Cibiana and Fornesighe on the Dolomites
Cibiana and Fornesighe are two medieval villages located in the Province of Belluno and very close to each other. In the past, their strategic road position that linked Val Zoldana with Cadore, was one of the main trade and protection road from the Armies that threatened it. They are two villages that have exploited the natural resources offered by the mountain until 1300 when it began the exploitation of mines (Val Inferna and Di Ronzei) that enhanced the extraction activities of iron working merger. The area of Cibiana was known for locks and keys manufacturing – while, Fornesighe, for the nails production.
On 01/03/1508 the troops of the Venetian Republic commanded by Bartolomeo d’Aviano, surrounded the army of Maximilian I° of Austria who, in charge of the League of Cambrai, attempted the invasion of Venice. The Venetian army passed Fornesighe through Val di Zoldo to descend the Cadore going through Cibiana Pass – defeating on 02/03/1508 the Emperor Maximilian. The village of Cibiana is particularly known for its fifty murales that embellish the houses. Since 1980, it is a destination for domestic and internationl artists that attract tourists from all over the world. The murales illustrate the work of the house inhabitants: the Blacksmith’s house, the Miller’s house, the Coal’s house.
The charming village of Fornesighe is placed on the road that from Forno di Zoldo rises to Cibiana. The wood and stone houses have remained practically intacted. In 2002, Reinhold Messner, the famous mountaineer, conceived within a fortress of the First World War placed on Monte Rite at an altitude of 2180 mt. above sea level, the Museo delle Nuvole (Museum of Clouds) dedicated to the history of the Dolomites.
It is worth visiting the Church of San Floriano of XV° century situated in Pieve di Forno di Zoldo, Fornesighe, one of the most important of the valley with its Altare delle Anime (Altar of Souls) made by Sculptor Andrea Brustolon. Near Pralongo Zoldo, the “Museum of Iron and Nail” located in the last “fusinela” (ancient forge for the manufacturing of iron), remained the only witness for the working of “ciodarot” (person who produces nails).