Trapani sea salt

Slow Food Presidium

Sea salt is obtained simply by letting sea water evaporate inside large tanks placed on the coast: the salt pans. The essential elements for the birth of salt, therefore, are three: sea water, sun and wind.

In front of the Trapani coast (between Trapani, Paceco and Marsala) in a suggestive scenery of water, windmills and white pyramids that become pink at sunset, there is an important productive reality, and not only industrial. The whole area falls within two beautiful protected areas: the oriented natural reserve of the salt pans of Trapani and Paceco and the salt pans of Stagnone (in the municipality of Marsala).

The characteristics of the coast – rather low – of the Trapani coasts and the extremely favorable climate suggested to the Phoenicians (VIII century B.C.) the planting of the first salt pans that history remembers.
But only in the sec. XV and XVI had a considerable development of the activities of extraction of the salt. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the salt pans represent a fundamental resource of the city’s economy, along with the art of coral and fishing, such as to become the port of Trapani one of the most important in the Mediterranean and Europe.

Until the ’60s the cultivation of salt was in full swing and the product was exported throughout Europe to Norway. The second post-war period marked a temporary decline due to the competition of rock salt, the high cost of transport and the damage caused by the flood of the 1968, which carried millions of cubic meters of water in the salt pans, leading to the burial and abandonment of the beams.
Only after 1973, year of the abolition of the State Monopoly, signs of recovery were recorded.

The production of salt takes place during summertime, in particular during the months of July and August. There are about three harvests, according to climatic conditions (a last harvest can also be done in September).
Trapani sea salt, as opposed to other cooking salts, contains more potassium, more magnesium and a lower quantity of sodium chloride.


Phone:+39 335 6679150 Giuseppe Raineri Responsabile Slow Food del Presidio



What differentiates the Presidium product from the industrial version is the method of “cultivation”, but above all the processing.

Presidium salt is harvested by hand by the salt worker. In industrial production, on the other hand, harvesting is done with mechanical tools and, during processing, the salt may undergo refining and the addition of other mineral salts. Presidium salt, on the other hand, is integral. It is more humid and grayish.

Artisan producers are few and poorly organized. As a result, their salt has commercial difficulties and is unable to compete with industrial and mine products, the so-called rock salt.

Including salt in the Presidia project also means spreading more knowledge about this ingredient. It means proposing it to restaurants and consumers and ensuring that products like this are also used in the production of quality cheeses and cured meats: a correct and complete supply chain must also start with salt.

Unlike what happens in France, for example, where fleur du sal (which they call “scuma salt” here), which contains less sodium and more magnesium, is a product of great value, Italy lacks a culture of this food. This Presidium could be a first step.



The six salt producers are united in two companies:

Oro di Sicilia, Paceco (Tp),  Contrada Nubia, Via Chiusa, Tel. +39 0923 867374 / +39 338 6062549,,

Antiche Saline di Nubia, Paceco (Tp), Contrada Nubia, Via Chiusa 1, Tel. +39 0923 867701 / +39 335 5683981,

Last modified: 29 May 2022
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