Le Saline of Trapani

by Annie


The Saline (salt farms or beds) of Trapani are it’s reason for being . . hints in legends suggest that the area was originally an island a short ways across some shallows from the mainland. These were modified to cultivate salt more easily, thus extending the mainland to the island, where the city then grew as it became wealthy.

The plots of “land” are still privately owned, yet the entire area is also a WWF Natural Reserve. In early summer the migration of birds such as cranes, herons, and flamingos coincides with the beginning of the salt harvesting season . . an interesting example of human and animal activity co-existing side by side.


Perhaps what is most striking however is that fact that the techniques used here have remained unchanged since the dawn of time. Watching the workers harvest salt under the summer sun is to be taken back through history and to finally understand why salt was such a precious commodity and the reason for its importance to the early Mediterranean civilizations.

Photos Courtesy of ENIT, Agenzia Nazionale del Turismo

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