The region of Piedmont (ital. Piemonte) with the capital Turin is located in the extreme northwest of Italy. With a land area of over 25,000 km², it is the second largest after Sicily. The beginnings of viticulture go back to the Celtic people of the Taurines (who gave the capital its name) and to the Ligurians. The Romans already knew Piedmontese wines (from Gattinara, among others), but the universal scholar and wine author Pliny the Elder (23-79) does not mention a single one in his list of the best wines of antiquity. It was not until the Middle Ages that the wines produced mainly by monasteries became known from here, when minstrels praised their excellent quality. The western part became the Mark of Turin in the 11th century and this came under Savoy's rule by marriage. Piedmont, and with it the viticulture, was under French influence for many centuries. In the middle of the 13th century the name "Piedmont" was used for the first time, which is derived from the French Pié de monte (at the foot of the mountains). The Piedmontese vineyards are mostly located at the foot of the Alps and Apennines on both sides of the wide upper Po valley. It was not until 1815 that Piedmont was annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia and finally joined the United Kingdom of Italy in 1861.