The history of Val di Zoldo

From the origins to the present day

Its origins

The activities of the Zoldo Valley, far from commercial traffic and of no economic interest, are obscure until the early Middle Ages. It can be conjectured that, during prehistoric times the area was not inhabited on a permanent basis (whilst in other Dolomite valleys indications of stable habitations have been found), but not even in pre-Roman (perhaps Norian) or Roman times. Of this last period there are three inscriptions, around the Civetta, probably indicating the borders between the territories of Iulium Carnicum (Zuglio, in the province of Udine) and Bellunum (Belluno). For centuries then the Zoldo Valley was a border area and later the frontier between the territories of Belluno (to which it belonged) and Cadore.

The Middle Ages

As already mentioned, even the early Middle Ages were a mysterious time and the few recorded events are essentially legends. It is probable that under the Lombards the first embryo of the system of the Rules appeared, lasting until the 19th century. Only in 1185 did a Papal Bull quote the Zoldo Valley for the first time, administered by the parish of San Floriano of Forno di Zoldo and dependent on the Bishop of Belluno. Afterwards the territory passed to Ezzelino III da Romano (1249) together with Agordino, and then (1347) to the Avoscano, originating from the upper Cordevole. Shortly afterwards Louis 1 of Hungary assigned it to the Da Carraras. Other events finally gave it to Venice (1404) where it remained until the fall of that Republic (1797).

The Republic of Venice

The battles between Venice and the League of Cambrai took place in the vicinity in 1508. Also many people from the Zoldo Valley contributed to the victory of the Republic of Venice as guides of the Commander Bartolomeo d’Alviano. From then on the valley became prosperous thanks to forestry, which furnished timber for the Arsenal and the piles of Venice and above all the activity of iron-working (just think of the names of places which remind us of the existence of workshops and forges). Between the 16th and 18th centuries numerous palaces were built which to this day are testimonies to their flourishing past.

Nineteenth and Twentieth centuries

When Venice fell, the valley passed from France to Austria and vice versa, finally becoming Austrian. The new occupants financed many public works; in particular, the present state road 251 was improved and a topographical map was produced of the Kingdom of Lombardo Veneto, important because it was able to provide a precise representation of the mountainous territory. After taking part in the Risorgimento, Zoldo Alto, Zoppè and Forno di Zoldo became municipalities of the Kingdom of Italy (1866) (the first was born from the great Regola of Coi, from the associated Regole of Mareson, Pecol, Pianaz and Fusine and from the Regola of San Tiziano or of Goima).In the meantime, modern industry overtook the traditional black-smith activities forcing many of the inhabitants to emigrate elsewhere in search of work. During the First World War, the Zoldo Valley had to submit to Austrian occupation until liberation on 3 November 1918.

(Source wikipedia)