Visiting Valletta Maltaby Samantha Ellis 01/01/2017
Visiting Valletta Malta - A Review
Valletta (a UNESCO World Heritage site) is the capital of the Republic of Malta, the tiny island state in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea just a few steps south from the Sicily. The beginnings of the city go back to the 16th century when it was founded and ruled by the Roman Catholic order of the Knights of St. John. After the Maltese Knights, Malta was governed by the French and the British until it gained independence in 1964.

The old core of Valletta has a grid street plan which is quite unusual for a medieval European city (which tend to have narrow winding streets). Its architecture is mainly of the Baroque style and is home to over 300 historical landmarks which make this smallest European capital also one of the most concentrated historic areas of the world.

Valletta has two natural harbours with loading port and cruise ship terminal. When visiting Valletta, there are several interesting landmarks every visitor must see. One of them is the richly decorated Baroque St. John Co-Cathedral with Caravaggio’s painting “The Beheading of Saint John”. Upper Barrakka Gardens are lovely, shady retreat from the blazing sun and bustling city with best views of the city bellow. The Grand Master’s Palace hides a collection or armour suits, weapons and a splendid interior that served as a residence of the Grand Masters of the Maltese Knights. The National Museum of Archeology houses precious witness of the past. Some exhibits date back to 5200 BC. The impressive Fort St. Elmo, built some 400 years ago to guard the entrance to both the Grand Harbour and Marsamxett, is now home to the National War Museum. After sightseeing, one should try out local restaurants and traditional Maltese meals that are rustic and seasonal. Fenek - stewed rabbit - is a national dish with lampuki (mahi-mahi) fish pie, kapunata and bragioli being the other favourites.

Malta is gaining popularity as a retirement haven for Europeans and Americans. The main reasons are pleasant climate, relaxed, resort-like culture, lower cost of living, high-level of services and quality health care.
Photos:: Visiting Valletta Malta
Visiting Valletta Malta - User ContributionContributed by: Ian Robertson
These pictures were taken in Valletta on 12th October 2013. Valletta was a port of call on a cruise with Thomson Cruises aboard the superb Thomson Spirit ship.

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Ref: Thomson Spirit 03/2015 Alanya
Photos contributed Visiting Valletta MaltaContributed by: Ian Robertson