In this chapter we discuss the Val Fiorentina, one of the most striking and incredible valleys of the Dolomites, which is also a World Heritage Site.
Val Fiorentina is one of the most beautiful valleys in the province of Belluno and is located between the characteristic village of Selva di Cadore, the wonderful village of Colle Santa Lucia and, even partially, between Borca and San Vito di Cadore municipalities. Surrounded by impressive mountain ranges such as the Pelmo Group, the Civetta Group and the Croda da Lago Group, it is a way of passage that can’t be missed: its charm and its green valleys will leave you speechless. Val Fiorentina dances together with the Fiorentina stream, which crosses the valley until it flows into the Cordevole river near the hamlet of Caprile, in the municipality of Alleghe. According to legend, the valley is named after the Cadore noblewoman called Fiorentina, for the beauty of the landscape that surrounds it.
An area rich in natural resources such as wood and metal deposits, but in particular this valley is famous above all for the traces of the dinosaurs on Pelmetto Mount , for the body of Om de Mondeval, a hunter-gatherer of the Mesolithic period, about 7500 years ago, found on the Mondeval plateau above Selva di Cadore, today located in the Civic Museum of the Val Fiorentina and for the recent excavations of the Casara Staulanza. A territory that day after day seems to give us back the precious testimonies of an important past and definitely present among the high rocky peaks of the Dolomites, World Heritage Site of these valleys.
Selva di Cadore, located in the heart of the valley, is an important tourist resort for both summer and winter, with many trails and ski lifts in the town of Pescul and in the nearby Giau Pass. It was colonized in the 13th century by the nobility of San Vito di Cadore, owners of the entire Val Fiorentina, who concentrated the houses in small inhabited centers, so as not to lose ground for pastures and agricultural activities, such as the cultivation of cereals and of the broad bean. Only recently Selva di Cadore was assigned to the Montana Agordina Union, making it the largest town in the valley.
Colle Santa Lucia is located between 1,300 and 1,500 meters and is bordered by Val Cordevole, Val Fiorentina and Val Codalunga. The whole territory of Colle Santa Lucia was part of Ladinia in the Austrian Tyrol, until the end of the Great War, when it was annexed together with Livinallongo del Col di Lana to the province of Belluno and to the Montana Agordina Union. The Ladinia, was a historical-geographical area that included the four valleys arranged around the Sella Group up to those of Cortina d’Ampezzo. Even today we can see cultural traits completely different from those of Selva di Cadore.