The best place to admire the Valletta peninsula is the Vedette of Safe in the Gardjola Gardens on the ramparts of Senglea, one of the Three Medieval Towns overlooking the Grand Harbor.
Maltese art, history, perfumes and flavors
Starts from here the tour of Malta with the guide, Mrs. Anna Grech Sant, professional but also very nice. Jumped because of the strong wind the ride aboard the luzzu, the typical colorful boat and with an eye painted on the bow to keep the evil eye at bay, that would have made us cross the Grand Harbor to Birgu, we reached Vittoriosa in drive along the road that runs along the Waterfront and the cruise terminal and from which you can see the modern elevator that leads quickly and effortlessly the cruise passengers to the center of Valletta at the level of the Upper Barrakka Gardens.
The second stage is a real dive back in time between the temples of Hagar Qim which means great prayer stone and is dated 2500-3000 BC. C. These are prayer temples but also houses made of simple constructions with two vertical slabs of stone and a horizontal one like the dolmens.
They are located on a hill overlooking the sea arranged in a circular way: you enter a corridor and on each side there is a temple. This particular structure refers to the representation of a god of fertility and here were found several statuettes of a very fat goddess, probably depictions of the Mother Goddess, now kept at the National Museum of Archeology in Valletta.
On the road to Rabat, crossing the fertile hills of the Girgenti Valley with the shovels of the prickly pears bordering the patches of vines and vegetable gardens enclosed by dry stone walls and the roads that cross soft sandstone cliffs, Malta reminds a bit of a certain Puglia.
In the bowels of the town there are excavated tunnels and a complex of underground galleries and mortuary chambers, the largest of the island, in use during the first centuries after the advent of Christ and also used as anti-aircraft shelters many centuries later.
The Catacombs, dedicated to St. Cataldo, St. Agatha and St. Paul, present all types of Maltese burial, but the most frequent tombs are the so-called four-poster tombs. Interesting features are the Agape tables, used for the family meal that was held before going out, and family burials.
View this post on Instagram
La pioggia di stamattina e il vento non ci hanno fermati e siamo stati anche oggi in giro alla scoperta di #Malta grazie alla @maltatourismauthority 🇲🇹 . . . #cittameridiane #italiantravelblogger #visitmalta #intour #fuorirotta #travel #travelblog #travelblogger #inmaltawithus #instatravel #travelgram #igtravel #igmalta #igersmalta #tourism #tourist
We are in the south of the island, an area where natural defense against attacks from the sea have always been the white and steep cliffs of Dingli Cliffs, a unique place thanks to the spectacle that enjoys the sea above all from the chapel dedicated to Mary Magdalene, built on the highest point of the whole Maltese archipelago.
In the afternoon, exalted by the golden light of the sun, Mdina awaits us, one of the best preserved medieval walled villages in the world. Permeated of history, was the ancient capital, and is today a small center of poignant beauty.
Each glimpse deserves a look that is lost entranced between the old palaces of the noble families of Malta and the streets of the town that contains within its medieval walls almost 4000 years of history.
The promenade leads to Bastion Square which is located at the edge of the walls: climbing on the balcony overlooking the surrounding countryside on cultivated land that follow the gentle hills to the sea.
It is time to return to Valletta but before leaving Malta we will have time to go, on Sunday mornings, to the colorful market of Marsaxlokk, the scirocco bay: on the horizon the luzzu, the characteristic Maltese boats with the painted eye on the bow that together form a multicolored fleet.
View this post on Instagram
Il piatto tradizionale di #Malta è il coniglio. Quello in foto, preparato in modo esemplare dallo chef Robert Frendo, lo abbiamo gustato presso @diarilbniet. Ringraziamo @maltatourismauthority per averci dato l’opportunità di conoscere e apprezzare la cucina dell’isola. A presto con il nostro reportage! . . . #cittameridiane #italiantravelblogger #maltatourismauthority #visitmalta #inmaltawithus #travel #travelblog #travelblogger #food #intour #fuorirotta #instatravel #igtravel #travelgram #tourism #tourist #igmalta #igfood #rabbit
Finally, the journey is a delight for the palate. The cuisine of Malta, the result of ethnic and cultural crossings of the archipelago, is influenced above all by that of Sicily. Traditional dish is the rabbit that is prepared in various ways and that we have tasted in the version of the chef Robert Frendo along with other delicacies, such as Gbejniet, tomini of goat’s milk or sheep and the Bebbux, the maltese style snails served with sauce garlic, proposed by Diar il-Bniet, a family-run restaurant in the village of Dingli (Main Street, DGL 1942 Had-Diingli – firstname.lastname@example.org – www.diarilbniet.com).
The previous evening, during the candlelight dinner at the elegant Palazzo Preca (54, Strait Street – email@example.com – www.palazzoprecarestaurant.com) run by the young sisters Ramona and Roberta Prece and located within a 15th century palace, we were lured in with good food from the Ftira, a sort of delicious pan focaccia, from the Ravjul, the Maltese ravioli similar to the Italian ones, a pork stew cooked for eight hours, fragrant and tender and, last but not least, from Imqaret, fried pastry filled with dates, served with ice cream. Above all, a wine with an evocative name, Caravaggio, a very balanced local Cabernet Sauvignon that is perfectly combined with the intense flavors of dinner, from the appetizer of rice balls and Gozo goat’s fried cheese, to the delicious dessert.
In fact, although it is not particularly known for its wines, Malta boasts an excellent production with the Gellewza and Ghirghentina grapes. Another nice discovery!
With the hand luggage, unfortunately we can not take them home as a souvenir, so we divert our interest on something else: from magnets, one more beautiful than the other, to the Maltese crosses in silver and filigree with the eight points each representing a language European and the arms the four virtues.
And we took the opportunity to put ourselves in one of the shops to see a craftsman at work making a filigree jewel under our eyes, a technique made of thin interweaving of gold and silver woven together.
Our weekend in Malta ends with to catch a taste of Pastìzz, a sort of crunchy and crispy calzone filled with ricotta and peas, and a final farewell to the Fort of St. Elmo and its walls. The sun tints the sky at sunset on the extreme tip of the peninsula where the city stretches and illuminates with its rays the Valletta Waterfront with the restored Knights’ warehouses and the modern cruise terminal.
But we already plan to return. Maybe in the hottest season and with our Otto. And in the meantime we have taken note of the dog friendly beaches: there are several in the vicinity of Valletta that more distant towards Marsascala and Marsaxlokk or on the north side of the island in the area included in the Bay of Mellicha. Even in the smallest Gozo there are two. And dogs are also welcome in most restaurants and public places, even in archaeological areas if they are on a leash.
Chosen by us
La Giara Sicilian Cuisine
When you arrive in an unknown city in the evening you hardly realize where you are, but we felt immediately at home in this Sicilian restaurant where we spent our romantic Valentine’s evening with a menu based on fish. On the table a shower of little hearts and a dessert with a red rose for me that faced the return journey by plane with us.
75/76 Republic Street – Valletta – www.lagiaramalta.com
T’Annamarì Mediterranean Cuisine
The chef Salvatore Piccione, native of Ragusa, brought in the picturesque bay of Marsaxlokk the flavors of his Sicily in dishes taken care of in the taste and refined combinations in the presentation so much to look like the fragrant and colorful abstract paintings. For many considered among the best restaurants in Malta has a welcoming and kind and helpful staff. The long wait is rewarded by what comes on the table starting from the small and tasty home-made breads.
28, Xatt is-Sajjieda – Marsaxlokk – www.tannamari.com
The Silversmith’s Shop Maurice & Matthew Borg Artisans
Recommended for handmade creations, even before your eyes, and prices cheaper than the shops in the center.
218, Republic Street – Valletta