Informations for your holidays in Piedmont
The countryside in Piedmont is very varied: one passes 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 Langheand of Montferrat to the plains. The percentage of the territory which is a protected area is 7.6%. There are 56 different national or regional parks. One such park is the Gran Paradiso National Park.
Lowland Piedmont is a fertile agricultural region. The main agricultural products in Piedmont are cereals, including rice, maize, grapes for wine-making, fruit and milk. 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.
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.
The region contains major industrial centres, the main of which is Turin, home to the FIAT automobile works. Olivetti, once a major electronics industry, has now turned into a small-scale computer service company. Biella produces tissues and silks. 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.