Saturday, 1 October 2011

The salt road in Sicily: La via del sale

Via del Sale sicilia
On the Sicilian "Via del Sale" (Salt Road) from Trapani down to Marsala one drives next to small and big shiny-white mountains of sea salt...On some sunny days in September one may even sight the workers on the top of the salt! Around 10.000 tons of salt are produced here every year...Salt, one of the Sicilian economy's historical resources that was already very precious in the days of the Phoenicians, who were the first to bring some form of technology to its production. The favourable climatic circumstances in Sicily, such as high temperatures and a wind that increases evaporation, plus the shallowness of the water, creates a chessboard that ranges in colour from off-green to pink.
Via del Sale sicilia
A well refurbished Dutch-type windmill (over 500 years old) is located in the middle of the salt ponds and functions as a museum telling the story of this region. Inside the windmill, a complicated system of cogwheels and gears makes it possible to turn the cupola and the sails, exploiting the energy of the wind in order to grind the salt and channel the water. The scales can rotate at a speed of 20 km per hour and generate 120 horsepower; to drive the grindstone on the ground floor it is necessary to reach at least 30 to 40 horsepower...
Via del Sale sicilia
Via del Sale sicilia

Next to the museum and the salt pods, the curious visitors may take a boat tour in the lagune or go visit the island Motya, famous for its archeology treasures.

7 comments:

Filip Demuinck said...

I like the picture of the sunset and the windmill.

Greetings,
Filip

Roland said...

Cool report - really huge piles of salt... Love the third image !

betchai said...

oh wow, very interesting shots, Jana. the sunset with the windmill is really lovely.

papillon said...

Very beautiful pictures...we hope you enjoyed your trip to Sicily. Do you also have some nice underwater pictures?
C+J

Jana said...

mille grazie dear all!
@C+J: wir haben nur einmal getaucht, aber ohne Kamera...

de bossies! said...

Hoi Jana
Prachtig deze foto's van de zoutwinning...Mooi gezicht die bergen zout Ook van de molen bij dat licht..
Gr Henk

Joop Zand said...

These pictures are wonderful Jana.

greetings, Joop