Guido Deiro
Birthplace In Italy

Detail from an 1882 Map of Italy

Detail from an 1882 map of Italy. Click on image to see map of entire country.

Map from W. & A.K. Johnston's "The World an Atlas" 1882.
Courtesy Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas at Austin

Guido Pietro Deiro, and his younger brother Pietro, were born in the village of Salto in the Province of Torino in the Piemonte Region of Italy. The name "Piemonte" literally means "foot of the mountains." The Alps Mountains figure prominently in the region, and Mont Blanc--at 4,808 metres (15,774 feet) above sea level the highest point in Western Europe--can be seen on the above map at the border with France just 55 miles northwest of Castellamonte. Although Salto is not found on the map above, another nearby town is: Castellamonte, which can be seen just 25 miles north of Turin (the capital of Piemonte and the former seat of the Italian monarchy).

Salto is located in the fraction (county) of Deiro. There is actually an "Upper" and "Lower" Deiro. The fractions lie at the foot of the Gran Paradisio di Alpi--a popular Italian alpine national park similar to America's Yosemite National Park--approximately thirty miles northwest of Torino. Parco Nazionale del Gran Paradiso was the first national park established in Italy. It includes a large expanse of high mountains, ranging in elevation from 800 metres (2,624 feet) above sea level at the valley bottoms to 4,061 metres (13,323 feet) at the Gran Paradiso peak. Larch and fir forests, wide alpine grasslands, rocks, and glaciers attract thousands of visitors.

In the modern map below, an arrow marks the location of Salto Canavese, on the Orco River very near to Cuorgné. Salto lies on the road from Torino to Gran Paradiso.

Modern Map

Modern map showing location of Salto Canavese near Cuorgné.

Although the Alps have severe winters and short summers, the climate of the foothills and lowlands is continental: cold winters and often dry, warm summers, with spring and winter rains. The most important crops in Piemonte are rice, corn, wheat, vegetables, and fruit. The production of grapes and wine is modest, but of high quality.

The longest river in Italy, the Po (405 miles) begins in this region, and flows eastward across northern Italy, from Monviso (in the Cottian Alps), through Turin, and eventually to the Adriatic Sea near Venice. The region is crossed by several Alpine streams flowing into the Po, including the River Orco, which flows past Guido's home village. In Piedmont there are many Alpine lakes, from the small morenic Canavese ones, to the bigger in the east of the region: Lago Maggiore and Lago d'Orta.

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