Wednesday, 27 August 2014
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The Salt Route

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Along the route that starting from Trapani going through Paceco leads to Marsala along the lagoon of Stagnone, mountains characterized by the blindig whiteness glinting in the sun are visible. What you see is not snow but the salt rocks, one of the most valuable historical resources of Sicily during the period of the Phoenicians to whom we owe the first producitve technologies. The favorable climatic conditions such as swallow water, high temperature and the wind favoring evaporation, help in order to create the striking and unreal scenery of the salt flats, forming an immense chekerboard characterized by the greenish color that tends to pink. The tourist itineraries that lead to the salt flats wind along the banks of the basins and along the banks of the shimmering pools for the crystallization of salt, reach the island in which tower restored windmills, a reminder of time when they were the main instruments to pump water and grind the salt. A landscape to be enjoyed, preferably at sunset, when everything goes red.



Salt Museum of Nubia (Trapani) Along the coast road SP 21 towards Marsala, the first step of the salt route is Nubia, WWF office that manages the Nature Reserve of Trapani and Paceco salt flats, in a house, 300 year-old, where a "Museum of Salt" was set up. Here are the steps of salt production and some tools used for the extraction and collection. Explicative panels on the walls and photos of salinari working help visitors to immerse  in the world of sal flats and approach a craft with its time and its rites handed down  from father to son. An activity that lacked of knowledge and always had a particular relation with the sea very similar to the one lived by fishermen.
Salt Museum of Ettore and Infersa (Marsala) Following the main road, SP 21, towards the Stagnone there are the most spectacular salt flats. An indication of these salt flats reports those of "Ettore and Infersa". It must be the passion of these two men, who have restored and made a mill, of over five hundred years old, an indispensable tool for grinding salt, work again, thanks to them you can still enjoy the charm of the work of the past. The star or "Dutch" mill is composed by a truncated cone, a dome and six trapezoidal blades with the skeleton of wood, which are applied to the fabric sails that move in the wind. Inside a complex system of cogs and gears orients the dome and the blades using wind power to grind the salt, or to direct the water. In this case the mill is connected to the so-called Archimedes' screw. The blades can rotate at a speed of 20 km/h and develop a power of 120 horses to operate the mill located on the ground floor premises are required at least 30/40 horses.
Salt flats of the river Ciane. A few miles from Syracuse, you can visit the nature itinerary that consists of the natural reserve of the salt flats of the river Ciane. It is managed since 1984 by the Province and was established to revitalize and protect the papyrus, water plant of Egyptian origin, perhaps introduced in the area as early as the third century. BC, which grows along the banks of the river forming the largest colony in Europe. The river environment is the ideal habitat for the survival of many species of resident and migratory birds: Knights of Italy, moorhens and several large wading birds. The source of the River Ciane is the scene of myths and legends, expecially where a blue-green lake is located. From "cyanos", greek word referring to this particular shade, hence the name of the river, surrounded by scrolls similar to those found in the Nile. The Ciane river can be traced back from the mouth with the paddle boats. A journey that captivates tourists the same way as it did with travelers of the seventeenth century. Walking along the path takes a maximum of two hours. In the midst of thick reeds and papyrus  four meters tall, the route descends to the first part of the River Cyane, starting from sources. After leaving the cars in the shade of eucalyptus trees near the bridge, you have to walk along the two banks at several points connected by rustic bridges. Once at the mouth, you can admire the remains of the abandoned salt pans.

saline Trapani


saline Trapani


saline Trapani


saline Trapani


saline Trapani


Motia


saline Trapani


saline Trapani


Satiro danzante