(By Sandra Cordon) Turin, May 10 - Highlights of the culture, history, and natural beauty of the northwestern Piedmont region will be on display in Washington and New York in May and June as part of a photographic tour of the Italy. The exhibition 'Tour Around Italy' is sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Italian Embassy in the United States, and the Milan Expo 2015 committee, and was created by the ANSA news agency to better explain and promote Italy abroad. In fact, the photographic exhibit is part of the wider initiative: '2013 - Year of Italian Culture in the United States', which is designed to boost awareness throughout the US of all that Italy has to offer. The Year of Italian Culture involves more than 180 events curated by the Italian embassy in Washington and by Italian consulates and cultural institutes in more than 40 US cities. And part of that initiative, organizers say, is focusing the spotlight on regions and events that are not always prominent on the conventional tourist circuit which too often includes only the most popular cities of Rome, Florence and Venice. Piedmont officials say that their region is certainly one such example. Although it has numerous attractions, including its popular capital Turin, which hosted the 2006 Winter Olympics, local officials say Piedmont's attributes are sometimes overlooked. They are counting on this exhibition to help change that. The collection of photographs, representing various regions of Italy, focuses on six key themes, including local handicrafts, food specialties, fashion and style, important art, and Italian initiatives and excellence in the field of science and research. The intended audience for the exhibition, which will begin in Washington on Saturday at the Italian Embassy, includes the Italian community in the US and Italian-American associations operating in the area, organizers say. The same photographic exhibition will also be presented at the Italian Institute for Foreign Trade (ICE) headquarters in New York, beginning May 14. Other agencies involved in the Piedmont element of the project, including Unioncamere Piemonte, hope to boost the region's international profile for visitors as well as investors who may be interested in finding new opportunities in the region. "The internationalization of our region should be supported with projects and actions to reinforce the presence of Piedmontese companies in foreign markets," said Ferruccio Dardanello, president of Unioncamere Piemonte. His organization represents eight chambers of commerce which account for companies employing more than 1.5 million workers in the Piedmont region. The exhibition will demonstrate not only the beauty, traditions, impressive foods and wines of the region, but also its industrial expertise and impressive future, added Dardanello. The photos in the exhibition will be published in book form, to help illustrate 150 years of Piedmont's history with an eye to the future. Added regional President Roberto Cota: "Based on what we were yesterday, and showing where we are today, this exhibition will be an excellent tool to make everyone understand what we want to be tomorrow". A free Apple Store iPad app has also been created around the exhibition, allowing virtual visits.