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Autonomous region (pop., 2001 prelim.: 4,166,442), northwestern Italy. With its capital at Turin, Piedmont borders France and Switzerland; it has an area of 9,807 sq mi (25,399 sq km). In Roman times its passes connected Italy with the transalpine provinces of Gaul. In the Middle Ages the house of Savoy was the region's most important power. It was a centre during the 19th-century Risorgimento that united Italy. Victor Emmanuel II, originally king of Piedmont and Sardinia, became modern Italy's first king in 1861. Surrounded by mountains, Piedmont is centred on the Po River valley, which contains some of Italy's best farmland, producing wheat, rice, and wines. Its hydroelectric plants supply energy for much of northern Italy.
Variants of PIEDMONT
Piedmont Italian Piemonte
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on Piedmont, visit Britannica.com.