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World Cities: Pordenone (Italy)

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City information

City: Pordenone

Country: Italy

Population: 0.05 million

Coordinates (decimal): 45.97N, 12.65E

Time Zone: W. Europe Standard Time

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Some facts:
Pordenone was created in the High Middle Ages as a river port on the Noncello, with the name Portus Naonis. In the area, however, there were already villas and agricultural settlements in the Roman age. In 1378, after having been administrated by several feudatories, the city was handed over to the Habsburg family, forming an Austrian enclave within the territory of Patriarchate of Aquileia. In the 14th century Pordenone grew substantially due to the flourishing river trades, gaining the status of city in 1314.

In 1514 it was acquired by the Republic of Venice, under which a new port was built and the manufacturers improved.

After the Napoleonic parenthesis Pordenone was included in the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. The railway connection and the construction of the Pontebbana road implied the decline of the port, but spurred a substantial industrial development (especially for the working of cotton). Pordenone was annexed to Italy in 1866.

The cotton sector, however, decayed after the damage of World War I and the 1929 crisis, to never recover at all. After World War II the local Zanussi became a world giant of household appliances, and in 1968 Pordenone became capital of the province with the same name, including territory belonging to Udine.

After WWII, Pordenone, as well as the rest of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, became garrison for many military units, in order to prevent an eventual Soviet invasion from east. The heavy military presence was an important factor in the economical development of this once depressed area. Pordenone is as now garrison of the 132nd Armored Brigade "Ariete".

Since 1981, Pordenone has been the primary host to Le Giornate del Cinema Muto, a world-famous festival of silent film. The next such festival is slated to be held in Pordenone from October 6-13, 2007

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