From the first settlements to the modern day
Recent archaeological findings have shown that people were present in the Val di Fassa as far back as 8000-5000 B.C. This totally contradicts the scientific belief that the valley was completelyuninhabited and unknown to man before the year 1000. The traces that have been found most probably belonged to hunters from more southern plains looking for game. Archaeological excavations in Mazzin and Campitello have confirmed that the valley was the site of organised settlements whose inhabitant grew crops and raised animals, as far back as the Bronze Age (1800-900 B.C.). The existence of stable, culturally united settlements was confirmed by a sensational finding in 1968: the remains of a Rhaetian prehistoric walled settlement on Dos dei Pigui in Mazzin. Walled defences, ceramic objects, ornaments and arms were found at his site. With the Roman conquest in the first century A.D., the Rhaetian peoples were annexed to the Roman Empire. The subsequent spread of Latin, which permeated the Rhaetian language formed the origin of Ladin. There is also evidence of the Roman presence in the clearly Latin origins of the place names (Vigo-Vicus, Larcioné-Laricetum, etc.). The oldest written evidence dates back to 1144 A.D. From 1050 onwards, the Val di Fassa came under the jurisdiction of the Prince Bishop of Bressanone, where it remained until 1803; in that year, the entire Principality was annexed to Tyrol. During these centuries the population of Fassa was organised into “Communities of Fassa”, divided into 7 Orders, corresponding to the 7 modern-day municipalities, with institutions of Lombard origin.
The outbreak of the first World War also brutally involved the Val di Fassa. The front practically crossed the entire valley and today it is still possible to see evidence of that tragic event: from the Val San Nicolò, to the Marmolada with its ice city; in fact, tunnels were dug in the rocks and ice of the Marmolada glaciers and these can still be visited today. On 24 November 1918 the Val di Fassa, which had been under Austrian rule, passed to the Kingdom of Italy with the arrival of the Italian troops.