The Saltpan of Cervia is the most northerly in Italy and covers 827 hectares, in a natural park. Today it is the southern gateway to the Po Delta Park. It has always been a natural reserve of population and nesting for many animal and plant species.
It is one third of the entire extension of the municipality of Cervia and consists of over 50 basins, surrounded by a canal of over 16 kilometers, which allows the water of the Adriatic to enter and exit the salt pan. The harvest takes place in the heart of the salt pan, the salt is formed and collected in the traditional way, just as it used to be, but with the help of a conveyor belt and a trolley, which is a train in all respects.
The use of harvesting machines dates back to 1959 and since then every year from the end of August to the beginning of September the ritual of cavadura takes place.
Cavadura is the collection of salt. The sea water enters from the tributary channel and circulates in the canals that cover the entire area of the territory of Cervia. As it passes by, the sea water flows out and, thanks to the action of the wind and the sun, it evaporates until it leaves the salt. The salt when it is harvested is wet and very heavy, its typical color, the pink, derives from the presence in the saline basins of the dunaliella alga, rich in lycopene and beta-carotene.
The water arrives in the basins through a lattice along kilometers of surrounding canals. From the inlet channel, which finds us in the center of Milano Marittima, salt water enters the sea, through a system of locks and gates. It then comes out of the canal that runs along the shaft of the canal port, next to the Magazzeni del Sale.
Once here the salt was stocked and the San Michele tower watched over the precious white gold.
Sunset in the salt pan is a very beautiful walkroute in one of the most striking moment of the day.
Naturalistic trail dedicated to the discovery of the flora and fauna of the Salt pan of Cervia, by electric boat.
The trip during about 1 h and 30 min, and the booking is required.
You can come every Saturdays, from April to October, one hour before the sunset!
photo by Angela Raggi