Lake Salinella is one of the most evocative naturalistic destinations in the entire Ionian area. It is a backdunal coastal lake, located along the border between Puglia and Basilicata,

occupying the fossilised bed of the Bradano River, whose course in the past deviated as a result of tectonic phenomena (perhaps an earthquake in 1243). Surrounded by a vast reed thicket and other marshy species, the Salinella area, which is part of the 'Marinella Stornara State Biogenetic Nature Reserve', is separated from the sea by a wide dune belt that is still intact. The lake area has been progressively reduced in recent decades, also as a result of the implementation of integral reclamation works.

Recognised as a S.I.C. (Site of Community Interest), now a Z.S.C. (Special Area of Conservation), it represents one of the most important naturalistic emergencies on the Ionian coast of Basilicata. In fact, it is the last strip of coastline in Basilicata that is almost completely intact, a relict of a wetland area where it is possible to observe interesting vegetation successions. This is due to the fact that there is almost no anthropic pressure in this area, given the lack of easy access to the sea, the presence of the Metaponto-Taranto railway line and the scarce consistency of the agronomic component. The habitats are home to a flora rich in rare elements of conservation interest, which vary according to a number of factors: the consistency of the dunes, the contribution of brackish water from the sea, the intensity of erosion and the use of the area for bathing. 

The lake is surrounded by a belt of plants typical of the Mediterranean maquis, including glasswort, filirea, lentisk, alaterna, juniper, sea lily, various wild orchids and various species of mushrooms.

The lake is not easy to reach without a nature guide, as access is only allowed from the Apulian side through a tourist village, from the Basilicata side through the pine forest, subject to authorisation by the Forestry Corps, or by sea, fording the mouth of the Bradano River.

The walk to the lake, which is quite easy thanks to the flat route, is an extraordinary experience as it allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in a fairy-tale place and enjoy its silences, colours, sounds and scents of nature, in a whirlwind of sensations that only a non-man-made space can convey. On the banks of Lake Salinella, with a bit of luck, you may come across some of the rich fauna. In fact, the site is an ideal refuge for many species: marsh birds, including the herring gull, linnet, sandpiper, moorhen, reed bunting, heron, stork and pink flamingo, blue crab, as well as mullet, bass, carp, limpet, carp and rare butterfly species.



Piazza Plebiscito snc

75012 Bernalda (MT)

+39 0835 540 214