Salt Harvest and Flamingos… in Central Italy

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Salt pans with active salt production exist not only in exotic far-away locations but also in Italy. Salt pans of Cervia (Saline di Cervia) near Ravenna in Emilia-Romagna have been producing excellent quality Italian salt since the VIII century. Annual salt harvesting started this week and the curious can visit the area to see the process that hasn’t changed much over the centuries.

The salt here is for real connoisseurs who can appreciate its subtle sweetness. It has no potassium salts that are normally contained in sea water, which makes Cervia’s salt quite special. The first scoops of new salt are called “Salfiore” (loosely translated as “flower of salt”) or “Sale dei Papi” (“Salt of the Popes”) because since the XVI century every year they are brought as a gift to the Pope.

saline di cervia

Only 5 tons of salt are harvested by hand every year, mostly by elderly volunteers, who are worried that their skills will die with them as not many local young people seem to be interested in this ancient tradition.

The salt pans of Cervia are also famous for the flocks of rare flamingos, the beautiful Pied Avocet and Black-winged Stilt that enjoy the shallow waters and the salt concentration of 150%.

flamingos

The Saline di Cervia can be visited every day from 3.30pm. You can get around by foot, on a bike or in an electric boat. Ticket prices start from €6.50.

For more details visit the Saline di Cervia website.

Photos by: Turismo Cervia, marcocorradi56/Flickr

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