The Salina dei Monaci Nature Reserve, to the west of Torre Colimena, was originally a hollow, hidden behind coastal dunes and connected to the sea by a channel.
Used for harvesting marine salt from 1731, at least, the area was the target of anti-malarial clearing (1940-1950) while the environment suffered damage with the building of the Ionian Salentine coast (1960-1970).
Today the road has been moved north of the area and the old coastal path converted into a wooden walkway. In the northern part of the salt works are the remains of the ancient Torre delle Saline which guarded the warehouse of salt, a precious white gold.
The Benedictine monks who harvested the salt gave the place its name. All that is left of their monastery today is a frescoed chapel known as Madonna del Carmelo.
Apulia Film Commission
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