La cava di bauxite
The bauxite quarry (la cava di bauxite) is less than a 10 minute drive from the centre of Otranto.
A disused quarry (bauxite is the main source of aluminium) returned to nature, creating a vividly coloured landscape of emerald green lake and ferrous red soil, framed by the glorious green trees and Puglia’s endless blue sky. The panorama reminds us that an alliance between nature and the transient interference of man can create something altogether more beautiful.
Park in the nearby car park (3€ fee) it is a short walk of a few minutes along a defined path to the bauxite quarry. The morning and late afternoon sun best compliments the colours.
Look out for the nearby Torre del Serpente, the symbol of Otranto. If the weather conditions are clear you can see Albania on the other side of the Adriatic.
The working life of the quarry starts when a bauxite deposit was found in 1940, with mining continuing until 1976.
The lake was formed by the infiltration of water from the subsoil, rich in bauxite and minerals that made it a bright, sometimes emerald green colour, boldly contrasting with the bright red surrounding land.
The panorama is framed by the verdant green trees and endless blue Salento sky.
A little bit about bauxite
Bauxite is a mineral rich in aluminum and iron oxides, found mainly in limestone quarries. Puglia is rich in high quality bauxite, with mining still taking place in the Murge and Gargano. Otranto’s bauxite was an important commercial and economic enterprise. The ore was sent to Porto Marghera for the extraction of the aluminum.