The first evidence of human presence in the Fiorentina Valley dates back to the Mesolithic time.
The burial of the Mondeval Man dated from around 7500 years ago is one of the most important finds preserved in the renewed Vittorino Cazzetta Civic Museum in Selva di Cadore. Other finds coming from the nearby Mandriz site date back to the late Neolithic period. Following findings document the presence of some populations in the late Iron Age such as the Paleoveneta stone discovered in the area of Mount Pore.
Three Roman inscriptions found on Mount Civetta, which date back to the 1st century AD, testify that the Fiorentina Valley was part of the Roman district of Julium Carnicum, probably due to the first discovery of ferrous minerals in the Fursil area of Colle Santa Lucia.
The first evidence of the origin of Selva di Cadore is connected to the Medieval tunnel that was part of the Villa’s tower, the remains of which are just recognizable in the toponym ‘Solator’ (village under the tower).
After the dark centuries of the first millennium, in 1077 the emperor Henry IV granted the sovereignty of Friuli, which also included the Cadore area, to the patriarch of Aquileia. The first documented quotation of the name Selva appears in a notarial record dated to 1226. However, the events that happened between the XII and XIII centuries do not present a lot of documents or other records. Probably the origin of Selva as a village is connected to the official discovery of the Fursil mines. The first church of the village (1234) is indeed dedicated to St. Laurence, the patron of the charcoal burners.
In 300 AD Cadore was politically and ecclesiastically under the authority of the patriarch of Aquileia (considered for some the only one Ladin government of history), which ended in 1420. After this year the Cadore area, which had obtained a reasonable administrative autonomy, was not able to self-govern its territory. So, in the choice between the Austrian Empire and Venice, Cadore decided to become part of the Venetian Republic until 1797.
During the First World War, Selva di Cadore bordered Austria. Colle Santa Lucia and Cortina d’Ampezzo were indeed at that time Austrian municipalities.
Nowadays the Fiorentina Valley has 565 inhabitants that continue to preserve the Ladin culture, its customs, language and traditions.