The Island of Malta
Valletta, The Fortress City, Citta' Umilissima, "a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen" is Malta's capital city: a living, working city, the administrative and commercial heart of the Islands. Valletta is named after its founder, the respected Grand Master of the Order of St. John, Jean Parisot de la Valette. The magnificent fortress city grew on the arid rock of Mount Sceberras peninsula, which rises steeply from two deep harbours, Marsamxett and Grand Harbour.
Started in 1566, Valletta was completed, with its impressive bastions, forts and cathedral, in the astonishingly short time of 15 years, even more remarkable is considering the fact that mechanical tools did not exist at the time and the whole city was built entirely by hand.
St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral
St Paul’s Pro-Cathedral, is an Anglican pro-cathedral of the Diocese in Europe situated in Independence Square, Valletta, Malta. The cathedral’s steeple, rising over 60 metres is a landmark on its own being notably visible in the Marsamxett Harbour. The church building is listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. Constructed with Maltese limestone in a neo-classical style. The cathedral has columns with capitals of the Corinthian order while the capitals of the six columns of the portico are of the Ionic order.
West Street, Valletta | +356 2122 5714
Casa Rocca Piccola
Casa Rocca Piccola is a 16th-century palace in Malta, and home of the noble de Piro family. Situated in Valletta, Casa Rocca Piccola was built in 1580 an era in which the Knights of St John, having successfully fought off the invading Turks in 1565, decided to build a prestigious city to rival other European capitals such as Paris and Venice. Casa Rocca Piccola was one of two houses built in Valletta by Admiral Don Pietro la Rocca.
74, Republic Street, Valletta |2122 1499
The Manoel Theatre is named after Grand Master of the Order of the Knights Hospitaller, Fra António Manoel de Vilhena, who ordered its construction in 1731. The theatre is reputed to be Europe’s third-oldest working theatre (older than the San Carlo in Naples), and the oldest theatre still in operation in the Commonwealth of Nations. The Manoel, is the country’s national theatre and the home of Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. The theatre is a small, 623 seat venue, with an oval-shaped auditorium, three tiers of boxes constructed entirely of wood, decorated with gold leaf, and a pale blue trompe-d’oeil ceiling that resembles a round cupola.
Old Theatre Street, Valletta |+356 2124 6389
Fort St. Elmo – National War Museum
Hosted by Fort St Elmo, the National War Museum houses a superb collection of items which takes us back to prehistoric times. Two halls are dedicated to Malta’s important role in WW I, the Inter-War Period and Malta’s historical role in the Second World War. Displayed in these halls one can find perhaps the three most important icons of this museum: the Gloster Sea Gladiator N5520 FAITH, Roosevelt’s Jeep ‘Husky’ and Malta award for gallantry, the George Cross.
Fort Saint Elmo is a star fort in Valletta, standing on the seaward shore of the Sciberras Peninsula that divides Marsamxett Harbour from Grand Harbour, and commands the entrances to both harbours along with Fort Tigné and Fort Ricasoli. It is best known for its role in the Great Siege of Malta of 1565. Fort St. Elmo has occasionally been used as a film set, one of the most notable films being that of Alan Parker’s Midnight Express.
Fort St Elmo, Valletta | Tel: +356 21 233088
National Museum of Fine Arts
The National Museum of Fine Arts is located at the lower end of South Street (Valletta) within an area including other fine historical palaces dating from the time of the Order of St John of Jerusalem. The building was originally one of the earliest to be built in Valletta and served as residence to successive knights of Order of St John.
The palace was officially inaugurated as the National Museum of Fine Arts and houses The largest collection of works by the renowned Southern Italian artist Mattia Preti on display in any public museum, the best selection of Baroque art masterpieces on the island and the only watercolour by Joseph Mallord William Turner (1775-1851) featuring Malta’s Grand Harbour and unique Malta views and landscapes.
South Street, Valletta | Tel: +356 21 225 769
Auberge de Castille
The Auberge de Castille is an auberge in Valletta, originally built in the 1570s to house knights of the Order of Saint John from the langue of Castile, León and Portugal. The present building dates back to the 1740s, when it was completely rebuilt during the magistracy of Manuel Pinto da Fonseca. The new auberge was built in the Baroque style, and it has been called “probably the finest building in Malta”. It now houses the Office of the Prime Minister of Malta. The auberge is located at Castille Place, close to Saint James Cavalier, the Malta Stock Exchange and the Upper Barrakka Gardens. It is situated at the highest point of Valletta and overlooks Floriana and the Grand Harbour area.
Malta Stock Exchange
The Malta Stock Exchange (Maltese: Borża ta’ Malta), originally known as the Casino della Borsa, is situated in the former Garrison Chapel building in Castille Square, Valletta. This iconic building was built in 1857 on the designs of T. M. Ellis, and was used as a multi-denominational place of worship until 1950. The former church was then used for entertainment purposes, as a post office and as a naval school, before it was taken over and extensively renovated by the Exchange.
Garrison Chapel, Castille Place, Valletta | (+356) 21 244 051
Named after the Sicilian village that inspired its creation, Sciacca Grill is a unique Steak & Grill restaurant located in the heart of Valletta. Apart from its fine meats, it proudly boasts an unusual selection of over 200 whiskeys. Sciacca Grill does not believe in a fixed menu. A wide variety of fresh prime cuts of meat are on display daily, together with a number of specials of the day available.
South Street, Valletta | +356 2123 7222
Trabuxu Wine Bar
Nestled below street level in a 400-year-old stone vaulted cellar, Trabuxu Wine Bar has been serving its patrons for over 15 years and is Valletta’s premier wine bar. A landmark to locals, and visitors to this heritage listed city, Trabuxu Wine Bar is cozy and intimate in winter and boisterous and outgoing in summer with guests spilling up and into the stoned stepped street above to enjoy the evening’s warmth. Serious wine and cheese aficionados will appreciate the menu which consists of hand selected cheeses from reputable suppliers. A delicate selection of cured meats is available and all orders are accompanied by fresh Maltese bread, water crackers and a selection of chutneys and jams.
2 Strait Street Valletta | Tel: (+356) 2122 3036
In line with its “brother” Zero Sei in Valletta, the place is very cozy and welcoming. Offering a good selection of mouthwatering pizza, this pizzeria offers the same level of service as Trattoria Romana 06.
32, South Street, Valletta | +356 2122 0077 | Closed on Mondays
Guzé located in a 16th century building in the heart of Valletta has been home to many over the years, including Francesco Buonamici, a chief engineer for the Knights of Malta that lived here from 1634 until 1659. The restaurant opened in 2011 after a lengthy refurbishment retaining all of its original features. Guzé ’s menu and style of food focus on seasonal local produce.
22, Old Bakery Street, Valletta, VLT 1454 | +356 2123 9686
Conveniently situated just a stone’s throw away from our Marina and set right on the sea’s edge in Pieta Creek, Fumia was previously the Custom’s boathouse. Now converted into a fine dining Sicilian restaurant, Fumia specialises in fresh fish caught daily, along with mouthwatering side dishes and in house prepared sumptuous deserts. A vast range of Sicilian and local wines compliment the menu.
The panoramic wall to wall glass panes create the feeling of dining literally ‘on the water’s edge’, just a few inches away from the calm Pieta sea.
Triq Sa Maison, Tal-Pietà | +356 2131 7053 | Closed on Mondays
Proudly sitting beneath the Capital city’s protective walls, perched a few meters away from the wonderful Mediterranean Sea. Only the freshest ingredients will do, sea catch will only be served if it survives the chef’s rigorous first glance, whilst the healthiest cuts of top grade beef will be given the privilege of dry-ageing in a specially-designed glass-walled chamber. The wine list has been hand-picked with expertise and constantly evolves according to patrons’ desires.
Triq Il-Lanċa, Valletta | +356 7955 5221
The Malta Experience
The Malta Experience is an audio-visual show that tells the dramatic story of the islands’ 7000 year history. Educational, informative and entertaining, the show runs through the turbulent history of a small island nation that has overcome almost unimaginable odds to survive and prosper.
The show chronicles Malta’s unique history in just 45 minutes, enriching your understanding of the islands, its people and the places you’ll see on your visit.
Available in 17 Languages.
St. Elmo Bastions, Mediterranean Street, Valletta | +356 2552 4000
One of the most imposing buildings in Valletta is the former “Sacra Infermeria” of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, now popularly known as the Mediterranean Conference Centre, which is located adjacent to Fort St Elmo and overlooking the Grand Harbour.
The ‘Sacra Infermeria’ Hall within the Mediterranean Conference Centre is an extraordinary and magnificent space. This hall was once the Long Ward of the Holy Infirmary of the Order of St. John and is one of the longest halls in Europe. When constructed, in the 16th Century it was recognised as an architectural feat.
Hospital Street ,Valletta Malta | Tel: +356 21 243 840/3 | Booking Office: +356 255 95 750
By far the most popular market in Malta, ‘Il- Monti’, in Valletta and is the largest market on the island. Here you will find a variety of items to browse through. Look out for local souvenirs, clothing, antiques and typical Maltese snacks.
Merchants Street, Valletta
Lower Barakka Gardens
The Lower Barakka Gardens is a garden in Valletta, Malta, and it is twinned with the Upper Barrakka Gardens in the same city. It offers a view of the Grand Harbour and the breakwater. It includes the Monument to Sir Alexander Ball, which is a prominent feature in the form of a neoclassical temple located at the centre of the garden. In addition, the terrace area features, a number of commemorative plaques dedicated to, amongst others, the Hungarian revolution of 1956, the Prague spring, Giuseppe Garibaldi and the 50th anniversary of the European Union.
Upper Barakka Gardens
The Upper Barrakka Gardens are a public garden in Valletta offering a stunning panoramic view of the Grand Harbour and the Three Cities. Located on the upper tier of St. Peter & Paul Bastion, which was built in the 1560s, the bastion’s lower tier contains the Saluting Battery.
The gardens were originally used to offer recreation to the knights of the Italian langue of the Order of Saint John, but were opened to the public following the end of the French occupation of Malta in 1800.
The gardens are linked to Valletta’s ditch and the nearby Lascaris Wharf by the Barrakka Lift.
Valletta City Gate & Parliament Buildings
The present gate, which is the fifth one to have stood on the site, was built between 2011 and 2014 to designs of the renowned Italian architect Renzo Piano.
The first gate which stood on the site was Porta San Giorgio, which was built in 1569 to designs of either Francesco Laparelli or Girolamo Cassar. The gate was renamed Porta Reale in around 1586, before being rebuilt in 1633, probably to designs of Tommaso Dingli. It was briefly renamed Porte Nationale during the French occupation of Malta in 1798. . In 1853, this was once again replaced by a larger gate, which was also known as Kingsgate.
The last fortified gate was demolished in 1964, being replaced by a Futurist gate designed by Alziro Bergonzo. This gate was then demolished in 2011, and it was replaced by Piano’s gate which was completed in 2014.
The Harbour Club
The Grand Harbour is renowned to be one of the most stunning harbours around the world and was the inspiration for The Harbour Club.. A carefully converted warehouse that was built by the 64th Grand Master of the Order of Malta in 1712, gives diners a unique dining experience.
Indoors, one may enjoy a cosy interior, decorated elegantly with a recycled deck of an American ship. On the terrace, the stunning view of the Grand Harbour as you enjoy a glass of wine and one of our exquisite dishes, will remain memorable.
4/5, Quarry Wharf, Valletta | +356 21 22 23 32 | +356 79 22 23 32
Trattoria Romana 06
A Roman Trattoria in the heart of Valletta’s historic centre.
Zero Sei Trattoria Romana offers great classics of the Roman tradition in Malta, a slice of Rome in the heart of Valletta.
Original and traditional recipes are cooked every day, from recipes passed down from generation to generation. The Roman cuisine flavours are unmistakable: strong, and special flavours conceived of raw materials from the villages of the region.
75, Old Theatre Street, Valletta +356 2122 2010
Stuated between Malta and Gozo, the smaller island of Comino is a paradise for snorkelers, divers, windsurfers and ramblers. Only 3.5 square kilometers, Comino is car-free and apart from one hotel, is virtually uninhabited. The island’s main attraction is the Blue Lagoon – a sheltered inlet of shimmering aquamarine water over white sand. Comino is also worth a visit in winter, ideal for walkers and photographers.
St. John’s Co-Cathedral
St. John’s Co-Cathedral is a gem of Baroque art and architecture. It was built as the conventual church for the Knights of St. John. The Grand Masters and several knights donated gifts of high artistic value and contributions which enriched it with the best works of art which include masterpieces by Caravaggio and Mattia Preti. This church is till this very day an important shrine and sacred place of worship.
Valletta, The Fortress City, Citta’ Umilissima, “a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen” is Malta’s capital city. Valletta is named after its founder, Grand Master of the Order of St. John, Jean Parisot de la Valette. The magnificent fortress city grew on the arid rock of Mount Sceberras peninsula, which rises steeply from two deep natural harbours, Marsamxett and Grand Harbour. Abundantly rich in sites to see and explore, intriguing historical buildings, narrow side streets full of quaint shops and cafés, while Valletta’s main streets are lined with larger international branded shops for fashion, music, jewellery and much more.
The history of Mdina traces back more than 4000 years. Mdina has had different names and titles depending on its rulers and its role but its medieval name describes it best – ‘Citta’ Notabile’: the noble city. It was home then, as now, to Malta’s noble families; some are descendants of the Norman, Sicilian and Spanish overlords who made Mdina their home from the 12th century onwards. Impressive palaces line its narrow, shady streets. Mdina is one of Europe’s finest examples of an ancient walled city and extraordinary in its mix of medieval and baroque architecture.