My friend Lorna who visited Malta two or three years ago described it as “not at all what I expected it to be”. After three days here I totally understand what she means – it has some great surprises and strengths and other areas where I’m just not sure.
So day 1 and 2 we toured the south of the island and Valetta. The South seems quite neglected and run down and there is not much investment to be seen; Valetta on the other hand – which is in its own right very old is a lovely city with fortifications all around it and tiny alleys at every corner and building with beautiful balconies, dozens of churches and cathedrals (more of those on another post), large city squares and oodles of history.
I had no idea that Malta was inhabited over 7000 years ago by pagans who left buildings and temples and art behind them; it was since conquered by just about everyone (Phoenicians, Romans, Normans, Turks, British to name a few) as it is strategically placed relative to the Mediterranean trade routes. As a result it is an amalgam of all that history and phenomenally well preserved – thanks to UNESCO. It will also be the European city of culture in 2018.
Below are some perspectives of Valetta plus interiors of a Maltese home belonging to the same family for many generations (Casa Rocca Piccola) and indeed the current owners also act as guides for tourists like us!