32. Pocol, Nuvolau and the Cinque Torri

32 Pocol etcDolomites031

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The cluster of hotels which today represent Pocol stands on a wonderful viewpoint south and east. In Zardini’s time, the view west was also dramatic. It is rather less so today, owing to tree growth.

There now several large hotel blocks here nowadays. Sadly, there is always at least one, part completed, on which work has ceased, presumably when the money ran out. However, the area has improved inestimably in another way in recent years. In front of the hotels, on the green area shown in my photo above, there was once a rough and unpleasant year-round car park. A grievous blot on the landscape. There is skiing from here in winter. Presumably the skiers did not generally return in summer to see the damage they left behind them. However, a visionary piece of engineering work has created an almost invisible, modern, underground car park at this spot. It lies beneath the neat grass, invisible from all angles.

The huge
Hotel Argentina and the construction site for a new hotel almost as big do, however, rob Pocol of any rustic charm that may have been apparent from Zardini’s photograph. There are any number of building sites in and around Cortina where it seems the money ran out well before completion, or without a client to pay for the finished product. This is just another one, but in a position where an eyesore really isn’t needed. I didn’t take any photographs of it. I chose a viewpoint which intentionally excluded these buildings. However, what is now called the Sport Hotel Pocol occupies the building seen at the far left of Zardini’s photo, and that building is recognisably the same today, albeit more hidden by trees.

I have a postcard view of this area, from the 1950s:

Pocol 1930s001

My second Zardini booklet, covering Cortina
to Bolzano includes this photo of the area. The view is the next major panorama to the right (north) of the previous photos:


It shows recognisably some of the same buildings as in the earlier booklet, albeit seen from a viewpoint. I later found this postcard of the same view. The Albergo Tofana had been enlarged by the time this photograph was taken, as had the building to the left:

1937 Pocol
I think this winter view dates from the 1930s:

Albergo Pocol in Snow

This is the same general area, in a 1974 postcard:

1974 Pocol in snow

While visiting in 2011, and at that time unaware of the second Zardini guide to the Road, I shot this photo, which seems to be from a very similar line of view:


Travelling through Pocol
towards Cortina before 1911, the Road looked like this. The card from which the photograph is taken was dated by the sender on 19 August 1911, and the date is verified by the postmark:

Pecol 1911001

The very same view appears in this hand-coloured postcard, probably of similar date:

Early Pocol

The area’s hotels expanded rapidly after WW2. Here is Pocol and The Road in the 1950s:

1950s Pocol

And the same scene about ten years later. The Road remains white gravel, placing the postcard view to the early 1960s at the latest:

1960s Pocol

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