Hidden amongst an industrial section of the Trapani province of Sicily, lies a land filled with salt piles. The watery pools stretch out across acres of land as tower windmills whir in the distance. Sometimes the liquid sparkles with a mix of pinks and reds as the sunsets overhead, other times, it simply reflects the deep blue sky above. The landscape is scattered with towering piles of salt, glistening white like freshly fallen snow. This is the Saline di Nubia.
This unique location has been around since 1488 when Ferdinand, King of Spain, ordered their construction. Since then, these salt pans have played a vital role in the Sicilian economy and have become an unexpected tourist attraction.
On-site, visitors will find a 300-year-old workhouse that now houses the Museo del Sale. The museum explores the history of the flats along with the ancient process still used to cultivate, dry, and sell the salt accumulation. There is also a restaurant where diners can enjoy dishes like smoked swordfish or risotto, all prepared or seasoned with the local harvest.
Outside, visitors can wander the narrow walkways stretching out between the pools and explore the piles of salt that can often reach 15 feet tall. This expansive landscape is a vital stop for migratory birds heading to Africa, including flamingos, gulls, and spoonbills. Meanwhile, protected species of fish and sea life thrive beneath the surface. This area is such a vital nature site it was declared a protected nature preserve and is managed by the World Wildlife Fund.
The rare experience offered through a visit to the Saline di Nubia is one that should not be overlooked. Visitors will never forget the moment they laid eyes on this salty Sicilian nature sanctuary.