Malta: The hunt for a Carnival

“This is no carnival” our waitress exclaimed, pointing her head to a dressed-up couple in embroidered, Venetian style dresses whilst serving us our drinks. We ourselves had given up the search for the carnival and had settled on searching for a late Sunday afternoon Aperol-buzz instead. After a Friday with impressive dance performances but disappointingly…

Malta: The island of fortifications

Elizabeth W. Schermerhorn writes in her book “Malta of the Knights”, that the history of the fortifications of Valletta is the history of the Order in Malta. In reality, it is the history of the Maltese Islands which is, in obvious ways, a history of fortification. Certainly, few other islands around the world can so…

Welcome to Mdina

There are different stories to the origin of the name “Malta”. Some say it was the Phoenicians, that built a wall around its former capital and called it “Malet”, which means Safe Place. Others say it was the Romans that called the island “Melita”, meaning honey, which then was and still is a amber coloured…

A feast for a Saint: St. Paul’s Shipwreck Day in Malta

This public holiday in Malta celebrates the national patron saint of Malta – St. Paul – and commemorates his shipwreck on this island at around 60 AD. On this very day with fierce winds and freezing temperatures (chill-factor-wise nonetheless) it’s not hard to imagine it being a very cold dip indeed to shipwreck on Malta.…

Malta: On the fringe of Europe but in the heart of its history

The history of Malta is a turbulent one, characterised by its strategic position in the Mediterranean, halfway between Europe and Africa. Under influence from the Phoenicians, the Romans, the Normans, the Knights Hospitallers, Napoleon (just for a short while, no pun intended) and the British, this tiny island has prospered and is today a holiday…