Malta

On the island of Malta, in the middle of the Mediterranean, lies the walled city of Valletta. With its magnificent baroque architecture and floodlit bastions, numerous beautiful churches, palaces and lively people, Valletta is a delightful city. Its slightly faded glory, its narrow side streets and its Grand Harbor will all remain imprinted in your memory long after your holiday in Malta has ended. 

When the Knights of St John first arrived in Malta in the 16th century, the capital, Medina, did not provide enough protection against the increasing invasions. So, in 1565, Grand Master La Vallette started the work on Valletta – a new fortified city on the peninsula known as Mount Sciberras. 

The Vatican architect Laparelli designed a rigid grid plan of uniformly designed houses dotted with palaces, baroque churches and squares. The design included eight auberges, one for each language in the Order, a Grand Master’s palace “as large as Palazzo Farnese in Rome”, a conventual church and a hospital. The city was named Valletta, in honor of the Grand master himself. Combining the work of architects Gerolamo Cassar and Laparelli, Valletta remains the beautiful and elegant baroque city they envisaged. Valletta suffered greatly with World War II, as well as in the hands of successive governments who perhaps could have done more to maintain it; however, the two original architects’ vision still manages to shine through. 

After World War II, although new towns became the new entertainment and night life centers, in the last decade the emergent middle classes have started reclaiming the city of Valletta, restoring the faded glory of this wonderful baroque city, named as a World Heritage City by UNESCO. The rehabilitation of St James’ Cavalier into an arts center, with art galleries, theater and an art-house cinema space has injected cultural life into the city. That is not to say that there was ever a cultural void – with the amazingly beautiful Manoel Theatre (one of the oldest in Europe), the Mediterranean Conference Center (once a Sacra-Infermeria of the Order of St John), a National Museum of Fine Arts, one of Archeology, museums such as the Casa Rocca Piccola, The Armory, St John’s Co-Cathedral (with some famous Caravaggio paintings), The Palace of the Grandmasters, your stay in Valletta can be one of total culture immersion. Once the city of naval glory, the new bid for Valletta is that of City of Art and Culture. 


Gerald Taylor

I am a lifelong explorer and travel enthusiast. I've never been a certified travel agent, but I have multiple family members who were. I'm not necessarily plugged in to the latest travel vendors and exclusive packages, and I've never cared for the label "life coach," but I do think I have some wisdom to offer about how people can get the most of your their vacation time.

    • Volcanos and Penguins and Wine Oh My
      The 28 or so hours traveling here has proven to be more than worth itWhile the flight from Houston to Santiago was overnight and in the dark the three hours from Santiago to Punta Arenas were spent winging over the Andes. Amazing is a word overused i
    • Shropshire 21 Buildwas Abbey Give up struggling trying to make sense of thingsOvercooked Yorkshire Puddings Day 656 or thereabouts
      This time last year I had refused to purchase a Wisdom of the East calendar which had doubled in price probably due to the Covid pandemic . Well everything seems these days to be blamed on Brexit or the pandemic so why not my special calendar . At first I
    • Volcanoes National Park
      We set sail for Volcanoes National Park today and it was a bright and sunny day. We went due south of KailuaKona along route 11 passing by our favorite snorkeling area Two Step stopping at a few pulloffs buying some Kona Coffee all beans are p
    • Day 5 in Paradise
      Well it was a really quiet day today with not a lot going on if I am honest. We all had to go for our PCR tests so we can board the ship on Saturday. The tests were completed across the road from our hotel so not to much of a faff we thought until […]
    • The Days After the Drinking Dining and Sailing on the Douro
      Seasick. Yes that is what ran through my mind as I woke up feeling slightly under the weather and sluggish in my cabin. Seasickness could truly be the only reason. mmmhmm. After hitting the snooze alarm a few times I rallied and met Dave and Merry Jo
    • Burgers Cremation and Hippies
      Day 1 Wednesday November 17th 2021 Renata and I finally booked a trip after 2 years. The past two years have been crazy. With the stress of work and boredom due to the Covid19 pandemic Renata and I needed a few days to get awa
    • "Stuck" in Paradise
      First stop for today is Gantheaume Point which is near the southern end of the peninsula that Broome sits on. Theres a lighthouse here but it looks more like someones plonked a large lantern on a water tank stand than the sort of lighthouses we're