Cervia Salt pan
The Salt Pan covers a surface of 827 hectares, about 1600 m from the sea. In 1959 the single collection industrial system replaced the previous multiple collection artisan method; the 144 small salt pans existing at the time were substituted with a dozen large basins.
In 1959 the Salt Pan was radically transformed: multiple collection, based on a large number of small family-run salt pans, was abandoned, and the shift was made to single collection on an industrial scale.
The 144 salt pans were radically transformed into a single large pan, where salt was collected only once from a few dozen tanks known as “salanti” at the end of the summer, using modern mechanical equipment.
The Salina Camillone is the only survivor among multiple-collection salt pans; it is still in operation thanks to the voluntary work by the Civiltà Salinara Cultural Association, producing high-quality salt to Slow Food standards.
Inside the Salt Pan you have the Visitors’ Centre, a building which used to be a slaughterhouse and is now fitted up as a meeting point for nature and bird enthusiasts.
Today it is one of the most important observation points for the study and census of migrations along the Adriatic.
The Centre is the starting point for guided tours inside theCervia’s Salt Pan; it includes an information path which allows for an in-depth overview of the historical and economic issues associated with salt production.
The Salt Pan waters are also home for Artemia salina, a small reddish crustacean, no more than 15 mm long.
Artemia salina is indispensable for salt production, it keeps water in the tanks clear, feeding on algae and detritus, letting sunrays through which facilitates evaporation.
This small animal is also a fundamental link along the food chain in the Salt Pan: its predators include in particular birds such as the flamingo and the Sheldrake, and numerous mud-dwelling species such as the avocet and the black-winged stilt.