Approaching Alto Cadore from the south, the first place that greets you is Valle (851 metres above sea level), a municipality of about 2000 people in the Belluno Dolomites, not far from Venice, on the verdant valley floor at the foot of the craggy slopes of Monte Antelao.
The origins of Valle di Cadore date far back in time, as far as the 1st and 2nd centuries A.D. as evidenced by the fascinating collection of archaeological finds, votive offerings of Roman and pre-Roman origin held at the archaeological museum, Museo Archeologico della Magnifica Comunità di Pieve di Cadore.
A particularly special feature of this delightful little place is hidden in the heart of the ancient village of Costa, where gracious houses with an unmistakeably Venetian signature rub shoulders with the traditional mountain homes of Cadore and buildings dating back to the first couple of centuries A.D. If you take a stroll along the historic Via Romana, you can feast your eyes on gorgeous buildings sprouting vaults, balconies, coats of arms and ornate corners.
On the ruins of a castle of Roman origin there rises one of the most spectacular churches in Alto Cadore – the 18th Century church of San Martino, which is unfortunately closed at the moment for safety reasons. One of the most impressive aspects of this building is its location, perched precariously on a rocky precipice overhanging the Boite Valley, from which the views are stupendous. Mention should also be made of the paintings by Antonio Lazzarini and the altar-piece by Francesco da Milano, inside the church.
In the neighbourhood of Damos, which is reached by crossing the covered Rualan bridge, there is a church dedicated to Saints Andrew and John which houses a fascinating 14th Century fresco, one of the oldest in Cadore, depicting the crucifixion of Christ.