Po Valley, Italy, in the 18th century

This painting from unknown author depicts the Po Valley, in Northern Italy.

The valley is broadly divided into an upper, drier part, often not particularly suited for agriculture, and a lower, very fertile, and well irrigated section, known in Lombardy and western Emilia as la Bassa, "the low (plain)". 

The Po Valley has been completely turned to agriculture since the Middle Ages, when efforts from monastic orders, feudal lords and free communes converged. 

Even nowadays, the Po Valley is one of the most important industrial and agricultural areas in Europe. Hydroelectricity is produced by the flow of the Po. The river is extensively used for irrigation for the region's agriculture.