Province of Cuneo
Cuneo or Coni is a province in the southwest of the Piedmont region of Italy. To the west it borders on the French region of Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur. To the north it borders with the Metropolitan City of Turin. To the east it borders with the province of Asti. To the south it borders with the Ligurian provinces of Imperia, it is known as La Provincia Granda, Piedmontese for "The Big Province", because it is the fourth largest province in Italy and the largest one in Piedmont. Briga Marittima and Tenda were part of this province before cession to France in 1947, its capital is the city of Cuneo. Of the 250 communes in the province, the largest by population are: Companies active in the province include: Miroglio in Alba Ferrero SpA in Alba, Maina in Fossano Balocco in Fossano Merlo in San Defendente Arpa industriale in Bra Bottero in Cuneo Mondo in Alba Mtm-Brc in Cherasco Abet in Bra Edizioni San Paolo in AlbaMany important industrial groups have branches in the province: Michelin, Saint-Gobain, Asahi Glass Co.
ITT Galfer and Nestlé. Communes of the province of Cuneo Piemonte Bole, David. Innovative policies for Alpine towns: Alpine space small local urban centres innovative pack. Založba ZRC. ISBN 978-961-254-254-2. Holst-Warhaft, Gail. Losing Paradise: The Water Crisis in the Mediterranean. Ashgate Publishing, Ltd. ISBN 978-1-4094-8846-0. Hall, Marcus. Earth Repair: A Transatlantic History of Environmental Restoration. University of Virginia Press. ISBN 978-0-8139-2341-3. Kresl, Peter Karl; the Aging Population and the Competitiveness of Cities: Benefits to the Urban Economy. Edward Elgar Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84980-693-0
Haughmond Abbey is a ruined, Augustinian monastery a few miles from Shrewsbury, England. It was founded in the early 12th century and was associated with the FitzAlan family, who became Earls of Arundel, some of their wealthier vassals and allies, it was a substantial and wealthy house for most of its four centuries, although evidence of abuses appeared before its dissolution in 1539. The buildings fell into disrepair and the church was destroyed, although the remains of some of the domestic buildings remain impressive; the site is open to the public during the summer. The cartulary of the abbey begins with a statement of its foundation story, as understood at the time it was written down in the Late Middle Ages R. W. Eyton, the assiduous Victorian historian of Shropshire, critically considered the cartulary evidence in his 1856 study of the Haughmond's origins, pointing out that it was impossible for all the facts asserted to be true, as William FitzAlan is known to have been still a youth in 1138, when he became involved in the Anarchy of Stephen's reign.
Moreover, of the two bulls concerning the abbey issued by Alexander III in 1172, one does not mention the foundation at all, while the other does attribute it to William FitzAlan but does not give a date. Around the time of the dissolution, the traveller and antiquary Leland repeated the cartulary's story of the foundation, with the slight variation of placing the date in 1101. A 13th century chronicle, written locally, gives the date as 1110. Eyton seized upon the earliest charter in the cartulary as giving a secure date. In it, William FitzAlan grants to the community a fishery at Preston Boats, a member of the manor of Upton Magna, about 3 km south of the abbey on the River Severn – the first clear indication that the community existed. FitzAlan's grant names the leader of the community as Prior Fulk. Augustinian communities were counted as priories, although large independent houses were called abbeys; the grant mentions that the monastery was dedicated to Saint John the Evangelist and this was to persist throughout its history: a statue of St John with his emblem can be found carved into the arches of the chapter house and his image appeared on the Abbey's great seal.
The witnesses were William FitzAlan's wife and his brother, Walter. The grant seems to date from the years around 1135, when Henry I died and a power contest broke out between Stephen and Empress Matilda. However, it is not certain that William FitzAlan was the first to endow the community. Leland repeats the persistent story that “there was an hermitage and a chapell before the erectynge of the abbey.” This suggests some value in considering the founding of the FitzAlan fortunes by William FitzAlan's father, Alan fitz Flaad. He appeared in Henry I's company at least as early as September 1101, when he witnessed important grants to Norwich Cathedral. Thereafter, he is heard of with the king at Canterbury in 1103, in the New Forest in 1104, He seems to have taken an interest in donations of his own to religious houses, as at some point he gave a manor to Norwich Cathedral, a gift the king promised “to confirm when Alan comes to my court” - evidently a regular occurrence. Only does he appear as a witness to an order given to Richard de Belmeis I, the Bishop of London and the king's viceroy in Shropshire, to deal with a disputed prebend at Morville a complication of the abolition of the collegiate church there in favour of Shrewsbury Abbey.
Alan appears in this context among a group of Shropshire magnates, including Corbets and a Peverel during Henry I's 1114 military expedition into Wales. It seems to have been around this time that he acquired the abbey site, along with other large estates in Shropshire and Sussex; the estates had been granted by William the Conqueror to Rainald de Bailleul, the Sheriff of Shropshire, in consideration of his shrievalty, were given to Alan after the death of Rainald's son, Hugh. One of the most important was Upton Magna. Eyton places the handover earlier, around the time of a royal expedition to Shropshire in 1109, it is possible that Alan was the founder of the original priory, or that it began before his time, as a small eremetic community, towards the end of the 11th century. Another possibility is that the community was established or nurtured by Alan's widow, variously named as Adelina, Avelina or Evelyn, who seems to have survived him by many years. Despite his reservations about the self-contradictory sources, Eyton concluded that the foundation date lay between 1130 and 1138 and that the founder of the abbey “in all respects was the first William Fitz-Alan.”
However, William FitzAlan's grant of the Preston Boats fish weir, around 1135, was not a foundation grant: there was a small but growing community when it was made. The Victoria County History account tends to give more weight than Eyton to the possibility of an earlier origin. Augustinian communities began as small gatherings around a noted hermit before growing into established monasteries, or small religious orders: the Abbey of Arrouaise in northern France, which had a Shropshire community at nearby Lilleshall Abbey, is an example. At Haughmond, the remains of a modest early church were discovered beneath the floor of the more ambitious building, during the 1907 excavations: this may date back to the time of Prior Fulk or earlier. Despite these reservations and qualifications, the most recent account of William Fitz-Alan, in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography treats him as the founder of the abbey, it was he who placed it on a secure basis, ev
Oswestry is a market town and civil parish in Shropshire, close to the Welsh border. It is at the junction of the A5, A495 roads, it is one of the UK's oldest border settlements. The town was the administrative headquarters of the Borough of Oswestry until, abolished under local government reorganisation with effect from 1 April 2009. Oswestry is the third-largest town following Telford and Shrewsbury; the 2011 Census recorded the population of the civil parish as 17,105 and the urban area as 16,660. The town is five miles from the Welsh border, has a mixed English and Welsh heritage, it is the home of the Shropshire libraries' Welsh Collection. Oswestry is the largest settlement within the Oswestry Uplands, a designated natural area and national character area, it has been known as, or recorded in historical documents as: Album Monasterium. Oswestry's story began with the 3000-year-old settlement of Old Oswestry, one of the most spectacular and best preserved Iron Age hill forts in Britain, with evidence of construction and occupation between 800 BC and AD 43.
The site is named Caer Ogyrfan or The City of Gogyrfan, the father of Guinevere in legend. The Battle of Maserfield is thought to have been fought there in 642, between the Anglo-Saxon kings Penda of Mercia and Oswald of Northumbria. Oswald was dismembered, thus it is believed that the name of the site is derived from a reference to "Oswald's Tree". The spring, Oswald's Well, is supposed to have originated where the bird dropped the arm from the tree, though one historian suggested that it was to have been a pagan spring, in use long before the Saxon battle; the water from the well was believed to have healing properties for curing eye trouble. Offa's Dyke runs to the west; the Domesday Book records a castle being built by Rainald, a Norman Sheriff of Shropshire: L'oeuvre – see Oswestry Castle. Alan fitz Flaad, a Breton knight, was granted the feudal barony of Oswestry by King Henry I who, soon after his accession, invited Alan to England with other Breton friends, gave him forfeited lands in Norfolk and Shropshire, including some which had belonged to Ernulf de Hesdin and Robert of Bellême.
Alan's duties to the Crown included supervision of the Welsh border. He founded Sporle Priory in Norfolk, he married daughter of Ernulf de Hesdin. Their eldest son William FitzAlan was made High Sheriff of Shropshire by King Stephen in 1137, he married a niece of Robert of Gloucester. Alan's younger son, travelled to Scotland in the train of King David I, Walter becoming the first hereditary Steward of Scotland and ancestor of the Stewart Royal family; the town has some Welsh language street and place names and the town's name in Welsh is Croesoswallt, meaning "Oswald's Cross". The town changed the Welsh a number of times during the Middle Ages. In 1149 the castle was captured by Madog ap Maredudd during'The Anarchy', it remained in Welsh hands until 1157. In the 13th century it is referred to in official records as Blancmuster or Blancmostre, meaning "White Minster". Oswestry was attacked by the forces of Welsh rebel leader Owain Glyndŵr during the early years of his rebellion against the English King Henry IV in 1400.
The castle was reduced to a pile of rocks during the English Civil War. In 1190 the town was granted the right to hold a market each Wednesday. With the weekly influx of Welsh farmers the townsfolk were bilingual; the town built walls for protection, but these were torn down in the English Civil War by the Parliamentarians after they took the town from the Royalists after a brief siege on 22 June 1644, leaving only the Newgate Pillar visible today. After the foot and mouth outbreak in the late 1960s the animal market was moved out of the town centre. In the 1990s, a statue of a shepherd and sheep was installed in the market square as a memorial to the history of the market site. Park Hall, a mile east of the town, was one of the most impressive Tudor buildings in the country, it was taken over by the Army during World War I in 1915 and used as a training camp and military hospital. On 26 December 1918 it burnt to the ground following an electrical fault; the ruined hall and camp remained derelict between the wars, the camp hospital, was still in use.
One of the main uses of the land from the 1920s was for motorcycle racing and it became quite a well-known circuit. The camp was reactivated in July 1939 for Royal Artillery training and the Plotting Officers' School. Following World War II, Oswestry was a prominent military centre for Canadian troops for the British Royal Artillery, a training centre for 15 to 17-year-old Infantry Junior Leaders; the camp closed in 1975. During the 1970s some local licensed wildfowlers discharged their shotguns at some passing ducks and were shot themselves by a young military guard, who had mistaken them for an attacking IRA force; the area occupied by the Park Hall military camp is now residential and agricultural land, with a small number of light industrial units. P
Edward I of England
Edward I known as Edward Longshanks and the Hammer of the Scots, was King of England from 1272 to 1307. Before his accession to the throne, he was referred to as The Lord Edward; the first son of Henry III, Edward was involved early in the political intrigues of his father's reign, which included an outright rebellion by the English barons. In 1259, he sided with a baronial reform movement, supporting the Provisions of Oxford. After reconciliation with his father, however, he remained loyal throughout the subsequent armed conflict, known as the Second Barons' War. After the Battle of Lewes, Edward was hostage to the rebellious barons, but escaped after a few months and joined the fight against Simon de Montfort. Montfort was defeated at the Battle of Evesham in 1265, within two years the rebellion was extinguished. With England pacified, Edward joined the Ninth Crusade to the Holy Land; the crusade accomplished little, Edward was on his way home in 1272 when he was informed that his father had died.
Making a slow return, he was crowned at Westminster Abbey on 19 August. He spent much of his reign reforming common law. Through an extensive legal inquiry, Edward investigated the tenure of various feudal liberties, while the law was reformed through a series of statutes regulating criminal and property law. However, Edward's attention was drawn towards military affairs. After suppressing a minor rebellion in Wales in 1276–77, Edward responded to a second rebellion in 1282–83 with a full-scale war of conquest. After a successful campaign, Edward subjected Wales to English rule, built a series of castles and towns in the countryside and settled them with English people. Next, his efforts were directed towards Scotland. Invited to arbitrate a succession dispute, Edward claimed feudal suzerainty over the kingdom; the war that followed continued after Edward's death though the English seemed victorious at several points. Edward I found himself at war with France after the French king Philip IV had confiscated the duchy of Aquitaine, which until had been held in personal union with the Kingdom of England.
Although Edward recovered his duchy, this conflict relieved English military pressure against Scotland. At the same time there were problems at home. In the mid-1290s, extensive military campaigns required high levels of taxation, Edward met with both lay and ecclesiastical opposition; these crises were averted, but issues remained unsettled. When the King died in 1307, he left to his son Edward II an ongoing war with Scotland and many financial and political problems. Edward I was a tall man for his era, hence the nickname "Longshanks", he was temperamental, this, along with his height, made him an intimidating man, he instilled fear in his contemporaries. He held the respect of his subjects for the way he embodied the medieval ideal of kingship, as a soldier, an administrator and a man of faith. Modern historians are divided on their assessment of Edward I: while some have praised him for his contribution to the law and administration, others have criticised him for his uncompromising attitude towards his nobility.
Edward I is credited with many accomplishments during his reign, including restoring royal authority after the reign of Henry III, establishing Parliament as a permanent institution and thereby a functional system for raising taxes, reforming the law through statutes. At the same time, he is often criticised for other actions, such as his brutal conduct towards the Welsh and Scots, issuing the Edict of Expulsion in 1290, by which the Jews were expelled from England; the Edict remained in effect for the rest of the Middle Ages, it was over 350 years until it was formally overturned under Oliver Cromwell in 1657. Edward was born at the Palace of Westminster on the night of 17–18 June 1239, to King Henry III and Eleanor of Provence. Edward is an Anglo-Saxon name, was not given among the aristocracy of England after the Norman conquest, but Henry was devoted to the veneration of Edward the Confessor, decided to name his firstborn son after the saint. Among his childhood friends was his cousin Henry of Almain, son of King Henry's brother Richard of Cornwall.
Henry of Almain would remain a close companion of the prince, both through the civil war that followed, during the crusade. Edward was in the care of Hugh Giffard – father of the future Chancellor Godfrey Giffard – until Bartholomew Pecche took over at Giffard's death in 1246. There were concerns about Edward's health as a child, he fell ill in 1246, 1247, 1251. Nonetheless, he became an imposing man; the historian Michael Prestwich states that his "long arms gave him an advantage as a swordsman, long thighs one as a horseman. In youth, his curly hair was blond, his speech, despite a lisp, was said to be persuasive."In 1254, English fears of a Castilian invasion of the English province of Gascony induced Edward's father to arrange a politically expedient marriage between his fifteen-year-old son and thirteen-year-old Eleanor, the half-sister of King Alfonso X of Castile. Eleanor and Edward were married on 1 November 1254 in the Abbey of Santa María la Real de Las Huelgas in Castile; as part of the marriage agreement, the young prince received grants of land worth 15,000 marks a year.
Although the endowments King Henry made were sizeable, they offered Edwa
Wars of Scottish Independence
The Wars of Scottish Independence were a series of military campaigns fought between the Kingdom of Scotland and the Kingdom of England in the late 13th and early 14th centuries. The First War began with the English invasion of Scotland in 1296, ended with the signing of the Treaty of Edinburgh-Northampton in 1328; the Second War began with the English-supported invasion by Edward Balliol and the'Disinherited' in 1332, ended in 1357 with the signing of the Treaty of Berwick. The wars were part of a great crisis for Scotland and the period became one of the most defining times in its history. At the end of both wars, Scotland retained its status as an independent state; the wars were important for other reasons, such as the emergence of the longbow as a key weapon in medieval warfare. King Alexander III of Scotland died in 1286, leaving his three-year-old granddaughter Margaret, Maid of Norway, as his heir. In 1290, the Guardians of Scotland signed the Treaty of Birgham agreeing to the marriage of the Maid of Norway and Edward of Caernarvon, the son of Edward I.
This marriage would not create a union between Scotland and England because the Scots insisted that the Treaty declare that Scotland was separate and divided from England and that its rights, laws and customs were wholly and inviolably preserved for all time. However, travelling to her new kingdom, died shortly after landing on the Orkney Islands around 26 September 1290. With her death, there were 13 rivals for succession; the two leading competitors for the Scottish crown were Robert Bruce, 5th Lord of Annandale and John Balliol, Lord of Galloway. Fearing civil war between the Bruce and Balliol families and supporters, the Guardians of Scotland wrote to Edward I of England, asking him to come north and arbitrate between the claimants in order to avoid civil war. Edward agreed to meet the guardians at Norham in 1291. Before the process got underway Edward insisted; when they refused, he gave the claimants three weeks to agree to his terms, knowing that by his armies would have arrived and the Scots would have no choice.
Edward's ploy worked, the claimants to the crown were forced to acknowledge Edward as their Lord Paramount and accept his arbitration. Their decision was influenced in part by the fact that most of the claimants had large estates in England and, would have lost them if they had defied the English king. However, many involved were churchmen such as Bishop Wishart for whom such mitigation cannot be claimed. On 11 June, acting as the Lord Paramount of Scotland, Edward I ordered that every Scottish royal castle be placed temporarily under his control and every Scottish official resign his office and be re-appointed by him. Two days in Upsettlington, the Guardians of the Realm and the leading Scottish nobles gathered to swear allegiance to King Edward I as Lord Paramount. All Scots were required to pay homage to Edward I, either in person or at one of the designated centres by 27 July 1291. There were thirteen meetings from May to August 1291 at Berwick, where the claimants to the crown pleaded their cases before Edward, in what came to be known as the "Great Cause".
The claims of most of the competitors were rejected, leaving Balliol, Floris V, Count of Holland and John de Hastings of Abergavenny, 2nd Baron Hastings, as the only men who could prove direct descent from David I. On 3 August, Edward asked Balliol and Bruce to choose 40 arbiters each, while he chose 24, to decide the case. On 12 August, he signed a writ that required the collection of all documents that might concern the competitors' rights or his own title to the superiority of Scotland, accordingly executed. Balliol was named king by a majority on 17 November 1292 and on 30 November he was crowned King of Scots at Scone Abbey. On 26 December, at Newcastle upon Tyne, King John swore homage to Edward I for the Kingdom of Scotland. Edward soon made. Balliol, undermined by members of the Bruce faction, struggled to resist, the Scots resented Edward's demands. In 1294, Edward summoned John Balliol to appear before him, ordered that he had until 1 September 1294 to provide Scottish troops and funds for his invasion of France.
On his return to Scotland, John held a meeting with his council and after a few days of heated debate, plans were made to defy the orders of Edward I. A few weeks a Scottish parliament was hastily convened and 12 members of a war council were selected to advise King John. Emissaries were dispatched to inform King Philip IV of France of the intentions of the English, they negotiated a treaty by which the Scots would invade England if the English invaded France, in return the French would support the Scots. The treaty would be sealed by Philip's niece Joan. Another treaty with King Eric II of Norway was hammered out, in which for the sum of 50,000 groats he would supply 100 ships for four months of the year, so long as hostilities between France and England continued. Although Norway never acted, the Franco-Scottish alliance known as the Auld Alliance, was renewed until 1560, it was not until 1295. In early October, he began to strengthen his northern defences against a possible invasion, it was at this point that Robert Bruce, 6th Lord of Annandale was appointed by Edward as the governor of Carlisle Castle.
Edward ordered John Balliol to relinquish control of the castles and burghs of Berwick and Roxburgh
Sussex, from the Old English Sūþsēaxe, is a historic county in South East England corresponding in area to the ancient Kingdom of Sussex. It is bounded to the west by Hampshire, north by Surrey, northeast by Kent, south by the English Channel, divided for many purposes into the ceremonial counties of West Sussex and East Sussex. Brighton and Hove, though part of East Sussex, was made a unitary authority in 1997, as such, is administered independently of the rest of East Sussex. Brighton and Hove was granted City status in 2000; until Chichester was Sussex's only city. Sussex has three main geographic sub-regions, each oriented east to west. In the southwest is the fertile and densely populated coastal plain. North of this are the rolling chalk hills of the South Downs, beyond, the well-wooded Sussex Weald; the name derives from the Kingdom of Sussex, founded, according to legend, by Ælle of Sussex in AD 477. Around 827, it was absorbed subsequently into the kingdom of England, it was the home of some of Europe's earliest recorded hominids, whose remains have been found at Boxgrove.
It is the site of the Battle of Hastings. In 1974, the Lord-Lieutenant of Sussex was replaced with one each for East and West Sussex, which became separate ceremonial counties. Sussex continues to be recognised as cultural region, it has had a single police force since 1968 and its name is in common use in the media. In 2007, Sussex Day was created to celebrate history. Based on the traditional emblem of Sussex, a blue shield with six gold martlets, the flag of Sussex was recognised by the Flag Institute in 2011. In 2013, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles formally recognised and acknowledged the continued existence of England's 39 historic counties, including Sussex; the name "Sussex" is derived from the Middle English Suth-sæxe, in turn derived from the Old English Suth-Seaxe which means of the South Saxons. The South Saxons were a Germanic tribe that settled in the region from the North German Plain during the 5th and 6th centuries; the earliest known usage of the term South Saxons is in a royal charter of 689 which names them and their king, Noðhelm, although the term may well have been in use for some time before that.
The monastic chronicler who wrote up the entry classifying the invasion seems to have got his dates wrong. The New Latin word Suthsexia was used for Sussex by Dutch cartographer Joan Blaeu in his 1645 map. Three United States counties, a former county/land division of Western Australia, are named after Sussex; the flag of Sussex consists of six gold martlets, or heraldic swallows, on a blue background, blazoned as Azure, six martlets or. Recognised by the Flag Institute on 20 May 2011, its design is based on the heraldic shield of Sussex; the first known recording of this emblem being used to represent the county was in 1611 when cartographer John Speed deployed it to represent the Kingdom of the South Saxons. However it seems that Speed was repeating an earlier association between the emblem and the county, rather than being the inventor of the association, it is now regarded that the county emblem originated and derived from the coat of arms of the 14th-century Knight of the Shire, Sir John de Radynden.
Sussex’s six martlets are today held to symbolise the traditional six sub-divisions of the county known as rapes. Sussex by the Sea is regarded as the unofficial anthem of Sussex. Adopted by the Royal Sussex Regiment and popularised in World War I, it is sung at celebrations across the county, including those at Lewes Bonfire, at sports matches, including those of Brighton and Hove Albion Football Club and Sussex County Cricket Club; the county day, called Sussex Day, is celebrated on 16 June, the same day as the feast day of St Richard of Chichester, Sussex's patron saint, whose shrine at Chichester Cathedral was an important place of pilgrimage in the Middle Ages. Sussex's motto, We wunt be druv, is a Sussex dialect expression meaning "we will not be pushed around" and reflects the traditionally independent nature of Sussex men and women; the round-headed rampion known as the "Pride of Sussex", was adopted as Sussex's county flower in 2002. The physical geography of Sussex relies on its lying on the southern part of the Wealden anticline, the major features of which are the high lands that cross the county in a west to east direction: the Weald itself and the South Downs.
Natural England has identified the following seven national character areas in Sussex:South Coast Plain South Downs Wealden Greensand Low Weald High Weald Pevensey Levels Romney MarshesAt 280m, Blackdown is the highest point in Sussex, or county top. Ditchling Beacon is the highest point in East Sussex. At 113 kilometres long, the River Medway is the longest river flowing through Sussex; the longest river in Sussex is the River Arun, 60 kilometres long. Sussex's largest lakes are man-made reservoirs; the largest is Bewl Water on the Kent border, while the largest wholly within Sussex is Ardingly Reservoir. The coastal resorts of Sussex and neighbouring Hampshire are the sunniest places in the United Kingdom; the coast has more sunshine than the inland areas: sea breezes, blowing off the sea, tend to clear any cloud from the coast. Most of Sussex lies in Hardiness zon
Piedmont is a region in northwest Italy, one of the 20 regions of the country. It borders the Liguria region to the south, the Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions to the east and the Aosta Valley region to the northwest, it has an area of 25,402 square kilometres and a population of 4,377,941 as of 30 November 2017. The capital of Piedmont is Turin; the name Piedmont comes from medieval Latin Pedemontium or Pedemontis, i.e. ad pedem montium, meaning “at the foot of the mountains” attested in documents of the end of the 12th century. Other towns of Piedmont with more than 20,000 inhabitants sorted by population: Piedmont is surrounded on three sides by the Alps, including Monviso, where the Po rises, Monte Rosa, it borders with France and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Aosta Valley and for a small fragment with Emilia Romagna. The geography of Piedmont is 43.3 % mountainous, along with extensive areas of plains. Piedmont is the second largest of Italy's 20 regions, after Sicily, it is broadly coincident with the upper part of the drainage basin of the river Po, which rises from the slopes of Monviso in the west of the region and is Italy's largest river.
The Po drains the semicircle formed by the. From the highest peaks, the land slopes down to hilly areas, to the upper, to the lower great Padan Plain; the boundary between the two is characterised by resurgent springs—typical of the Padan Plain—which supply fresh water to the rivers and a dense network of irrigation canals. The countryside is diverse: 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 Langhe and of Montferrat to the plains. 7.6% of the entire territory is considered protected area. There are 56 different national or regional parks, one of the most famous is the Gran Paradiso National Park located between Piedmont and the Aosta Valley. Piedmont was inhabited in early historic times by Celtic-Ligurian tribes such as the Taurini and the Salassi, they were subdued by the Romans, who founded several colonies there including Augusta Taurinorum and Eporedia. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the region was successively invaded by the Burgundians, the Ostrogoths, East Romans and Franks.
In the 9th -- 10th centuries there were further incursions by the Saracens. At the time Piedmont, as part of the Kingdom of Italy within the Holy Roman Empire, was subdivided into several marches and counties. In 1046, Oddo of Savoy added Piedmont with a capital at Chambéry. Other areas remained independent, such as the powerful comuni of Asti and Alessandria and the marquisates of Saluzzo and Montferrat; the County of Savoy was elevated to a duchy in 1416, 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 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. A new client republic, the Piedmontese Republic, existed between 1798 and 1799 before it was reoccupied by Austrian and Russian troops. In June 1800 a third client republic, the Subalpine Republic, was established in Piedmont, it fell under full French control in 1801 and it was annexed by France in September 1802.
In the congress of Vienna, the Kingdom of Sardinia was restored, furthermore received the Republic of Genoa to strengthen it as a barrier against France. Piedmont was a 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. However, the efforts were countered by the efforts of rural farmers; the House of Savoy became Kings of Italy, Turin became the capital of Italy. However, when the Italian capital was moved to Florence, to Rome, the administrative and institutional importance of Piedmont was reduced and the only remaining recognition to Piedmont's historical role was that the crown prince of Italy was known as the Prince of Piedmont. After Italian unification, Piedmont was one of the most important regions in the first Italian industrialization. Lowland Piedmont is a fertile agricultural region; the main agricultural products in Piedmont are cereals, including rice, representing more than 10% of national production, grapes for wine-making and milk.
With more than 800,000 head of cattle in 2000, livestock production accounts for half of final agricultural production in Piedmont. Piedmont is one of the great winegrowing regions in Italy. More than half of its 700 square kilometres of vineyards are registered with DOC designations, it produces prestigious wines as Barolo, from the Langhe near Alba, the Moscato d'Asti as well as the sparkling Asti from the vineyards around Asti. Indigenous grape varieties include Nebbiolo, Dolcetto, Freisa and Brachetto; the region contains major industrial centres, the main of, Turin, home to the FIAT automobile works. Olivetti, once a major electronics industry whose plant was in Scarmagno, near Ivrea, has now turned into a small-sc