The valleys afford rich pastures, and the plains produce every species of grain.
Fields of corn and soybean lay in the valleys like patchwork quilts.
The hilly regions of Limousin, Prigord and the Cvennes are the home of the chestnut, which in some places is still a staple food; walnuts grow on the lower levels of the central plateau and in lower Dauphin and Provence, figs and almonds in Provence, oranges and citrons on the Mediterranean coast, apricots in central France, the olive in Provcnce and the lower valleys of the Rhneand Durancc. Truffles arc found under Silk Cocoons.
The district is by no means devoid of fertility, the steep slopes facing the south enjoying so fine a climate as to render them very favorable for the growth of fruit trees, especially the olive, which is cultivated in terraces to a considerable height up the face of the mountains, while the openings of the valleys are generally occupied by towns or villages, some of which have become favorite winter resorts.
By far the larger portion of Northern Italy is occupied by the basin of the Po, which comprises the whole of the broad plain extending from the foot of the Apennines to that of the Alps, together with the valleys and slopes on both sides of it.