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Piedmontese Republic
Repùblica dë Piemont
Location of Piedmont
Largest CityTurin
Government TypeParliamentary monarchy
LanguagesPiedmontese (official)
French (official)

Piedmont (Piedmontese: Piemont, French: Piémont), officially the Piedmontese Republic, is an Alpine country located in southern Europe. It is bordered by Arpitania, Savoy, Genoa, France, and Switzerland. It was separated from Savoy as a dukedom in 1756, a principality in 1815, and finally a communard-led republic in 1935.


Premodern history

Initially inhabited by Celtic and Italic tribes, the area was ruled by the Romans for centuries. It became part of Imperial Italy not long after Rome's fall. Several dynasties, marquisates, and communes ruled the area since the early modern age, most notably the Savoyards, the Gonzaga, and the Milanese.

Genesis of the House of Montferrat (1679-1756)

Marie-Louise of France, niece of Henrietta I of England and Catholic heir to its throne, married the Duke of Mantua and Montferrat Ferdinando Carlo in 1679. In 1717, their son Carlo III takes the throne and dies during the Silesian War without a heir.

In 1723, Princess Margherita Enrica had married the Duke of Guastalla, a distant Gonzaga family member, thus merging the Montferrat and Guastalla lines of the dynasty with their son Andrea, born in 1725. After the Silesian War, the eastern Gonzaga territory of Mantua was abolished, leading to its territory being contested between Milan and Venice. The western Duchy of Montferrat was merged with the new artificial state of Piedmont, with Andrea Gonzaga being crowned Andrea I of Piedmont.

Ducal period (1756-1815)

Ruling for fifty-one years, Duke Andrea I's reign was marked by the industrialisation of the Turin purlieu, the suppression of republicanism, and the formalisation of the Piedmontese dialect.

Época dë Monsù (1815-1913)

In 1815, after the Treaty of Vienna, the Duchy of Piedmont was elevated to a principality, superseding its neighbor, the Savoyard duchy, in rank.

The Montferrat rebellion in Ireland

Prince Federico Lodovico, the elder brother of Prince Vincenzo III, proclaimed himself the Stuart successor and intentionally instigated civil unrest in Ireland in 1850. He had met several British and Irish Catholics at the College of St. Omer in France years before, making him deeply sympathetic to the Irish cause.

Williamite period (1913-1935)

On August 14, 1924, a faction of the Piedmont Communard Party known as the Turin Group (Piedmontese: Grup Turino), led by notable activist Giusep Castiglione, staged an ultimately unsuccessful coup attempt. Castiglione and his accomplices were arrested and were given a 'show trial', as reported by several republican newspapers of the period. Castiglione and 14 other accomplices, including a Savoyard, were executed. The trial sparked public outrage.

Throughout the late 1920s to early 1930s, Piedmont would face riots and protests, with many calling for the overthrow of the monarchy. The Piedmontese communards pleaded for French assistance. Dictator Camille Laframboise declared his sympathy for the Piedmontese communard struggle and vowed to bring security and stability back to the northern Italian states.

The French invasion

On July 5, 1935, France launched Opération Grosseille (during the Great War), which aimed to establish republics in Savoy and Piedmont. The French military entered Savoy and Piedmont on that week and faced very little resistance by the general population. The Savoyard royal family fled to the Rhineland, while the House of Montferrat fled to Lombardy and Malta. In August, the Piedmontese Republic was established in Turin. Nearby, the Republic of Arpitania was declared in Savoy and the Communard Republic of Lombardia was established in Novara, in opposition to the Lombard Republic.

First Republic (1935-)

Government and Politics



List of leaders

House of Gonzaga

  • Carlo II (1637-1665)
  • Ferdinando Carlo (1665-1717)
  • Carlo III (1717-1753)

House of Montferrat

Ferdinando Carlo Gonzaga and Marie-Louise, Duke and Duchess of Mantua & Montferrat.

The House of Montferrat (Piedmontese: Meison dë Monfrà) was established in 1756 by Andrea I, effectively renaming the Gonzaga dynasty. In addition to ruling the duchy and principality of Piedmont, the Montferrat family also acts as the Catholic pretenders to the throne of the United Kingdom, nominally opposed to the House of Wittelsbach, a Protestant dynasty currently ruling from London.

  • Andrea I (1753-1807)
    • Son of the Duke of Guastalla and Princess Margherita Enrica
  • Enrico Carlo (1807-1834)
  • Vincenzo III (1834-1853)
  • Guglielmo II (1853-1858)
  • Carlo IV (1858-1882)
  • Vincenzo IV (1882-1913)
  • Guglielmo III (1913-1935)

Directors of the First Republic

  • Giusep Castiglione (1935-1942)

See also