The Cidolo and Timber Museum

A brief history

Perarolo di Cadore (532 m.s.l), at the confluence of the Boite stream and the Piave river, began to develop around the fifteenth century and became rich over the centuries thanks to its important role in the river transport of timber to Venice.
Queen Margherita of Savoy’s role was also important. She spent her summer holidays for two years here, in 1881 and 1882, with her son Vittorio Emanuele III, future King of Italy, as a guest at Palazzo Lazzaris-Costantini.
The splendid garden inside the palace now contains the:

The Cidolo and Timber Museum.

The building is a small nineteenth century structure with an entirely decorated facade in the unusual setting of a terraced garden with small stairways and flights of steps.
Both building and garden are part of Palazzo Lazzaris-Costantini and belonged to one of the richest timber trading families active in Perarolo di Cadore in the nineteenth century.

The theme of the museum

On the ground floor: the exploitation of forest resources in the Cadore area. Wood cutting, preparation and transport activities are illustrated both in images and in a display of the various equipment used until the mid-twentieth century. Some of the documents belong to a private collection and contain much information on timber management and commercial organisation and a map reproduction shows the routes taken by the Cadore and Ampezzo forest tree trunks en route to Perarolo di Cadore along the Piave river and its main tributaries.
The pace is faster on the upper floor with photos and old maps, archive documents and a few objects revealing the history of Perarolo di Cadore, its cidolo (sluice gate), its menadas (men working in the floating of timber), its Venetian sawmills and the timber merchants who were based in the area.

Perarolo di Cadore was the town of the cidolo, a unique sluice gate built over the river which let the water through but blocked the tree trunks floating down to the valley to be sorted at the various sawmills. The timber was made into planks or square sawn timber in the many local sawmills and transported to the Veneto plains and towards Venice on rafts which were prepared at Perarolo itself by the skilled raft makers of neighbouring Codissago. There is some extremely interesting historic film dating to the beginning of the twentieth century on the work of the menadas at the cidolo and of the sawyers in a sawmill equipped with a cableway to transport the planks. This little museum is an opportunity to find out about the history of the whole Cadore area and an invitation to look out for signs of it all over the area.