The province of Cuneo is an Italian province of Piedmont of 580 789 inhabitants . Also counting the 14 metropolitan cities, it is the twenty-ninth Italian province by population , second by number of municipalities (247) , as well as fourth by surface immediately behind the provinces of Sassari, Bolzano and Foggia . For this reason in Piedmont it is also called the Granda (large in Piedmontese).
It borders to the west with France (departments of the Hautes-Alpes, the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence and the Alpes-Maritimes in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region), to the north with the metropolitan city of Turin, to the east with the province of Asti, a south with Liguria (provinces of Imperia and Savona).
Established in 1859, it was the fourth largest Italian province until 1920, preceded only by the provinces of Sassari, Cagliari and Turin (which at the time also included the Aosta Valley). In 1920 with the establishment of the province of Trento (initially including Alto Adige) it became fifth and from 1927 still fifth (preceded by Sassari, Cagliari, the newly established Bolzano and the redefined province of Foggia) until 1975. After the establishment of new provinces in Sardinia in 2001, it is the third largest Italian province after Bolzano and Foggia. Following the reduction in the number of Sardinian provinces after the 2012 regional referendum, it is the fourth Italian province by surface area behind those of Sassari, Bolzano and Foggia.
The territory is made up of 50.8% of mountains (about half of the low mountain), 26.6% of hills and 22.6% of plains / plateaus.
It was established by the Rattazzi Decree (Royal Decree 3702 of 23 October 1859).
In 1860 the municipalities of the district of Tenda were assigned to the province of Cuneo, already belonging to the province of Nice ceded to France .
In 1947 it ceded Tenda, Vievola, San Dalmazzo di Tenda and Briga Marittima and some fractions of the municipalities of Vinadio and Valdieri to France by virtue of the Paris peace treaty signed by Italy on 10 February 1947 at the end of the Second World War.
In 1927 Cuneo was assigned the initials CU for car plates, then changed in 1928 to CN. There is no evidence that CU plates were ever actually issued and that they did not remain a pure paper theory. [Citation needed]
The Cottian and Maritime Alps and the Ligurian Alps surround it respectively to the west and south, with a large arch that only to the east of the Tanaro valley lowers in gentler forms, passing through the hilly system of the Langhe and Roero. The reliefs therefore form a large U-shaped border, within which opens the high plain crossed by the Po, the Tanaro and their numerous tributaries. On the left of the Tanaro, a portion of the Monferrato hills falls into the province, narrowing the plain between Bra and Saluzzo and deviating the course of the Tanaro, which reaches the Po only after having bypassed the entire hilly system from the south.
In the Alps, the rivers cut through green transversal valleys, which converge like a fan towards the plain. The northernmost valley is that of the Po which rises on the slopes of Monviso, the province’s highest elevation (3841m), the lowest Santo Stefano Belbo (170m); follow, almost parallel, the valleys of the Varaita, Maira and Grana streams, right tributaries of the Po, those of the Stura di Demonte and the Gesso, whose waters flow into the Tanaro. The valleys of some left tributaries of the Tanaro follow (Vermenagna, Pesio, Ellero, Corsaglia), and the Tanaro valley itself. The Belbo and Bormida valleys, which tributary to the Tanaro from the right, engrave and delimit the Langhe reliefs with other watercourses.
The climate has quite marked continental characteristics, determined by the screen that the reliefs oppose to the influences of the nearby Mediterranean. But the variety of altimetric and morphological factors cause rather different local climatic conditions between the Alpine area, the Langhe and the plain, especially as regards the trend of temperatures, the conditions of sunshine and the behavior of the winds. There are extensive woods, especially in the Alpine valleys and in the highest area of the Langhe.
From the hydrographic point of view, the territory includes the upper basin of the Po and a large part of that of the Tanaro. The water courses that converge like a fan in the plain are generally short and steep, with low average flow, lean accentuated in winter and sometimes violent full in correspondence with the wettest periods.
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