Last May, I had the chance to visit Malta for the first time.
It’s a lovely archipelago that consists of Malta, the main island, Gozo and Comino, 2 other islands, smaller than Malta, but still very beautiful and worth the visit.
I was based in Sliema, a lovely “city”, and I cruised around to La Vallette – which is now part of UNESCO list of World Heritage sites, Marsaxlokk (you can read Marsachlok), Ir-Rabat, Il Mosta – where is located one of the most beautiful and miraculous churches of Europe.
I’m putting city between brackets because it’s basically a neighbourhood and not really a city. Cities there are defined by the church they’re associated to, and since the island is full of churches, therefore, there are as many churches as cities 🙂
What surprized me the most is the culture of the islands; it’s a 100% mediterranean-culture, common to Spain, Italy, Morocco, and certainly Tunisia, Greece and other countries of the mediterranean basin, but I cannot tell with certainty since I’ve never been there.
The other part of the culture that was a kind of shock to me is the language: the maltese language is derived – mainly – from the sicilian arabic, which is a semitic language. So, hearing people that look european speaking many arabic words was a big surprise for me.
The influence comes from the fact that Arabic people have occupied the island for over 4 centuries. The influence is also visible on the architecture. The typical maltese balcony is a moroccan style one.
The other influences that are visible either in food or the phone boxes, or in language too, come from Italy and Great Britain that occupied Malta from 1800 until 1964, when Malta became an independant european country.
Malta is definitely a very good illustration of a beautiful mix between Africa and Europe.
Marsaxlokk barks Malta
This giant cat sculpture has been achieved at Independance Garden in Sliema. Malta
View on Manoel island from Tigne seafront Malta
San Publiju church Floriana Malta
Grape fields around Hemsia Malta
Typical balcony spread all over the maltese islands
“We do not inherit the earth from our Ancestors, we borrow it from our children” spinning ball Sliema Malta
Blue Grotto, the crystal clear watered cave – Malta
On the way to Mdina – Malta
This statue is the symbol Marsaxlokk, a fishermen village located in the south east of Malta
Saint Lawrence church Vittoriosa Malta
View near Blue Grotto, a natural cave with crystal blue waters Malta
Mdina church was full of people coming to celebrate a wedding
National museum of Natural History Mdina Malta
Maltese lace handcraft umbrella
GĦAJN TUFFIEĦA beach
Fontanella Tea Garden Mdina Malta
Vittoriosa Waterfront Malta
This graffiti is half of a street art achieved by the french artist MTO. The other half is painted on a building in Sapri, Italy.
Mosta church Malta
Alley taking to Balluta bay in Sliema, Malta
Floriana garden Malta
Mosta’s dome, very famous for being pierced by a bomb in 1942 that did not explode
View of the sea near Blue Grotto MaltaView of the sea from a cliff near Blue Grotto Malta
Armier bay – Malta
Marsaxlokk church Malta
Ir Rabat streets Malta
This church is considered as miraculous because when it got bombed, over 300 people were hiding in it, but the bomb did not explode.
Front view of Mosta church. Malta
Replica of the bomb that pierced the dome of Mosta’s church without exploding in 1942. Malta
Typical balconies in Malta
Floriana dome Malta
Sri Chinmoy statue on Sliema’s promenade as symbol of peace. Malta
Vittoriosa Waterfront Malta ‘
Mosta church in one of the most beautiful churches of Europe.
Walking along the Point, a shopping mall in Malta
Marsaxlokk barks Malta
Lace handcraft shop L Imdina Malta
Here you can find a compilation video of some of the most beautiful spots there.