Dolomites: the lands of ice-cream makers

When it comes to ice-cream, it is only natural to think of the Belluno valleys of Cadore and Zoldano, from which already in the mid-1800s began the emigration of ice-cream makers who developed their art and made it known in the rest of Italy and all over the world.

From 1850 to the eve of the First World War, this migratory phenomenon made the Belluno ice-cream makers travel to the surrounding Italian regions, but especially to central Europe. Then, from the mid-twentieth century, they reached South America until, from the 80s to today, this activity has been consolidated in Europe and all over the world, giving rise to interesting historical and cultural phenomena. Moreover, all this has had a marked influence on the social and economic development of entire countries and on the life of their inhabitants, many of whom, even today, at the beginning of spring leave their homes to reach the ice cream parlours located in the main cities of central Europe.

At the same time, with the gradual development and dissemination of their activity, Belluno ice-cream makers have come up with the idea of ​​making the work phases less tiring and more rational thanks to equipment in line with technological progress. For instance, in December 1903, a citizen of Cadore, Italo Marchioni, emigrated from Peaio di Vodo di Cadore to the United States, patented a mould for making ice cream cones and wafers.

This has been a truly epic story of ice-cream makers, which has left significant traces on the territory: stories, documents, materials and equipment, which have marked the events experienced by the ice cream makers themselves and the development of the ice cream sector.
Among the events that have characterised the evolution of the sector and the connection with the territories of origin of the ice-cream makers, it is worth mentioning the phenomenon of "Gelaterie Venete" (Veneto Ice Cream Parlours) that began to spread at the beginning of the twentieth century in various Italian areas. The ice cream makers from Cadore and the Zoldo valley understood the importance of adopting a unitary and well-identified image, which recalled the quality of the proposed product according to a known and appreciated tradition.

Therefore, thanks to their proposals, our "Dolomiti terre dei Gelatieri" (Dolomites, Land of Ice-cream Makers) is an exclusive historical and tourist attraction circuit: documents, period equipment, images, events, traditions and widespread knowledge. These opportunities express and highlight the events that have characterised the true history of ice-cream makers, but they can also be integrated with the other peculiarities offered by the context of the Belluno region, from the environmental ones to those related to historical events and other local traditions.

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