From Agepedia

Jump to: navigation , search

PIEDMONT ; a principality and principal province of the Sardinian monarchy, from which it was separated by the French in 1798, and, in 1802, incorporated with France. (See Sardinian Monarchy.) On the fall of Napoleon (1814), it was restored to the king of Sardinia, and the duchies of Milan (the Sardinian part) and Montferrat have been united with it. It is now divided into twentysix districts. Piedmont, in a narrower sense, borders on the Valais and Savoy to the north, on France to the west, on Nizza and Genoa to the south, and on the Sardinian Milanese and Montferrat to the east. Within these limits, it contains a population of 1,400,000, on a superficial area of 6575 square miles; including the Sardinian Milanese and Montferrat, it has a population of 2,322,000 on 12,000 square miles. Piedmont has its name (pie di monte, foot of the mountain) from its situation, at the foot of the Pennine Alps (in which are the lofty Montrosa and the Great Bernard) on the north, qnd of the Graian and Cottian Alps (including Montblanc, the Little Bernard, Montcenis and Monteviso) towards France and Savoy. The principal river is the Po (q. v.j, which flo ws down from these mountains, and receives all the rivers of the province; the Doria, Stura and Sesiafrom the left, and the Vraita, Maira and Tanaro from the right. On the south lie the Maritime Alps, separating Genoa and Nizza from Piedmont. To the north and west it is covered with high mountainous chains, from which less elevated ridges shoot ofF, and terminate, in the central part, in plains. This portion, which is watered by the Po, and which is composed of an agreeable variety of hill, plain and valley, is the most fertile part, and is in a state of high cultivation, yielding corn, wine, oil, fruits, rice and hemp. The breeding of the silkworm is carried to such extent in no other part of Italy, and produces yearly 22,000,000 lire worth of silk, most of which is exported raw. The northern, western and southern districts supply the central region with wood. The Piedmontese are industrious and frugal, and are all Catholics, excepting 20,000 Waldenses. (See Chateauvieux's Letters on Italy.) They have some silk, linen and woollen manufactures, and thousands of them are seen travelling about Italy, France and Germany, as pedlars. Their language is a mixture of the French and Italian. The capital of Piedmont is Turin, (q. v.)