Molentargius is the Sardinian word for “donkeys handlers”, as the salt extracted was carried by mules. The salt industry was the richest in the Cagliari area for centuries. Until the mid-800 salt marshes were entirely natural, salt collected in basins or coastal ponds where it crystallised spontaneously. Given the high revenue arising from the sale, the “saline” of Cagliari were designed on the French model, as a proper salt industry. In the 1930s, the Italian government provided funds to modernise the plants and to re-design the architecture of the buildings inside the area. After World War II the demand for salt products decreased so much to lead to the suspension of the production. The “Molentargius Saline” lost its importance gradually and was closed down in 1985. In 1999 that area became the core of the Molentargius Regional Natural Park. At the moment it remains a fascinating but still unfinished idea.
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