Was Cotton, Tobacco or Sugar Grown in Italy or Southern France?

Apr 2017
Were the cash crops cotton, tobacco or sugar grown in Italy or southern France in any significance throughout history? If so, what region and when? I've seen some information that says they were grown in Sicily and maybe other regions but was it anything of significance?


Ad Honorem
Oct 2015
Matosinhos Portugal
The Portuguese had experience, for some tens of years, exploring sugar in the Atlantic islands (Madeira Island, Azores, Cape Verde and Sao Tome and Principe). The country already dominated the equipment industry for sugar mills. The offer of the product still relatively new in Europe by the Italian cities formed consumers, which did not prevent a crisis of low prices in 1496, reorienting a large part of the production to the Flemish ports. In the middle of the sixteenth century, this agricultural enterprise was already a common Portuguese and Flemish enterprise.


Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
The Swedes grew tobacco in Sweden as well. If there is a will there is a way. Wouldn't want to vouch for the quality and taste of that product, but it seems to have sufficient to feed the addiction. The pic is from Norrköping. ;)

Can't grow sugar cane north of the Mediterranean really. Otoh one of the major shifts in 19th c. trade was the advent of the sugar beet – through some rather persistent, clever cultivation and artificial selection – which can be grown as far north as Scandinavia.


Forum Staff
Oct 2011
Italy, Lago Maggiore
As for I know Italy is the greatest producer of tobacco in EU. Virginia, Harley, Paraguai and Havana are the kinds of tobacco we cultivate here.

About cotton, no way, until recent time it was Sicily to monopolize the cultivation of cotton in Italy. It was the "Sicilian White Gold". Arabs brought its cultivation to Sicily.

deaf tuner

Ad Honoris
Oct 2013

- 12 EU countries are producing it.
- 85% of the EU tobacco production comes from Italy, Bulgaria, Greece, Spain and Poland.
- 3% of the world production is the share of the EU.