Savoy

For history buffs, and anyone who is wondering where the “Savoy” part of our name comes from, here is the first part of a short history lesson:

The Savoy (Savoie in French, Savoia in Italian) is an historic region in southeast France and northwest Italy.

The early inhabitants of the region included the Celtic tribe of the Allobroges, who resisted but were finally defeated by the Romans in 121 BC and their territory included in the Roman province of Gallia Narbonensis.

Later, as the Roman Empire declined, Savoy passed to the Burgundians in 437, then to the Frankish Kingdom of Burgundy in 534, and the name Savoy dates from this period.

Over the following centuries, the name of Savoy came to signify roughly the area bounded by Lake Geneva in the north and River Isère in the south, and the Rhône in the west.

Following the breakup of the Carolingian Empire in the 9th Century, Savoy formed part of a series of kingdoms covering central Europe, and came under suzerainty of Holy Roman Empire in the mid-11th Century. By then, most of the region was controlled by the feudal lord Umberto I the Whitehanded (Humbert aux blanches-mains,  Umberto Biancamano), who founded the House of Savoy when Rudolph III, King of Burgundy, made him Count of Aosta in 1003.

In 1032, Umberto received the Maurienne, his native country, from the Holy Roman Emperor Conrad II, whom he had helped in his Italian campaigns and became Count of Savoy.

During the Middle Ages, Umberto and his successors established a considerable state extending into Piedmont across the alps to the east.

More coming soon …

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