Amidst mountains glistening in the sun, the green of the Mediterranean maquis and pools as pink as the flamingos that nest there undisturbed, stands a model of industrial efficiency, where man and nature have lived in harmony for almost a century. The modern plants still in operation coexist with the memory told by the factories and machinery of the past, perfectly preserved and turned into a museum alongside the management offices furnished in Art Nouveau style and the buildings of the 'citadel of salt'. In these parts, work has never stopped since 1931: the Conti Vecchi Saltworks have withstood war and industrial crises and cover 2,700 hectares next to the Macchiareddu hub, set in the Santa Gilla lagoon, between Assemini, Capoterra and Cagliari. The oasis was redeveloped and opened to the public in 2017 thanks to a partnership between the Italian Environmental Fund (Fai) and Syndial-Eni. Within the factory, tours of the industrial archaeology site are accompanied by salt farming, which is unique in Italy.

It all began in 1921, when the Cagliari pond was a malarial swamp.