We have already made it clear that in just one weekend in the Maltese archipelago it is impossible to see and visit everything, but you can get an idea of the historical-artistic and natural beauties and return home with the conviction of deepening the knowledge of the islands in the heart soon of the Mediterranean.
What to do in Malta in just over 48 hours
We, in just two and a half days, have really visited a lot by compressing the times of the trips thanks to the availability of the Malta Tourism Authority that has made available not only an excellent guide but also the car with which to explore the island (in the post Malta between past and present).
Our thanks also go to Deianira and Alessandro, the friends of Una Nuova Meta who welcomed us in “their” homeland as the first guests of their column Un caffè vista Malta, coming to pick us up in Valletta and taking us to the wonderful Marsaxlokk where we have deepened our friendship until then only virtual around a table set and very real!
But let’s go with order.
Here are the 7 unmissable things to do in Malta and that we were able to “fit in” in no time.
1. Visit to Valletta. The Maltese capital is a city that fascinates and captures immediately. How not to love the gallarija, the verandas from which the ladies could observe the road without exposing themselves?
Our advice? To get lost among the steep climbs and descents towards the sea, alleys and buildings and to go from the beginning to the end of Republic Street, the main road.
Up to the City Gate where the bus terminal that leads to every corner of the island is located. Just beyond the monumental Triton Fountain and the “new” Valletta that is due to Renzo Piano: the entrance of the fortified ramparts, the new Parliament building and the recovery of the Opera House, demolished by the bombs of the Second World War. Strolling around look around to admire the magnificent Auberges of the Knights of Malta with rich portals and decorations of friezes, bas-reliefs and statues.
2. Do not miss the St. John’s Cathedral, commissioned by the powerful Order of the Knights of Malta and entirely paved with tombstones in polychrome marble of the Lords of war of the ‘600.
Among the wonders that this rich temple holds, the most precious are in the Oratory and are the splendid paintings by Caravaggio: the Beheading of St. John the Baptist, one of the absolute masterpieces of the Lombard artist and the only one with his signature, and the San Girolamo, placed opposite each other.
3. For a leap back in time the Hagar Qim temples: dated 2500-3000 a. C. are located on a hill overlooking the sea arranged in a circular fashion. This particular structure refers to the representation of a god of fertility and here were found several statues of a very fat goddess, probably depictions of the Mother Goddess, now preserved in the National Museum of Archeology of Valletta which, if you have time, is worth a visit.
4. Fourth stage Mdina, the ancient capital and one of the best preserved medieval walled villages in the world. Every view deserves a glimpse of the old palaces of Malta’s noble families and the streets of the town that contains almost 4000 years of history within its walls.
5. To visit in Rabat the Catacombs, in use during the first centuries after the advent of Christ and also used as air-raid shelters many centuries later.
Nearby, don’t miss the walk to the white and steep cliffs of Dingli Cliffs, a unique place thanks to the spectacle that you can enjoy overlooking the sea above all from the chapel dedicated to Santa Maria Maddalena, built on the highest point of the entire Maltese archipelago.
6. Malta is not only visits to the beauties of all kinds that here have been stratified over millennia, but also and above all scents and flavors. So … taste everything! From Pastìzz, a sort of crumbly and crunchy calzone filled with ricotta and peas, to the traditional dish that is the rabbit that is prepared in various ways, from tomini of goat’s or sheep’s milk to very fresh fish and dessert, the exquisite Imqaret, fried sheets filled with dates.
7. You can greet Malta by attending the Saluting Battery, the ceremony with which fired cannon shots are still fired, sitting on a bench facing the sea of the Upper Barakka Gardens while in front of Forte Sant’Angelo, the Three Cities, Victoriosa Senglea and Cospicua, and the whole of the Grand Harbor light up with colors.
And speaking of greetings, we spent the last half-day in Malta with Deia and Ale in Marsaxlokk where a colorful market is held on Sunday morning and on the horizon swing the luzzu, the characteristic Maltese boats with the eye painted on bow.
This is the scenario of our meeting in which we told our lives, we exchanged ideas and advice and enjoyed excellent Sicilian fish specialties as in many restaurants on Maltese soil. Our chatter is collected in these posts: La prima volta non si scorda mai and Una Nuova Meta. Ci raccontiamo.
But we are already thinking about next time and among the #thingstodo on the agenda we have already marked the boat ride between Gozo and Comino exploring the coast, stopping where the water is bluer to dive into the Blue Lagoon and lie on the Ramla Bay‘s orange sand. Nearby, there is the famous Calypso Cave, mentioned in Homer’s Odyssey. And then, by booking early, a visit to the Hal Saflieni hypogeum. For now, but only for now, that’s all!
In collaboration with the Malta Tourism Authority