Grissini breadsticks are eaten all over Italy, but nowhere with more appetite than in Piedmont. In the Northeastern corner of Italy, grissini breadsticks are bought fresh from the baker, while other regions are content with pre-made supermarket versions.
According to the Italian Wikipedia, grissini breadsticks were invented in 1679 upon request of the Torino courts doctor. Apparently the young Vittorio Amedeo II di Savoia could not digest breadcrumbs, so the court’s baker, Antonio Brunero, was asked to develop a bread without a crumb. It soon became widely popular thanks to the fact that the long breadsticks could keep for weeks without deteriorating.
The classic grissini breadsticks are 40-80 cm long, but I find the shorter version more manageable.