In the distant past, the production and trading of salt in today's part of Slovenian Istria constituted one of the basic middle-class economic activities.
In the Mediterranean, two prevailing technological systems of producing salt from seawater, conditioned by geographic and climatic factors, are known.
The first was used (and still is) in the areas with scarce precipitation (northern Africa, Greece, southern Apennine Peninsula, Sicily, Sardinia,...). In these pans (e.g.Trapani), salt is gathered once to three times a year.
The other system was used in central and northern Adriatic, namely from the Island of Pag and Cervia northwards. As the number of rainy days was higher on average, salt was gathered daily or every two to three days. The system also differ in the manner and intensity of work involved, which of course affects the production costs and number of workers.
The basic conditions for setting up economically justifiable salt complexes were: enough sunny days with high temperatures, enough wind (dry), large surfaces suitable for the construction of salt-pans (impermeable clay, no freswater springs), necessary quantities of pure seawater, as little precipitation in the summer period as possible, good spatial arrangment (basins) and organization of workers and, after all, well qualified workforce.
Although salt-pan work seems fairly simple at first sight, this is not so, for every trade requires mastery of several proficiencies. In the past, the latter were usually transferred from father to son (here, too, family tradition plays an important part), and it is only in a more recent period that salt workers were trained at mining schools.
You can find much more professional information on the origin and method of salt production in the catalog.
Author: Flavio Bonin
Editing house: Museum of the sea Sergej Mašera Piran
Price: 10,00 €