The first settlers in the Zoldo Valley certainly came over the northern mountain passes to make use of the pastures and subsequently to exploit iron and lead mines. The manufacturing of iron, partly extracted from the mines of the Zoldo area, partly brought from the nearby seams beyond the Staulanza pass, principally took the form of nail production. This was the main, but not very profitable, activity for the people of Zoldo from the thirteenth to the end of the nineteenth century. Towards the end of the last century, the economy of the valley went into sharp decline as a result of two disastrous flash floods (1882 and 1890) that destroyed the factories along the river. Furthermore, the industrial production of machine-made nails started, offering more competitive prices. A sad period of emigration started and Zoldo became depopulated.
In the period between the two wars, the enterprise and organisational ability of the people of Zoldo took off with the opening of ice-cream shops in the main cities and towns in Northern Italy, Austria, Belgium, Spain and above all in Germany.
Afterwards a first group of immigrants had the great idea of exploiting their valley by constructing the first ski lifts in 1963 and by building hotels. The subsequent progress made in plant engineering and in accommodation facilities, with the advanced systems adopted in both sectors, have made the Zoldo Valley one of the most visited and appreciated winter stations in the whole of the Dolomites.
Architecture in wood and stone
Ancient hamlets, farmhouses and barbs built with respect for the environment. The Tabià, age-old stone and wood haylofts scattered throughout the valley that now are being restored, without changing their exterior appearance, and converted into residences.
The vally of iron and icecream
Zoldo may have been inhabited in prehistoric times by hunters and shepperds. It was undoubtedly inhabited by the ancient Romans who left traces of their passage on the slopes of the Civetta. But fame only came in the second millennium, when Zoldo became well-known first of all for its mines and iron industry serving the Republic of Venice and then for its homemade ice cream, now famous throughout the entire world.