Occitan varieties are spoken by about 10-15,000 people in the Piedmont valleys of the provinces of Cuneo and Turin between the high Val di Susa in the north and the Val Vermenagna in the south. This area represents the eastern extension of a larger area that extends throughout the entire southern part of France. The Occitan varieties spoken in Piedmont, locally called patois or parlar a nosto modo ‘speaking in our way’, are characterized by a significant geographic variation. Due to the lack of a unifying centre, no standard variety has ever emerged.
The only historical evidence of a consistent written use of Occitan is represented by the corpus of Waldensian texts dating back to the XV and XVI centuries, produced in the Alpine area settled by the religious minority in their elaborate linguistic variety known indeed as Scripta Valdese. In more recent times the promotion and protection of Occitan, first through regional laws and then through National Law 482/99, has led to an increase in its written use, not only in poetry but also in web communication.