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Villa Sant`Andrea Hotel, Sicily, Italy

The Salt Mines

The shallow, shimmering salt marshes between Marsala and Trapani still produce mountains of fine marine salt, harvested using a traditional evaporation process and considered among the best in Italy.

Salt has always been a key product through history. Fortunes were made from it, wars fought over it, and the Romans named roads after it — “Via Salaria” is common in Italy. Trapani’s salt industry is centuries old — in fact, in 1572, the town was one of the most important ports in Europe.

Today, the salt made here is still very much in demand among connoisseurs of seasoning. The marshes fill with water from the Mediterranean and are then left to evaporate naturally — a process hastened by the strong Sicilian sun and winds — and the salt deposits are then milled in large, languorous windmills. Visitors can see the process as they stroll among the marshes and the towering white pyramids, while also enjoying the surrounding nature reserve and a large lagoon populated by beautiful wild birds.

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