John Joseph Nicholson is an American actor and filmmaker who has performed for over sixty years. He is known for playing a wide range of starring or supporting roles, including satirical comedy and dark portrayals of anti-heroes and villainous characters. In many of his films, he has played the "eternal outsider, the sardonic drifter", someone who rebels against the social structure, his most known and celebrated films include the road drama Easy Rider. Nicholson has not acted in a film since How Do You Know in 2010, but does not consider himself to be retired, he has directed three films, including The Two Jakes, the sequel to Chinatown. Nicholson's 12 Academy Award nominations make him the most nominated male actor in the Academy's history. Nicholson has won the Academy Award for Best Actor twice – one for the drama One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, the other for the romantic comedy As Good as It Gets, he won the Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor for the comedy-drama Terms of Endearment.
Nicholson is one of three male actors to win three Academy Awards. Nicholson is one of only two actors to be nominated for an Academy Award for acting in every decade from the 1960s to the 2000s, he has won six Golden Globe Awards, received the Kennedy Center Honor in 2001. In 1994, at 57, he became one of the youngest actors to be awarded the American Film Institute's Life Achievement Award, he has had a number of high-profile relationships, most notably with Anjelica Huston and Rebecca Broussard, was married to Sandra Knight from 1962 until their divorce in 1968. Nicholson has five children – one with Knight, two with Broussard, one each with Susan Anspach and Winnie Hollman. Nicholson was born on April 22, 1937, in Neptune City, New Jersey, the son of a showgirl, June Frances Nicholson. Nicholson's mother was of Irish and German descent, she married Italian-American showman Donald Furcillo in 1936, before realizing that he was married. Biographer Patrick McGilligan stated in his book Jack's Life that Latvian-born Eddie King, June's manager, may have been Nicholson's biological father, rather than Furcillo.
Other sources suggest. As June was only seventeen years old and unmarried, her parents agreed to raise Nicholson as their own child without revealing his true parentage, June would act as his sister. In 1974, Time magazine researchers learned, informed Nicholson, that his "sister", was his mother, his other "sister", was his aunt. By this time, both his mother and grandmother had died. On finding out, Nicholson said it was "a pretty dramatic event, but it wasn't what I'd call traumatizing... I was pretty well psychologically formed". Nicholson grew up in New Jersey, he was raised in his mother's Roman Catholic religion. Before starting high school, his family moved to an apartment in New Jersey. "When Jack was ready for high school, the family moved once more—this time two miles farther south to old-money Spring Lake, New Jersey's so-called Irish Riviera, where Ethel May set up her beauty parlor in a rambling duplex at 505 Mercer Avenue." "Nick", as he was known to his high school friends, attended nearby Manasquan High School, where he was voted "Class Clown" by the Class of 1954.
He was in detention every day for a whole school year. A theatre and a drama award at the school are named in his honor. In 2004, Nicholson attended his 50-year high school reunion accompanied by his aunt Lorraine. In 1957, Nicholson joined the California Air National Guard, a move he sometimes characterized as an effort to "dodge the draft". After completing the Air Force's basic training at Lackland Air Force Base, Nicholson performed weekend drills and two-week annual training as a fire fighter assigned to the unit based at the Van Nuys Airport. During the Berlin Crisis of 1961, Nicholson was called up for several months of extended active duty, he was discharged at the end of his enlistment in 1962. Nicholson first came to Hollywood in 1954, he took a job as an office worker for animators William Hanna and Joseph Barbera at the MGM cartoon studio. They offered him a starting-level job as an animator, but he declined, citing his desire to become an actor, he trained to be an actor with a group called the Players Ring Theater, after which time he found small parts performing on the stage and in TV soap operas.
He made his film debut in a low-budget teen drama The Cry Baby Killer. For the following decade, Nicholson was a frequent collaborator with the film's producer, Roger Corman. Corman directed Nicholson on several occasions, most notably in The Little Shop of Horrors, as masochistic dental patient and undertaker Wil
Biella is a town and comune in the northern Italian region of Piedmont, the capital of the province of the same name, with a population of 44 616 as of 1-1-2017. It is located about 80 kilometres northeast of Turin and about 80 kilometres west-northwest of Milan, it lies in the foothills of the Alps, in the Bo mountain range near Mt. Mucrone and Camino, an area rich in springs and lakes, the heart of the Biellese Alps irrigated by several mountain streams: the Elvo to the west of the town, the Oropa and the Cervo to the east. Nearby natural and notable tourist attractions include the Zegna Viewpoint, the Bielmonte Ski Resort, Burcina Natural Reserve, the moors to the south of town; the Sanctuary of Oropa is a site of religious pilgrimages. In 2003, the Sacred Mountain of Oropa was inserted by UNESCO in the World Heritage List. Biella is an important wool textile centre. There is a small airport in the nearby comune of Cerrione; the first inhabitants of the area were Celts. This has been ascertained from archaeological finds: they lived near streams and lakes, at first as fishermen and hunters, herders.
A Ligurian people, the Victimuli, fanned out in the plain of Biella and exploited gold veins near the Elvo, an activity which continued through the early Middle Ages, today panning for gold continues as a local hobby. In the late 1950s, Bronze Age—or, according to some, Iron Age—tools and necklaces, attesting to Biella's antiquity, were found in the Burcina Reserve; the city's name appears for the first time as Bugella in a document of 826 recording to the donation of Bugella to Count Busone by Louis the Pious, son of Charlemagne), Holy Roman Emperor. In the 10th century the town was inhabited by Alemanni and Franks, who built the first walls as a defense against barbarian invasions. Extant remains from this period include the Lombard Romanesque Baptistry and the adjacent church of S. Stefano, around which the town grew: it is today's cathedral, although the original 5th-century building was demolished in 1872. On April 12, 1160, bishop of Vercelli, granted important trade privileges to anyone residing on Piazzo hill, as an incentive to the establishment of a place of refuge against the warfare between the Guelphs and Ghibellines of Vercelli: this was the birth of the Borgo del Piazzo, site of the handsome public square, the Piazza Cisterna, a Palace fronting on it, the doors of which have stone capitals and terracotta ornaments.
Bishop Uguccione's castle was destroyed in a revolt in 1377 that led to the subjection of Biella, along with its dependent comuni, to the yoke of the house of Savoy. In the 14th and 15th centuries the Visconti family competed with Savoy for the possession of the Biella region; the 17th century saw a similar competition between French and Spanish forces, Biella was occupied in 1704. In 1798 Biella was once again occupied by the French, after the battle of Marengo, Biella was formally annexed by France; the Congress of Vienna returned it to Savoy. In 1859 Biella was besieged by the Austrians but Garibaldi forced an end to the siege, the town became part of the province of Novara, losing its status as regional capital that it had received in the 17th century from Charles Emmanuel I of Savoy. In World War II Biella was the scene of armed resistance. In 1992, the new province of Biella was formed, separating the territory from the north-western sector of the province of Vercelli. In 1245 the statutes of Biella were referring to the woolworkers' and weavers' guilds: hardly surprising in view of the region's high mountain pastures and copious water supply needed for washing fleece and powering mills.
In the 17th and 18th centuries, as elsewhere in Italy, silk was an important industry, a silk manufacture was built in town in 1695: in 1835, the town's textile history came round full circle when the same building was put to use as a wool factory with the introduction of mechanical looms, putting Biella at the forefront of modern improvements in the industry. Since 1999/2000, a progressively worse crisis in the sector forced many local wool mills to close, since they could not compete with the prices of imported fabrics and clothing. Biella Baptistery in romanesque style, annexed to the Cathedral, housing 13th-century frescoes Giardino Botanico di Oropa, a botanical garden Sacro Monte and sanctuary of Oropa Biella Synagogue Renaissance church of San Sebastiano Oasi Zegna, a natural preserve Cerruti 1881 Ermenegildo Zegna Vitale Barberis Canonico Fila Banca Sella Cassa di Risparmio di Biella e Vercelli Menabrea Serralunga Biella has two railway stations; the main one, Biella San Paolo railway station, opened in 1856, is the junction of the Biella–Novara and Santhià–Biella railways.
A second railway station, Biella Chiavazza, is in the district of Chiavazza, a short distance along the line towards Novara. The Biella funicular connects a lower station on Via Curiel, in the city's Biella Piano quarter, with an upper station on Via Avogadro in the city's medieval Biella Piazzo quarter. Biella-Cerrione Airport in Cerrione serves Biella. Biella is twinned with: Kiryu, Japan Arequipa, Peru Tourcoing, France Weihai, People's Republic of China Elvina Ramella, operatic soprano Tavo Burat, French te
Tweed is a rough, woolen fabric, of a soft, flexible texture, resembling cheviot or homespun, but more woven. It is woven with a plain weave, twill or herringbone structure. Colour effects in the yarn may be obtained by mixing dyed wool. Tweeds are an icon of traditional Scottish and Irish clothing, being desirable for informal outerwear, due to the material being moisture-resistant and durable. Tweeds are made to withstand harsh climates and are worn for outdoor activities such as shooting and hunting, in both Ireland and Scotland. In Ireland, tweed manufacturing is most associated with County Donegal; the original name of the cloth was tweel, Scots for twill, the material being woven in a twilled rather than a plain pattern. A traditional story has the name coming about by chance. Around 1831, a London merchant received a letter from a Hawick firm, Wm. Watson & Sons, Dangerfield Mills about some "tweels"; the merchant misinterpreted the handwriting, understanding it to be a trade-name taken from the river Tweed that flows through the Scottish Borders textile area.
The goods were subsequently advertised as Tweed and the name has remained since. Traditionally used for upper-class country clothing like shooting jackets, tweed became popular among the Edwardian middle classes who associated it with the leisurely pursuits of the elite. Due to their durability tweed Norfolk jackets and plus-fours were a popular choice for hunters, cyclists and early motorists, hence Kenneth Grahame's depiction of Mr. Toad in a Harris tweed suit. Popular patterns include houndstooth, associated with 1960s fashion, gamekeeper's tweed worn by academics, Prince of Wales check commissioned by Edward VII, herringbone. During the 2000s and 2010s, it was not uncommon for members of long-established British and American land-owning families to wear high quality heirloom tweed inherited from their grandparents, some of which pre-dated the Second World War. In modern times, cyclists may wear tweed; this practice has its roots in the British young fogey and hipster subcultures of the late 2000s and early 2010s, whose adherents appreciate both vintage tweed, bicycles.
Some vintage Danemann upright pianos have a tweed cloth backing to protect the internal mechanism. Scottish bagpipes were covered in tweed as an alternative to tartan wool; the term "tweed" is used to describe coverings on instrument cables and vintage or retro guitar amplifiers, such as the Fender tweed and Fender Tweed Deluxe. Despite the common terminology, these coverings were cotton twill, not tweed. Tweed was worn by many fictional characters from the Victorian and Edwardian periods, including the detective Sherlock Holmes. Basil Rathbone and Jeremy Brett both wore keeper's tweed deerstalkers and Inverness capes, but more recent portrayals of Sherlock have abandoned the hat. Although Robert Downey Jr.'s character wore a fedora, both he and Doctor Watson wore tweed overcoats, as was fashionable in Victorian England. Due to the popularity of Benedict Cumberbatch's portrayal of Sherlock, the tweed overcoat entered high fashion in the 2010s. Television actors playing intellectuals or older men wear Harris tweed, including Anthony Head in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Mads Mikkelsen as Hannibal Lecter.
Notable movie characters who have worn tweed include Sean Connery in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Harrison Ford himself in the opening scenes of Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull. Additionally, windowpane tweed suits are worn by actors portraying members of the English upper classes, such as Hugh Fraser in Agatha Christie's Poirot, Peter Davison as Campion, or the male cast of Downton Abbey. Tweed sportcoats were worn by several incarnations of The Doctor from Doctor Who, including the Second Doctor, Seventh Doctor and Eleventh Doctor. For Matt Smith's Doctor, the BBC used cloth sourced from China rather than genuine Harris Tweed. Harris Tweed: A handwoven tweed, defined in the Harris Tweed Act of 1993 as cloth, "Handwoven by the islanders at their homes in the Outer Hebrides, finished in the Outer Hebrides, made from pure virgin wool dyed and spun in the Outer Hebrides". Donegal tweed: A handwoven tweed manufactured in County Donegal, Ireland. Donegal has for centuries been producing tweed from local materials.
Sheep thrive in the hills and bogs of Donegal, indigenous plants such as blackberries, fuchsia and moss provide dyes. Silk tweed: A fabric made of raw silk with flecks of colour typical of woollen tweeds. British Country Clothing Sports Jacket Norfolk jacket 2010s in fashion 2000s in fashion 1970s fashion 1960s fashion 1950s fashion 1920s in fashion Eleventh Doctor "What is Tweed?". A Hume. Reynolds, Francis J. ed.. "Tweed". Collier's New Encyclopedia. New York: P. F. Collier & Son Company. National Library of Scotland: SCOTTISH SCREEN ARCHIVE Anderson, Fiona. Tweed. London: Bloomsbury Academic Press. ISBN 978-1-84520-697-0. Media related to Tweed at Wikimedia Commons
Sunglasses or sun glasses are a form of protective eyewear designed to prevent bright sunlight and high-energy visible light from damaging or discomforting the eyes. They can sometimes function as a visual aid, as variously termed spectacles or glasses exist, featuring lenses that are colored, polarized or darkened. In the early 20th century, they were known as sun cheaters; the American Optometric Association recommends wearing sunglasses that block ultraviolet radiation whenever a person is in the sunlight to protect the eyes from UV and blue light, which can cause several serious eye problems. Its usage is mandatory after some surgical procedures, such as LASIK, recommended for a certain time period in dusty areas, when leaving the house and in front of a TV screen or computer monitor after LASEK, it is important to note that dark glasses that do not block UV radiation can be more damaging to the eyes than not wearing eye protection at all, since they tend to open the pupil and allow more UV rays into the eye.
Sunglasses have long been associated with celebrities and film actors from a desire to mask their identity. Since the 1940s, sunglasses have been popular as a fashion accessory on the beach. In prehistoric and historic time, Inuit peoples wore flattened walrus ivory "glasses", looking through narrow slits to block harmful reflected rays of the Sun, it is said. These, appear to have worked rather like mirrors. Sunglasses made from flat panes of smoky quartz, which offered no corrective powers but did protect the eyes from glare, were used in China in the 12th century or earlier. Ancient documents describe the use of such crystal sunglasses by judges in ancient Chinese courts to conceal their facial expressions while questioning witnesses. James Ayscough began experimenting with tinted lenses in spectacles in the mid-18th century, around 1752; these were not "sunglasses" as. Protection from the Sun's rays was not a concern for him. One of the earliest surviving depictions of a person wearing sunglasses is of the scientist Antoine Lavoisier in 1772.
Yellow/amber and brown-tinted spectacles were a prescribed item for people with syphilis in the 19th and early 20th centuries because sensitivity to light was one of the symptoms of the disease. In 1913, Crookes lenses were introduced, made from glass containing cerium, which block ultraviolet light. In the early 1920s, the use of sunglasses started to become more widespread among movie stars. Inexpensive mass-produced sunglasses made from celluloid were first produced by Sam Foster in 1929. Foster found a ready market on the beaches of Atlantic City, New Jersey, where he began selling sunglasses under the name Foster Grant from a Woolworth on the Boardwalk. By 1938, Life magazine wrote of how sunglasses were a "new fad for wear on city streets... a favorite affectation of thousands of women all over the U. S." It stated that 20 million sunglasses were sold in the United States in 1937, but estimated that only about 25% of American wearers needed them to protect their eyes. Polarized sunglasses first became available in 1936, when Edwin H.
Land began experimenting with making lenses with his patented Polaroid filter. In 1947, the Armorlite Company began producing lenses with CR-39 resin. At present, China, is the world's largest producer of sunglasses, with its port exporting 120 million pairs each year. Sunglasses can improve visual clarity by protecting the eye from glare. Various types of disposable sunglasses are dispensed to patients after receiving mydriatic eye drops during eye examinations; the lenses of polarized sunglasses reduce glare reflected at some angles off shiny non-metallic surfaces, such as water. They allow wearers to see into water when only surface glare would otherwise be seen, eliminate glare from a road surface when driving into the sun. Sunglasses offer protection against excessive exposure to light, including its visible and invisible components; the most widespread protection is against ultraviolet radiation, which can cause short-term and long-term ocular problems such as photokeratitis, snow blindness, cataracts and various forms of eye cancer.
Medical experts advise the public on the importance of wearing sunglasses to protect the eyes from UV. Sunglasses that meet this requirement are labeled as "UV400"; this is more protection than the used standard of the European Union, which requires that 95% of the radiation up to only 380 nm must be reflected or filtered out. Sunglasses are not sufficient to protect the eyes against permanent harm from looking directly at the Sun during a solar eclipse. Special eyewear known as solar viewers are required for direct viewing of the sun; this type of eyewear can filter out UV radiation harmful to the eyes. More high-energy visible light has been implicated as a cause of age-related macular degeneration; some manufacturers design glasses to block blue light. Sunglasses are important for children, as their ocula
Fashion design is the art of applying design and natural beauty to clothing and its accessories. It is influenced by cultural and social attitudes, has varied over time and place. Fashion designers work in a number of ways in designing clothing and accessories such as bracelets and necklaces; because of the time required to bring a garment onto the market, designers must at times anticipate changes to consumer tastes. Designers interpret them for their audience, their specific designs are used by manufacturers. This is the essence of a designer’s role. Fashion designers attempt to design clothes, they consider, to wear a garment and the situations in which it will be worn, they work within a wide range of materials, colors and styles. Though most clothing worn for everyday wear falls within a narrow range of conventional styles, unusual garments are sought for special occasions such as evening wear or party dresses; some clothes are made for an individual, as in the case of haute couture or bespoke tailoring.
Today, most clothing is designed for the mass market casual and every-day wear are called ready to wear. Fashion designers may work full-time for one fashion house, as'in-house designers', which owns the designs, or they work alone or as part of a team. Freelance designers work for themselves, selling their designs to fashion houses, directly to shops, or to clothing manufacturers; the garments bear the buyer's label. Some fashion designers set up their own labels; some fashion designers design for individual clients. Other high-end fashion designers cater to high-end fashion department stores; these designers create original garments, as well as those. Most fashion designers, work for apparel manufacturers, creating designs of men's, women's, children's fashions for the mass market. Large designer brands which have a'name' as their brand such as Abercrombie & Fitch, Justice, or Juicy are to be designed by a team of individual designers under the direction of a design director. Fashion designers work in different ways.
Some sketch their ideas on paper. When a designer is satisfied with the fit of the toile, he or she will consult a professional pattern maker who makes the finished, working version of the pattern out of card or via a computerized system. A sample garment is made up and tested on a model to make sure it is an operational outfit. Fashion design is considered to have started in the 19th century with Charles Frederick Worth, the first designer to have his label sewn into the garments that he created. Before the former draper set up his maison couture in Paris, clothing design and creation was handled by anonymous seamstresses, high fashion descended from that worn at royal courts. Worth's success was such that he was able to dictate to his customers what they should wear, instead of following their lead as earlier dressmakers had done; the term couturier was in fact first created in order to describe him. While all articles of clothing from any time period are studied by academics as costume design, only clothing created after 1858 is considered as fashion design.
It was during this period that many design houses began to hire artists to sketch or paint designs for garments. The images were shown to clients, much cheaper than producing an actual sample garment in the workroom. If the client liked their design, they ordered it and the resulting garment made money for the house. Thus, the tradition of designers sketching out garment designs instead of presenting completed garments on models to customers began as an economy; the garments produced by clothing manufacturers fall into three main categories, although these may be split up into additional, more specific categories Until the 1950s, fashion clothing was predominately designed and manufactured on a made-to-measure or haute couture basis, with each garment being created for a specific client. A couture garment is made to order for an individual customer, is made from high-quality, expensive fabric, sewn with extreme attention to detail and finish using time-consuming, hand-executed techniques. Look and fit take priority over the cost of materials and the time it takes to make.
Due to the high cost of each garment, haute couture makes little direct profit for the fashion houses, but is important for prestige and publicity. Ready-to-wear, or prêt-à-porter, clothes are a cross between haute mass market, they are not made for individual customers, but great care is taken in the choice and cut of the fabric. Clothes are made in small quantities to guarantee exclusivity, so they are rather expensive. Ready-to-wear collections are presented by fashion houses each season during a period known as Fashion Week; this occurs twice a year. The main seasons of Fashion Week include: spring/summer, fall/winter, resort and bridal. Half-way garments are an alternative to "off-the-peg", or prêt-à-porter fashion. Half-way garments are intentionally unfinished pieces of clothing that encourages co-design between the "primary designer" of the garment, what would be considered, the passive "cons
In clothing, a suit is a set of garments made from the same cloth consisting of at least a jacket and trousers. Lounge suits, which originated in Britain as country wear, are the most common style of Western suit. Other types of suit still worn today are the dinner suit, part of black tie, which arose as a lounging alternative to dress coats in much the same way as the day lounge suit came to replace frock coats and morning coats; this article discusses elements of informal dress code. The variations in design and cloth, such as two- and three-piece, or single- and double-breasted, determine the social and work suitability of the garment. Suits are worn, as is traditional, with a collared shirt and necktie; until around the 1960s, as with all men's clothes, a hat would have been worn when the wearer was outdoors. Suits come with different numbers of pieces: a two-piece suit has a jacket and the trousers; as with most clothes, a tailor made the suit from his client's selected cloth. The suit was custom made to the measurements and style of the man.
Since the Industrial Revolution, most suits are mass-produced, and, as such, are sold as ready-to-wear garments. Suits are sold in four ways: bespoke, in which the garment is custom-made by a tailor from a pattern created from the customer's measurements, giving the best fit and free choice of fabric; the word suit derives from the French suite, meaning "following", from some Late Latin derivative form of the Latin verb sequor = "I follow", because the component garments follow each other and have the same cloth and colour and are worn together. As a suit covers all or most of the wearer's body, the term "suit" was extended to a single garment that covers all or most of the body, such as boilersuits and diving suits and spacesuits; the current styles were founded in the industrial revolution during the late 18th century that changed the elaborately embroidered and jewelled formal clothing into the simpler clothing of the British Regency period, which evolved to the stark formality of the Victorian era.
It was in the search for more comfort that the loosening of rules gave rise in the late 19th century to the modern lounge suit. Brooks Brothers is credited with first offering the "ready-to-wear" suit, a suit, sold manufactured and sized, ready to be tailored, it was Haggar Clothing that first introduced the concept of suit separates in the US, the concept of separately sold jackets and trousers, which are found in the marketplace today. There are many possible variations in the choice of the style, the garments and the details of a suit; the silhouette of a suit is its outline. Tailored balance created from a canvas fitting allows a balanced silhouette so a jacket need not be buttoned and a garment is not too tight or too loose. A proper garment is shaped from the neck to the chest and shoulders to drape without wrinkles from tension. Shape is the essential part of tailoring that takes hand work from the start; the two main cuts are 1) double-breasted suits, a conservative design with two columns of buttons, spanned by a large overlap of the left and right sides.
Good tailoring anywhere in the world is characterised by tapered sides and minimal shoulder, whereas rack suits are padded to reduce labour. More casual suits are characterised by less construction and tailoring, much like the sack suit is a loose American style. There are 3 ways to make suits: Ready made and altered "sizes" or precut shapes; the acid test of authentic tailoring standards is the wrinkle. Rumples can be pressed out. For interim fittings, "Rock Of Eye", drawing and cutting inaccuracies are overcome by the fitting. Suits are made in a variety of fabrics, but most from wool; the two main yarns produce woollens. These can be woven in a number of ways producing flannel, tweed and fresco among others; these fabrics all have different weights and feel, some fabrics have an S number describing the fineness of the fibres measured by average fibre diameter, e.g. Super 120.
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