The region of Piedmont (Italian: Piemonte) with its capital Turin is located in the extreme northwest of Italy. With over 25,000 km² of land area, 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 of Piedmontese wines (from Gattinara, among others), but Pliny the Elder (23-79), a polymath and also a wine writer, does not mention a single one in his list of the best ancient wines. It was not until the Middle Ages that the wines from here, produced primarily by the monasteries, became known, when minstrels praised their excellent quality. The western part became the Marche of Turin in the 11th century and this came under the rule of Savoy by marriage. Piedmont, and with it viticulture, was under French influence for many centuries. In the mid-13th century, the name "Piedmont" was used for the first time, which derives from the French pié de monte (at the foot of the mountains). Piedmont's vineyards are largely located at the foot of the Alps and Apennines on both sides of the broad upper Po Valley. It was not until 1815 that Piedmont was annexed to the Kingdom of Sardinia and, together with it, finally became part of the United Kingdom of Italy in 1861.