Trapani- The Salt Pans

The ancient salt reserves compromise an area from the coast of Trapani to Marsala and form one of the most extraordinary landscapes on the Mediterranean island of Sicily. The salt production by the evaporation of sea water flourished in the 15th century to an important economic sector.

The landscape is characterized by lagoons and marshy areas, which are shaped by the low water levels. Due to the movement of sands by the oceanic currents the salt reserves arose hundreds of years ago.

In the lagoons, reminding an irregular check board, the precious salt of Sicily is produced. The sea water is introduced into shallow basins, where it quickly evaporates under the sun, leaving thus the salt behind on the ground. The same salt is collected and piled in heaps. The construction is furthermore pressed with terracotta tiles, reminiscenting of small house’s roof. The distinctive windmills transport the water from one basin to the next and grind the salt.

A unique spectacle is the journey of the migratory birds that move from and to Africa. The marshy landscape of Trapani is home to various species of birds, including flamingos, cranes, storks and herons.

Toward evening, Mother Nature envelops the old mills with its beautiful Sicilian sunsets in a soft light.