Piedmont is the second largest of the Italian regions with Sicily being the largest. It has an area of 25,399 square kilometres and a population of about 4.3 million. The capital of Piedmont is Turin (Torino). It is surrounded on three sides by the alps, and shares borders with France and Switzerland as well as the Italian regions of Lombardy, Liguria, Aosta Valley and Emilia-Romagna. The provinces are Alessandria, Asti, Biella, Cuneo, Novara, Torino,Verbano-Cusio-Ossola and Vercelli.
Turin, situated on the banks of the river Po, was once a major European political centre, and was Italy's first capital city in 1861. It is a major industrial centre, ranked third after Rome and Milan and is the 78th richest city in the world. The city is also famous for being the home of the Shroud of Turin and of Italian football team Juventus. Turin is the headquarters of Fiat, Lancia and Alfa Romeo. In 2006 Turin hosted the Winter Olympics and continues to provide excellent facilities for a wide range of winter sports.
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