alchimia Sale Marino Iodato Cuor di Mare
alchimia Sale Marino Iodato Cuor di Mare

Italian Sea Salt

Past, Present and Future. Italian Culture on Salt

«Here arrived the Greeks and then the Romans, drawn by the waters with the colour of fire, by the perpetual dance of birds flying in the sky with low clouds between lights and the rustle of reeds in the wind».

The History of the Saltpan Margherita di Savoia

Margherita di Savoia is located along the northernmost coast of Apulia, between the communes of Barletta and Zapponeta. The history of this small town is linked to saltpans and their use since its creation.

In ancient times in Margherita di Savoia, the salt formed spontaneously in basins created by seasonal rivers which, carrying a large amount of debris, over time caused the formation of many islets parallel to the coast, creating a lagoon. The saltpan then attracted prosperity and settlements and the salt became the wealth of the city.

In fact, the first saltpans originated in the 4th century BC by producing salt that was exported mainly to the East, by the Illyrians. The Romans called this area Lago Salpi, which means salted lake, and Via Salaria, linking the Adriatic Sea to Rome, passed right though there.

An event that caused the interruption of the production and trade of salt was malaria, which led to depopulation throughout the territory. Only in 1600, thanks to the reclamation work of the area by Charles III of Bourbon, were the salt pans made active again, becoming in the first half of 1700s one of the areas with the highest levels of salt production for the South and then for the whole of Italy until, with the advent of the Kingdom of Italy, the Municipality changed its name from Saline di Barletta to Margherita di Savoia, in honour of the first Queen of Italy.

Even today, thanks to the traditions handed down by the salt workers over time, the cultivation of salt continues, always respecting nature and the ecosystem, preserving and safeguarding the largest salt pan in Europe and enhancing the products made in Italy.