Piemonte Italy-10 Fun Facts - Digging Up Roots in the Boot

Piemonte Italy-10 Fun Facts

Ciao tutti! Welcome to The Best of Italy, a video series on Digging up Roots on the Boot’s YouTube Channel. Alessia is going to share 10 fun facts about Piemonte.  It is an Italian Region known as in English as Piedmont. Watch the video and continue reading below. Also, be sure and subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss out on new video posts.

1 Italy’s First Capital City

Torino was Italy’s first capital city after the countries unification in 1861 and remained so until 1864. There is a 30 room museum dedicated to the unification of Italy. Today, Torino is the 4th largest city in Italy and the capital of the Region of Piemonte.

2 Rice Paddies in Piemonte Italy

More than 50% of Italy’s rice production is in Piemonte. Vercelli and Novara are the epicenters of rice paddies. Over three hundred million kilos of rice are cultivated in the region and Vercelli is the European Rice Capital.

The Torrone Estate in Colombara is home to a Rice museum. The exhibits replicate old workshops, living quarters, a school, and the dormitory used by seasonal workers.

3 The city of Asti

The city of Asti is the center of the sparkling wine production known as Asti Spumanti. The first internationally known product from Asti is Martini and Rossi Asti Spumante.

Every September there is a trio of festivals in Asti. It starts with the Festival of Festivals which celebrates the customs and traditions of country life. It is followed by the week-long Douja d’Or wine exhibition.  Finally, there is the Palio di Asti which is Italy’s oldest recorded bareback horse race.

4 I Dolci di Cuneo

The official sweet of Cuneo is the creation of Andrea Arione, called Cuneesi al Rhum. It is dark chocolate and rum cream sandwiched between to meringue wafers covered in dark chocolate.

On May 8th, 1954 while traveling through Piemonte Italy from Milan to Nice, Ernest Hemingway stopped at Bar Arione to buy Cuneesi al Rhum on the advice of his editor at Mondadori.  Everybody loves Italian food!

5 Lavazza – Caffè Italiano from Piemonte Italy

Lavazza, one of Italy’s most well-known coffee brands, was founded in Torino in 1895. Luigi Lavazza moved from Murisengo to Torino and took over a small grocery store where he began mixing his coffee. His coffee sold well and his business expanded.  He soon opened a bar and restaurant in a second location.

Lavazza went public in 1927 and continued to grow at an explosive rate. It quickly became famous for its national advertising campaigns. Abroad, they advertised with famous photographers such as Annie Leibovitz.

6 Wool in the foothills of the Alps

The town of Biella lies in the foothills of the Alps and its economy is based around the wool industry. Traditionally, it was common for families to have a loom in their homes, passing the trade down from generation to generation.

Wool workers and weavers use century-old traditions combined with technological innovation and a special breed of Merino sheep to make the finest wool fabrics.

7 Alba, Piemonte, Italy, Home To The Ferrero Group

Alba in the province of Cuneo is the home town of the Ferrero Group. It was founded in 1946 by Pietro Ferrero.  He was a small-time pastry maker who laid the groundwork for Nutella by adding hazelnuts to save money on chocolate.  More than 365 thousand tons of Nutella are produced every year.

Other popular Ferrero branded chocolate products include Pocket Coffee, Mon Chéri, Kinder, and Ferrero Rocher.

The company is privately held and very secretive. It has never held a press conference and does not allow media visits to its production plants. All their machines are designed by an in-house engineering department.

8 Longevity in Piemonte Italy

Emma Morano, supercentenarian, was born in the town of Civiasco in 1899 and she died at her home in Verbania in 2017 at the age of 117.

A supercentenarian is a person who lives beyond their 110th birthday. An age only about one in a thousand centenarians live to see.

Today she holds the record for the oldest living person in Italy. Over the years she was asked the secret to her longevity. She credited her long life to a diet of 3 eggs a day, homemade grappa, and staying single.

9 Carnivale D’Ivrea

Every year in January at the Ivrea carnival there is the Battle of the Oranges. Thousands of townspeople organize groups and throw oranges at each other.  It is the largest food fight in Italy.

The legend, that dates back to medieval times, says Ivrea was ruled by an evil Duke.   He forced a young newly-wed woman to spend the night with him. Once she was in the duke’s room, she cut off his head, starting a revolution.

Originally beans were thrown, then apples. Today oranges, imported from Sicily to Piemonte Italy, represent the stones thrown at the castle.

10  Guinness Book of Records – Pepper Soup

Carmagnola is one of Italy’s pepper capitals and produces four different types of sweet peppers, the Quadrato, Trottola, Tumaticot, and Ox Horn.

The town holds a 2 week-long festival celebrating these peppers that attracts more than 250 thousand visitors each year. At the 61st Pepper Festival in 2010, Carmagnola entered the Guinness Book of Records for the biggest pepper soup weighing in at 2,623 pounds.

Do you know any other fun facts about Piemonte Italy? Let’s talk it out in the comment section below. Thanks for watching the best of Italy. A presto!

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