MaltaUncovered.com http://www.maltauncovered.com Wed, 19 Nov 2014 21:18:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Weddings in Malta http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/weddings-malta/ http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/weddings-malta/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:43:53 +0000 http://www.maltauncovered.com/?p=1149 Weddings in Malta is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

There are plenty of ways to make a Malta wedding special and these are not necessarily the traditional ways we all know. Busy lifestyles, financial aspects and other bottlenecks are known to stress out the bride after an engagement is announced. However, stress can be avoided if you consider some of the alternative Malta wedding […]

The post Weddings in Malta appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
Weddings in Malta is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

There are plenty of ways to make a Malta wedding special and these are not necessarily the traditional ways we all know. Busy lifestyles, financial aspects and other bottlenecks are known to stress out the bride after an engagement is announced. However, stress can be avoided if you consider some of the alternative Malta wedding plans that guarantee your wedding is also colourful and memorable. Maltese couples tend to wed mostly the traditional way, opting for a white wedding ceremony, usually at a church – the locals being mostly Catholic. This is conventionally followed by a wedding reception at one of the picturesque villas on offer for the occasion, at one of the islands’ prestigious hotels or perhaps in the family home, space permitting. When it comes to venues, the Maltese bride is spoilt for choice. There is also an array of historical locations which can now be utilised for a special do. Such locations include the Upper Barakka gardens in the capital city Valletta and the Royal Navy hospital of Bighi in Kalkara. Both are important historical sites which, in the warm spring and summer months offer the pleasures of an open air party overlooking the grand harbour and city fortifications. The warm weather also permits an outdoor location in autumn with the sun likely to keep on shining throughout the month of October. Amongst the favourite churches for a wedding ceremony is St. Paul’s Cathedral in Mdina, the old capital city with its perfect location inside the old town and its grandiose interior built in the 17th century with works of art by Mattia Preti. Whatever town or village one chooses in Malta, there are a number of pretty chapels or churches ensuring that the only problem is deciding which one to choose. Whether for an intimate ceremony or a large celebration, Malta’s many wedding locations never fail to impress, which is one of the reasons why more and more foreigners are choosing the islands for their wedding venue. Planning a wedding in Malta is relatively stress free, not least because there are lots of entertainment options for the guests. The islands offer a perfect combination for visitors: a rich history and interesting culture. Luckily for those who actually do plan to get hitched here, there are a number of well planned professional websites offering all the support and information you may need for your overseas wedding. With a little research online, it should not be difficult to find a list of recommended caterers, flower arrangers, wedding invitation designers, wedding planners, locations, make-up artists, hairdressers and bridal shops spread neatly amongst the latest edition of the Malta yellow pages. An additional way to get you through all the hustle and bustle is by creating your very own wedding website. The idea is to give your guests a general overview of the country and the location where the ceremony and reception will take place. You can post an itinerary of what you have planned for your guests and details of any transport provided and direction to the various locations. Details about the history of the place are also of value as you do not want your guests to get bored especially since this trip will probably be combined with a short holiday on their part. Creating a website for your Malta wedding can be as simple as paying someone to do it for you or it can be made more intimate for the couple by purchasing the software and creating it together, which allows both partners to be involved in the preparations for the big day. Add a bit of flair by getting custom wedding invitations in Malta. For those couples who have no family ties with the island it may be worth while getting a wedding planner to help out. Having a local as a point of reference or guide in the wedding preparations allows the couple and their family to enjoy their time in Malta and relieve some of the stress and anxiety which is more than normal before the big day. When getting married abroad, it is of utmost importance to check out the marriage requirements properly. In Malta, you can have a religious wedding or a civil wedding. For a religious wedding, you must apply for the publication of marriage banns three months prior to the wedding date and will need to provide birth certificates, identity cards and copies of the witnesses’ identity cards. At this time, the couple must be able to provide the place of the ceremony, the name of the priest celebrating and possibly other details. The couple must be prepared to collect the documents and hand them over to the priest well before the date. Those couples who opt for a civil wedding have to satisfy the same obligations and formalities requested for a religious marriage. A civil marriage may take place at the Marriage Registry or any other public place that is accepted by the Marriage Registrar. All this information is readily available online but the best way to have a stress free and fantastic Malta wedding is to plan ahead!

The post Weddings in Malta appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/weddings-malta/feed/ 0
Malta Festa – The Village Feast http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/malta-festa-village-feast/ http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/malta-festa-village-feast/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:41:29 +0000 http://www.maltauncovered.com/?p=1146 Malta Festa – The Village Feast is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

With nearly 60 festas in Malta on the annual calendar (mostly during the summer months and nearly 20 festa events on the smaller sister island of Gozo, the Maltese festa, a religious celebration organized by the local parish, is a typical scene of the hot summer months on the island, and very much an iconic […]

The post Malta Festa – The Village Feast appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
Malta Festa – The Village Feast is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

With nearly 60 festas in Malta on the annual calendar (mostly during the summer months and nearly 20 festa events on the smaller sister island of Gozo, the Maltese festa, a religious celebration organized by the local parish, is a typical scene of the hot summer months on the island, and very much an iconic part of culture in Malta. The Maltese festa, or village feast, pretty much follows a long-established pattern, one that has been passed on from generation to generation, from century to century. For the purposes of this article, we shall follow, on and off, in the footsteps of the faithful parishioners of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Balluta (in Sliema), on the east coast. Sliema is the most prosperous district of Malta and one of the most sought-after holiday area, a fun place to be based, both as a resident and as a tourist. It enjoys a wide variety of street café life and excellent restaurants to suit different tastes and pockets. Oh, and, with the young generation in mind, it offers an interesting and vibrant nightlife with many modern clubs just up the road in nearby Paceville. The feast of the Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel is celebrated on the last weekend of July. The warm evening air along the Balluta promenade smells strongly of gunpowder. The fireworks display is in full swing as hundreds of spectators – and promenaders taking in the night air along the undulating and picturesque Tower Road, Sliema’s main thoroughfare – turn their gaze towards the colourful spectacle taking place above them on a clear July night. Bands, processions, the ringing of church bells, firework displays and, in some instances, street parties are the focal point of these happy, religious celebrations. There is a certain amount of pride attached to them as well; rivalry between neighbouring villages is not exactly unknown, with one parish vying hard to outdo another parish in the lavishness of the celebrations. Street-side stalls along the approaches of the church sell a motley assortment of cold, refreshing drinks, ice cream and food, including a sweet traditionally associated with the Maltese festa: the qubbajt. It is nougat, with sugar – lots of it, be warned – as its core ingredient, and almonds. They are available in very hard or soft versions. Outside, the church gets a light-fantastic treatment: its façade is covered in hundreds of light bulbs, usually white, looking not unlike the famous Harrods store in London. The lights theme – and in various colours – is also in evidence along the main streets of the celebrating parish church, plus miles of bunting and other decorations, including flags of various shapes and sizes. Of course, the climax of any Maltese festa is the procession and the carrying of the heavy life-size statue of the patron saint by an eight-man team. It is an exhausting exercise and upholds a tradition that goes back generations. In Balluta the pretty and highly realistic statue of the Lady of Mount Carmel will begin its annual two-mile processional journey around the streets, with hundreds of faithful parishioners following behind. The cortege will wind its way, slowly and reverently, through the main streets. The men carrying the heavy statue stop for much-deserved mini breaks at regular intervals; the heat of the evening does not help, either. Three hours or so later, the cacophony of the church bells, pealing with some urgency, along with another flurry of fireworks, and the excited clapping by hundreds of parishioners and onlookers denote the imminent arrival of the ‘Lady’ back to her church. As the crowd disperses, the final barrage of fireworks rants the air. The smell of gunpowder lingers on as another feast in Malta draws to an end. Until the next festa, next weekend in a village near you.

The post Malta Festa – The Village Feast appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/malta-festa-village-feast/feed/ 0
Maltese Food http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/maltese-food/ http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/maltese-food/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:37:34 +0000 http://www.maltauncovered.com/?p=1141 Maltese Food is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

Food is an important part of Maltese culture, incorporating traditionally prepared Maltese food, cooking and setting up dinner gatherings which usually contribute to the more close-knit families and communities found in Malta. The Maltese are particularly fond of rabbit and many restaurants that serve traditional Maltese dishes promote rabbit as being their speciality dish, usually […]

The post Maltese Food appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
Maltese Food is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

Food is an important part of Maltese culture, incorporating traditionally prepared Maltese food, cooking and setting up dinner gatherings which usually contribute to the more close-knit families and communities found in Malta. The Maltese are particularly fond of rabbit and many restaurants that serve traditional Maltese dishes promote rabbit as being their speciality dish, usually gaining a loyal clientele through word-of-mouth. Other dishes found on the menu in Maltese food specialty restaurants include the rather exotic kangaroo meat and quail. Maltese bread is well known and loved by locals and tourists alike. Its hard crust hides a very tasteful, fluffy inside – perfect for a nice summer’s day lunch with some sun-dried tomatoes and tuna for example. In many towns and villages, the local baker sells his bread by driving around the streets, delivering fresh bread to Maltese families daily. The fertile fields worked by Maltese farmers produce an abundance of fresh fruit and vegetables, being sold at relatively low prices as a result, by green grocers who often set up shop at the side of main roads and busy places in all towns and villages. Certain villages, such as Mgarr in the Western part of Malta, organize an annual celebration of the year’s fresh crops, which is an event that is becoming increasingly popular throughout the island. Farmers show off their often record-surpassing sized fruit and friendly competitions are organized to “reward” those farmers whose fruit and veg are judged as being this year’s cream of the crop of local produce. Fish is an important part of numerous dishes of Maltese food and cooking, as Malta is a nation surrounded by sea. Fish often takes centre stage in daily family meals but also on restaurant menus, with some establishments specializing in the preparation of various types of delicious fish and other sea food. In Malta, the village of Marsaxlokk is known as the fishing village, whereas Marsalforn in Gozo enjoys a similar status.

Maltese food in summer

It’s summer. Time to unwind after winter, even though winters in Malta are very mild compared to winter on the continent. Winter in Malta does not usually really start to bite until after Christmas and by February, it’s often over. But summer is the time when days are longer, the sea is of a ‘come hither’ shade of blue, when traditional Maltese food is mostly enjoyed and the fruit is just dripping nectar in a bid to prove that they are the best nature can produce. Peaches, especially the late ones that tend to ripen in August and September, are plump and juicy. Plums, of which there are several varieties, are just as good. Melons, especially watermelons, are something to write home about. With watermelons, big is usually better. The bigger the melon, the better the taste. Luckily some vendors have got into the habit of doing what Sicilians have been doing for ages, selling by the slice or at least, giving you the option to buy half a melon by weight. At least you know if it’s really ripe and sweet. Maltese grapes have a particular flavour – parched by the Mediterranean sun, the white grape can be anything from green to brownish while the purplish-black grapes are supple and juicy. Summer is also the best time for simple snacks. There’s nothing like Hobz biz-zejt on the beach. You can buy ready-made Hobz biz-zejt from any beach resort or takeaway, but the ingredients are so simple that getting it wrong is really impossible. Crusty Maltese bread, spread with kunserva (tomato paste), laced with olive oil, arid seasoned with salt and pepper, is simply delicious. A fresh tomato rubbed onto the bread is just as good as tomato paste. For those who want to spice up their sandwich with more ingredients, the possibilities are as big as your appetite: sun dried tomatoes, basil, a slab of local cheeslet – which comes in two varieties, plain or peppered pickled vegetables, freshly diced or pickled onions, garlic, tuna, lettuce, The list is deliciously endless. Early in the season, fresh green beans make an excellent side salad to such a sandwich, but by early summer, the beans start to dry – one of the varieties can still be used with hobz biz-zejt, but in another way. As if the choice were not endless, you can choose which type of bread you want for your sandwich. Maltese bread lends itself much better to these types of snacks, You can go for a ftira, a flat type of bread which has more crust than anything else, a panina, which is a miniature loaf, or a loaf which you can slice, or buy readily sliced, to make sandwiches.

Summer is a time of plenty, and before the advent of fridges, freezers and imports, our ancestors found canny ways to preserve vegetables and fruit which abound in summer but are notoriously absent in winter. Tomatoes were cooked for hours and turned into a deep coloured paste which could be stored in jars and then spread on bread or added to sauces. Tomatoes were also dried in the sun, a process which involved cutting them in half and sprinkling them with salt and a pinch of sugar. Tomatoes were also preserved in brine. Country folk knew there was enough salt in the brine by placing an egg in it. If it floated, the amount of salt was just right. The egg was then removed from the jar and whole tomatoes were placed in the jars and could be preserved to be consumed until the fresh ones were available again. Tomatoes preserved in brine can last for years. The longer they stay in brine though, the saltier they will taste. Onions and a few other vegetables were pickled. Green beans become too hard to eat in summer, so they were either grilled and salted and eaten as a snack, just as one eats nuts. Beans were also turned into bigilla, a brown paste made out of boiled, mushed beans, seasoned with olive oil, salt and red pepper that both preserves it and spices up its taste. Bigilla can be also served as a dip. It was not only vegetables that were preserved. Figs were sun dried, just like tomatoes, except that no salt and sugar were added. It was just the sun that kissed them dry in two or three days. The secret is that, just like tomatoes, they need to be taken indoors at night as they will rot if they are left out at night because of dew. Figs were also preserved in another way. After being sun dried, they were placed in layers in a wooden box, and each layer was sprinkled with fennel and laced with aniseed. Some also threw in a few roasted almonds between each layer. A layer of dried bay leaves is placed in the bottom and on top and a weight is then pressed on top, turning the figs into a chunk. Wood absorbed the fluid that oozed as a result of the pressing action of the weight, and after a few weeks, the block was ready for consumption. A small piece, the size of a matchbox, was cut off each time and eaten for dessert. The slab of tin imqadded this size would be equivalent to at least half a dozen figs. Grapes were preserved by turning it into that eternal drink – wine. Then there are prickly pears. Free is always best and one of the best fruit is undoubtedly prickly pear, which grows on the side of country lanes. Cut first thing in the morning and peeled after they are soaked in water to remove their menacing, often invisible, spines, prickly pears are best eaten after being left to cool down in the fridge for the best part of the day. The different colours do not really made a difference in the way they taste, but the shades of red, green and orange in the bowl are a feast for the eye. Travelers who came to Malta in the early 1800s commented that the Maltese were “Olive oil and pickled fish eating islanders” and that “a clove of garlic and a piece of bread were the staple diet of many”. Though one can no longer say that these foods are a staple diet all year round, a look around you at the beach is bound to show you that such snacks are still very popular, in spite of the proliferation of hamburgers and fish and chips sellers.

The post Maltese Food appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/maltese-food/feed/ 0
3 Importan Influences in Maltese culture http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/maltese-culture/ http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/maltese-culture/#comments Tue, 18 Nov 2014 20:28:45 +0000 http://www.maltauncovered.com/?p=1134 3 Importan Influences in Maltese culture is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

Maltese culture is generally considered to be a mix of influences brought to the island of Malta by the various rulers it has seen come and go over many centuries. It is a fact that the Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs all left their stamp on the customs and traditions of the Maltese and Malta’s history. […]

The post 3 Importan Influences in Maltese culture appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
3 Importan Influences in Maltese culture is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

Maltese culture is generally considered to be a mix of influences brought to the island of Malta by the various rulers it has seen come and go over many centuries. It is a fact that the Phoenicians, Romans and Arabs all left their stamp on the customs and traditions of the Maltese and Malta’s history. However, age-old traditions have traveled through generations and have allowed the Maltese to retain their roots. A likely reason for the survival of originally Maltese traits is the drive to establish an own identity in the face of foreign rulers, and more certainly the reliance on maritime trade has helped to shape and conserve what we know now as being Maltese culture.

1. Religion

The predominant religion in Malta is Catholicism, which is followed by over 90% of the population and therefore has a reasonable amount of authority compared to other European states. Mass attendance is also relatively high in this regard, with 52.6% of the population attending Sunday mass, according to 2005 data. Seemingly following a European trend, however, the younger generations seem to be becoming less interested in practicing religion. Catholicism is believed to have been brought to Malta by St. Paul, who was a Christian missionary and lived around A.D. 60. St Paul was shipwrecked at, what is now known as, St Paul’s Bay and converted the then pagan population of Malta, starting yet another chapter in Malta’s rich culture. The Maltese honour their village’s patron saints through celebration in the so-called Maltese festa or feast. This religious celebration forms an important part of culture in Malta and around 80 such events are held during spring and summer months in Malta and Gozo.

2. A Culture of opposites

Malta is seen by many as being a nation of opposites and opposition. Whereas the Maltese people are generally friendly and welcoming, Mediterranean temperament comes forward in opposition of sides at many levels, but mainly in sports, politics and local band clubs. Opposition and choosing sides gives a sense of belonging and identity and this is something that is evident in Maltese culture, in which opposition sometimes flows into conflict. Followers of either side of the contrasting entities often lose touch with reality and conflict has at times escalated and become physical. This is not something that occurs regularly but temperament (and not aggression) is part and parcel of life in Malta, where something as subtle as whispering is a rare occurrence and where oral communication is often much louder than in Northern Europe.

Sports in Malta

The most popular sports in Malta is without doubt football, as is the case in most European countries. The local football league is followed by many, but since the number of professional football players is limited to only a few, the standards of play are unfortunately a little below par compared to the rest of Europe. As a result, most football lovers support foreign clubs and national teams. Usually England and Italy are the countries of choice, one is supported for its historical connection with Malta, the other because it is simply the closest geographically and many Italian TV channels can be received all over the island. During World Cup or European Cup football/soccer tournaments the country usually succumbs to a true craze for football and friendly rivalries between supporters of Italian and English teams are all around. The same goes for the associated national flags which can be seen hanging from windows and balconies all over the island. It’s as if during that one month every two years the Maltese adopt a second nationality, which is likely to be a rare occurrence worldwide.

Maltese Politics

As much as the Maltese love to celebrate victories in football of their favourite national squad, similar displays of festivities fill the streets in celebration of the victory of the preferred political party. Malta’s political system is based on two large political parties and a number of much smaller political movements that have never managed to appeal to large enough numbers to be able to obtain a seat in parliament. The rivalry between the two main parties (the Nationalist Party and the Labour Party) is deep-rooted and many Maltese prefer either party because their families have always used their votes for the same political party. The names of the parties should not be taken literally, and hardly have any connection to foreign political parties. A funny contradiction for example, is the fact that the Nationalist party fought for Malta’s accession to the EU.

Local band clubs

Maltese band clubs organize annual band marches that form an important of the village’s festa celebrations. Whereas the smaller villages have only one band club, larger towns often have competing band clubs, who often divide the local community into two opposites. Conflict is rare though, and this opposition is usually friendly competitiveness that comes forward during the festive season (in summer). With the exception of this time of year, band clubs are merely a place for social gathering and not a source of conflict.

3. The Impact of foreign influences on Maltese culture

Ancient Phoenicians

Around 700 BC Malta was inhabited by the Ancient Phoenicians, who were particularly interested in the use of the various harbours and ports around the Maltese islands that were easily accessible. Within around two hundred years (500 BC) Malta had become a Punic colony and Phoenician traces are still found today in Maltese culture, traditions and language.

Roman influences on Maltese culture

Malta was under Roman control between 218 BC and 395 CE. During the later part of Roman rule, Malta had the power to control domestic affairs and were allowed their own currency. The famous shipwreck of St. Paul took place during this period, and it is St. Paul who brought Catholicism to the Maltese and founded the Church of Malta, laying the foundations for religion as part of Maltese culture. When the Roman Empire fell in 395 CE, Malta was placed under the eastern portion of the old Roman Empire, which was ruled from Constantinople. This change in ruling brought several Greek families to Malta, introducing various traditions, proverbs and superstitions some of which are still present in the Maltese culture of today.

Arab invasion

The Arab invasion of 870 CE left a mark on the Maltese people and their culture. The ruthless Arab oppressors of the time are said to have had a devastating effect on the population of the Maltese islands. Some historians speculate many Maltese were killed during and after the invasion, and that others were carried off into slavery or fled to Sicily, amongst other places. Malta is said to have been merely left a resource of food and timber for the Arab invaders, leaving the islands scarcely populated. At around 1090, the Norman invasion saw an end to Arab rule and Malta’s population is said to have amounted only to no more than 1,200 households, the larger part originating from the wider Arab world. The effects of the Arab invasion are still visible in the names of many Maltese towns and villages (in the case of Mdina, “‘medina” means “city”) and in the spoken form of the Maltese language.

The Knights of St. John

During the rule of the Knights of St. John (also known as the Knights of Malta), the population of Malta increased significantly, from around 25,000 in 1535 to over 54,000 in 1632. One of the primary reasons was an improvement in health and welfare, but also immigration from Western Europe. This period, under the rule of the Knights of St. John, is often referred to as the Golden Age for Malta, considering the flourishing of Maltese culture with the architectural and artistic embellishment witnessed during the Knights’ rule. The various advances in overall health, education and wealth of the Maltese are also an important part of this perception of Malta’s Golden Age. The Knights introduced Renaissance and Baroque architecture in Maltese towns and villages, which is still evident in many places of interest, most notably the capital city Valletta and the Valletta Grand Harbour. In education, the Knights laid the foundation of the present-day University of Malta, which as a result is one of the oldest extant universities in Europe. In 1798, Malta fell under French rule after the Knights surrendered Malta to Napoleon Bonaparte’s forces. At that time, the population of Malta was recorded being at 114,000.

Malta Under French rule

Although the period under French rule was rather short (1798-1800), the impact on Maltese culture was significant. Some French customs and expressions were introduced into every day Maltese language: Words such as bonġu (“good day”) and bonswa (“good evening”) are still used today. Malta was given a Constitution within six days by Napoleon, slavery was abolished, a secondary school system established, the university system was revised almost completely and the legal system of Malta was enhanced by a new Civil Code of law. French rule did not only bring improvements to Malta and its people, however. Maltese churches were ransacked, being robbed of gold, silver and precious art, which sparked an uprising that ended in the execution of a number of Maltese patriots.

The British in Malta

Maltese culture, language and politics underwent radical changes under British rule, from 1800 to 1964. The addition of Malta to the British Empire was a voluntary request made by the Maltese people in an attempt to rid the Maltese islands of the French. Its strategic location in the centre of the Mediterranean made Malta an excellent station for British forces, whilst the opening of the Suez Canal further improved the importance of Malta as a supply station and naval base. While British rule ended in 1964, its traces and influences on Maltese culture are still visible. Maltese versions of English words are often used in more formal language, while the more wealthy families often use English as the primary language used in the household and in some instances children are brought up without being taught Maltese. In material form, many remnants of British rule remain, with the more simple examples being mail collection boxes and phone boxes having been left in their original placements.

Resources

  • The Maltese Culture Movement is an organization that organizes and promotes cultural events for the Maltese community in the UK.

The post 3 Importan Influences in Maltese culture appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/maltese-culture/feed/ 0
Malta Carnival Celebrations http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/malta-carnival-celebrations/ http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/malta-carnival-celebrations/#comments Sat, 13 Nov 2010 10:59:36 +0000 http://www.maltauncovered.com/?p=906 Malta Carnival Celebrations is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

Carnival in Malta is an important event on the religious calendar, and follows the traditional Catholic Carnival celebration, which literally translated means ‘Meat is allowed’. Fasting during this period is still practised relatively widely by the Maltese, with many avoiding meat and sweats and least on Wednesdays and Fridays. The five Carnival celebration days are […]

The post Malta Carnival Celebrations appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
Malta Carnival Celebrations is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

Carnival in Malta is an important event on the religious calendar, and follows the traditional Catholic Carnival celebration, which literally translated means ‘Meat is allowed’. Fasting during this period is still practised relatively widely by the Maltese, with many avoiding meat and sweats and least on Wednesdays and Fridays. The five Carnival celebration days are normally held in February or early March when all out silliness takes over parts of Malta. This feast is shared by many with the main centre of attraction being the large and brightly coloured floats passing through the streets of Floriana and Valletta.

History of the Malta Carnival

The feast has been celebrated since the 15th century, though the advent of the St. John Knights in 1535 boosted its importance. Back then, Carnival celebrations were held mainly in Birgu, with pageants, games and display of skills by participating knights. Even in those days, Carnival stood for extravagance, where knights held large banquets and masquerades, oftentimes setting the scene for drunken brawls.

In the 19th century, the Malta carnival had survived through the British rule and has been handed down over the years in an unbroken tradition of almost six centuries. In the meantime, Maltese carnival has developed a wide range of events and games that became part of the carnival tradition.

Carnival celebrations  in Malta have come a long way and are still a deeply rooted feast practiced by the Maltese people to date.

How and When Carnival is celebrated in Malta today

The festivities normally includes prolific late-night parties, masked balls, grotesque mask and dress competitions, costumed revellers, marching bands and a colourful parade of large floats. The carnival festival is normally opened with a light-hearted sword dance (Parata Dance) in honour of Malta’s conquest over the Turks in 1565, true to an age-old tradition. What follows is a show of song and dance, as well as a parade of the Carnival floats.

Building Carnival floats has become a true competition with several groups from around the Maltese islands preparing, designing and constructing intricate and brightly coloured floats. Often, high power sound installations are added to these structures to ensure that the float isn’t only the most eye catching one of them all, but also makes their presence known through thumping beats, sometimes with a DJ spinning a set of turntables on the float itself.

The main Carnival celebration takes place in Malta’s capital, Valletta in the freedom square. Prizes are awarded for the best costumes, artistic dances, grotesque masks and floats. Although Valletta and Floriana set the main stage for Carnival celebrations, other localities in Malta and Gozo organise festivities of their own.

The most notable, or in some people’s eyes most notorious, celebration is the Nadur Carnival, which has grown in popularity in recent years. Held in the small village of Nadur, Gozo, this event isn’t organised by any Carnival committee and is a kind of wild celebration where mostly youths gathered, dressed up extravagantly and not particularly concerned with morals and standards, though all in good fun. Every year, the Gozo ferry has a tough time coping with the large demand of Maltese youths flocking to Nadur for what’s practically become one big street party.

Typical Malta Carnival Food

The common foods during this festivity include the Maltese carnival cake Pinjolata, a white dome-shaped cake, prepared with almonds, eggs, special seeds, cake etc and coated with beaten chocolate and meringue, decorated using cherries. Perlini are common sweets also made specifically for the carnival festivity. They are pure almonds coated in sugar of a wide range of colours.

Carnival in Malta is an important event on the religious calendar, and follows the traditional Catholic Carnival celebration, which literally translated means ‘Meat is allowed’. Fasting during this period is still practised relatively widely by the Maltese, with many avoiding meat and sweats and least on Wednesdays and Fridays. The five Carnival celebration days are normally held in February or early March when all out silliness takes over parts of Malta. This feast is shared by many with the main centre of attraction being the large and brightly coloured floats passing through the streets of Floriana and Valletta.

History of the Malta Carnival

The feast has been celebrated since the 15th century, though the advent of the St. John Knights in 1535 boosted its importance. Back then, Carnival celebrations were held mainly in Birgu, with pageants, games and display of skills by participating knights. Even in those days, Carnival stood for extravagance, where knights held large banquets and masquerades, oftentimes setting the scene for drunken brawls. Various Grand Masters attempted to sober up festivities to ensure its core Christian values were not tainted by festivities going out of hand.

In the 19th century, the Malta carnival had survived through the British rule and has been handed down over the years in an unbroken tradition of almost six centuries. In the meantime, Maltese carnival has developed a wide range of events and games that became part of the carnival tradition.

Carnival celebrations  in Malta have come a long way and are still a deeply rooted feast practiced by the Maltese people to date.

How and When Carnival is celebrated in Malta today

The festivity normally includes prolific late-night parties, masked balls, grotesque mask and dress competitions, costumed revellers, marching bands and a colourful parade of large floats. The carnival festival is normally opened with a light-hearted sword dance (Parata Dance) in honour of Malta’s conquest over the Turks in 1565, true to an age-old tradition. What follows is a show of song and dance, as well as a parade of the Carnival floats.

Building Carnival floats has become a true competition with several groups from around the Maltese islands preparing, designing and constructing intricate and brightly coloured floats. Often, high power sound installations are added to these structures to ensure that the float isn’t only the most eye catching one of them all, but also makes their presence known through thumping beats, sometimes with a DJ spinning a set of turntables on the float itself.

The main Carnival celebration takes place in Malta’s capital, Valletta in the freedom square. Prizes are awarded for the best costumes, artistic dances, grotesque masks and floats. Although Valletta and Floriana set the main stage for Carnival celebrations, other localities in Malta and Gozo organise festivities of their own.

The most notable, or in some people’s eyes most notorious, celebration is the Nadur Carnival, which has grown in popularity in recent years. Held in the small village of Nadur, Gozo, this event isn’t organised by any Carnival committee and is a kind of wild celebration where mostly youths gathered, dressed up extravagantly and not particularly concerned with morals and standards, though all in good fun. Every year, the Gozo ferry has a tough time coping with the large demand of Maltese youths flocking to Nadur for what’s practically become one big street party.

Typical Malta Carnival Food

The common foods during this festivity include the Maltese carnival cake Pinjolata, a white dome-shaped cake, prepared with almonds, eggs, special seeds, cake etc and coated with beaten chocolate and meringue, decorated using cherries. Perlini are common sweets also made specifically for the carnival festivity. They are pure almonds coated in sugar of a wide range of colours.

The post Malta Carnival Celebrations appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/malta-carnival-celebrations/feed/ 0
The Malta Bus http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/malta-bus/ http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/malta-bus/#comments Sat, 13 Nov 2010 10:41:17 +0000 http://www.maltauncovered.com/?p=899 The Malta Bus is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

Maltese buses are well known abroad, loved by tourists for the antique types of single decker buses driving around the islands. With the majority of the fleet classified as antique, tourists often marvel at the fact that these vehicles are still in operating condition, whereas the Maltese bemoan their very existence. Being the only mode […]

The post The Malta Bus appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
The Malta Bus is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

A typical Malta bus in its present day livery

Maltese buses are well known abroad, loved by tourists for the antique types of single decker buses driving around the islands. With the majority of the fleet classified as antique, tourists often marvel at the fact that these vehicles are still in operating condition, whereas the Maltese bemoan their very existence. Being the only mode of public transport on the islands currently, with a network of bus routes reaching most remote villages, many Maltese depend on the bus service on a daily basis.

Malta buses are really something truly unique. Mainly of British manufacture, with marques such as Bedford, AEC, Leyland and Ford, a large number of these buses date back from the 1970s and 1960s, with a few examples from the 1950s.

Love them or hate them, the brightly-coloured Maltese bus has a long history, though a not so very bright future with upcoming public transport reforms.

Malta Public Transport

Buses are the main mode of transport in Malta, and at present a little over 500 buses are in operation. Besides running on scheduled routes, the buses also offer direct and night services, private trips and school transport. Public transport is cheap, relatively efficient though not very popular among the local population, mainly due to outdated route planning (resulting in unncessarily long trips requiring multiple routes to get from one locality to another), outdated and slow buses and sometimes unreliable service (particularly towards the last trips of a day, in more remote areas).

Most tourists, however, consider riding one of these old buses as a true experience and the Malta bus is probably one of the most popularly photographed objects on the Maltese islands.

While Malta’s Public transport buses are yellow in color with an orange horizontal stripe, Gozo buses are grey colored with a red horizontal stripe. The vast majority of the buses start and end their trips at the main terminus in Valletta with a few operating on circular routes. On Gozo, its capital Victoria serves as the main bus terminus of the island.  In various Malta villages and towns, the bus terminus is normally found near or on the main square.

The buses reach every corner of Malta with an average bus trip length being 20 to 30 minutes. The longest trip takes approximately 50 minutes.

History of Malta Buses

Before buses were even visible on Malta roads, the main mode of transport was by Rail (with a single line stretching from Valletta to Rabat and Mdina on the Eastern side of Malta), cabs, and horse-driven lorries. Primitive buses began operating in 1905 and this had a negative effect on the Malta Railway as buses became more popular. In the early 1920s, bus manufacturing took center stage on the Malta Island. In the late 1920s, buses operated on public transport roads and there was great competition between operators.

In 1930 the fleet of buses in Malta counted 385 licensed route buses, several of these owned by the bus drivers themselves. With a high number of operating buses, competition was so fierce that buses were often overloaded and speeding became a regular occurrence, with drivers trying to complete more trips. However, in 1931, the Traffic Control Board was formed bringing in great discipline and regulation in the bus industry. New routes were introduced, with a formalised trip schedule, making the service increasingly efficient and organised.

With more regular and secure income, bus owners now began upgrading their buses to make them more attractive to the public. Since then, customization and decoration of Malta buses became a tradition. Buses were well maintained, kept clean and painted in various colours, depending on their designated route(s).

The 1970 reforms in Malta led to the centralization of bus operations with the formation of the Public Transport Association. The association had the mandate of day-to-day bus operation management.

In 2003, the government launched a scheme in which around 100 buses were scrapped and replaced by modern imported line buses from China. The government lowered the rates for bus tour services and traditional Malta buses were mainly in use. In December 2008, a major proposed streamlining of the ownership and operation of Malta buses was declared and a reform is expected in 2011, in which all of the antique buses will be replaced.

The future: Arriva comes to Malta

Arriva, the leading European train and bus operator is set to take over the Maltese bus service in 2011, after it was the preferred bidder to operate bus services in Gozo and Malta in a government tender. The future plans of Arriva involve replacement of the majority of Malta’s outdated bus fleet. Arriva’s plans to introduce both new and refurbished Euro V rated buses, to improve the comfort of passengers and reduce environmental hazards brought forth by the transport industry.

Although bein retired from service, a  number of the older models will be preserved by local organisations such as Heritage Malta, for display in a transport museum.

If you want to ride on one of the antique Maltese buses in regular service, better catch one of them while you can! They’re expected to be taken out of service in July 2011.

For more information on current bus maps, routes and time tables and other Malta bus related info visit http://www.maltabybus.com/.

The post The Malta Bus appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
http://www.maltauncovered.com/culture/malta-bus/feed/ 0
The Inquisitor’s Palace – Vittoriosa http://www.maltauncovered.com/places-of-interest/inquisitors-palace-vittoriosa/ http://www.maltauncovered.com/places-of-interest/inquisitors-palace-vittoriosa/#comments Sun, 25 Apr 2010 18:10:17 +0000 http://www.adminaid.net/?p=811 The Inquisitor’s Palace – Vittoriosa is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

At the heart of Vittoriosa, Malta, the Inquisitor’s Palace still stands magnificently; a notorious reminder of a thankfully bygone era. As with other historical locations, the Inquisitor’s Palace with its imposing, albeit distinctly aloof façade is undoubtedly the stuff of legends; the kind our forefathers intricately woven in their storytelling and where the boundary between […]

The post The Inquisitor’s Palace – Vittoriosa appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
The Inquisitor’s Palace – Vittoriosa is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

At the heart of Vittoriosa, Malta, the Inquisitor’s Palace still stands magnificently; a notorious reminder of a thankfully bygone era. As with other historical locations, the Inquisitor’s Palace with its imposing, albeit distinctly aloof façade is undoubtedly the stuff of legends; the kind our forefathers intricately woven in their storytelling and where the boundary between fact and fiction was constantly blurred. Shrouded in mystery – whoever passed though its door was sworn to secrecy – it fuelled the imagination of the masses, at a time when the Church still ruled supreme and ignorance was rife.

The Roman Inquisition, also known as the Holy Office, originated in 1542, at a time when the Catholic Church all over Europe was in crisis due to the increasingly popular Protestant doctrines. Established by Pope Paul III, its sole purpose was to quell the dissidents of these ‘modern heretical’ teachings. The Inquisition guarded the Catholics against any kind of heretical practice, defection to the Islamic faith, perusal of prohibited literature and any suggestion of witchcraft or sorcery. When established in Malta in 1562, the Holy Office vested the then Bishop Domenico Cubelles (1540- 1566) with the powers of Inquisitor, endowing him with the dual role of both Bishop and Inquisitor.

Officially established in 1574, the Inquisition failed drastically to reconcile the strained relations between the Knights and the Bishop of Malta, which at the time were far from cordial. Instead, it ignited even more conflict by creating the third power, vying ruthlessly for ultimate control over the islands. The Inquisition reigned over the islands for more than two centuries (1574 – 1798) with 62 Inquisitors, all Italian, leaving their indelible mark upon the country and its natives. Apparently, the Holy Office in Malta served a good number of its Inquisitors as a means of advancement in their ecclesiastical career, Twenty-seven became cardinals, and two of them were even elected Popes: Fabio Chigi , Inquisitor from 1634-1639 became Pope Alexander VII (1655-67), while Antonio Pignatelli, Inquisitor from 1646-1649 was elected as Pope Innocent XII in 1691 until his death in 1700.

The Inquisitor’s official residence in Vittoriosa was originally built in the 1530’s to serve as the civil law court of the Order of St John soon after their arrival on the islands in 1530. It served this purpose until 1571 when the Order transferred its headquarters to the new city of Valletta. When the Apostolic Delegate and first Roman Inquisitor in Malta Mgr Pietro Dusina arrived on the islands in 1574, he initially resided in Valletta, but soon deemed it more appropriate to have a palace with a prison attached to it at his complete disposal. The building, also known as Magna Curia Castellania was soon earmarked as the most suitable building for the new Inquisitor’s requirements and was renamed Palazzo Del Sant’ Officio.

Throughout the centuries the building itself was greatly modified and extended to accommodate successive occupants, namely the 62 Inquisitors themselves, who sought to upgrade the palace according to their exigencies, whether real or imaginary. Subsequently, this even led to demolishing or altering sections of the building erected by their immediate predecessors. Their legacy is still apparent today, when in spite of careful restoration and recovering works, the structure still strikes as having been constructed quite haphazardly.

Speculation peppered with an abundant dose of scaremongering as to the horrors inflicted behind its majestic palace doors has consistently thrived throughout the years. Even today, the mere mention of the Inquisitor’s Palace conjures in one’s mind all manner of sadistic and terrifying images. This mostly exaggerated perception was perhaps further fuelled by the secrecy surrounding the procedures and functions of the Holy Office, where not only the accused were bound by very strict oaths of secrecy as to the occurrences inside the palace, but also the Inquisitors and their Ministers. Failing to honor this oath would incur the wrath of Rome in the form of excommunication which only the Cardinal Inquisitors of the Holy Congregation of Rome could remove.

Rumours of atrocious and unspeakable happenings within the Palace’s walls served to ignite the populace’s imagination and instil fear of the Holy Office. Whether these tales were instigated intentionally or not remains unclear, but to a certain extent they served as a sober deterrent for the people to ensure faithful adherence to the Church’s teachings. Undoubtedly, the greatest myth surrounding the Inquisitor’s Palace is the infamous ‘knife-pit’ (bir tas-skieken). It was believed that a pit with blades protruding from its circular wall was used for the execution of inmates; thrown alive, the prisoner would be mercilessly slashed to pieces to die an agonising death on the pit floor. This myth has been perpetuated to such an extent that very few people, locals included, perceive this legend for what it is – a gory myth fabricated throughout the ages by our ancestors.

Quite surprisingly, according to numerous records in the Archives of the Inquisition of Malta, the Holy Office’s methods, with its strictly observed procedures, were quite moderate when compared to torture administered by contemporary secular governments in most European prisons. Those who denounced themselves for any wrongdoing were never subjected to torture and were generally given penance of a spiritual nature. Frail, weak, elderly and disabled convicts were immediately exonerated from torture as were pregnant women. While the administration of torture varied from one Inquisitor to another, it was never used in the case of petty offences and contrary to what popular history might have us believe, it was applied in the most cautious and methodical manner.

Torture was always carried out in the presence of a doctor who certified or not the inmate’s state of health beforehand. The accused could not be tortured for more than 30 minutes a ta time and only as a last resort, as the Inquisition itself was quite sceptic of confessions obtained in this manner. The most common form used (and practically the only one) was the ordinarily referred to ‘ii tormento della corda’ otherwise known as the ‘strappado’. The hands of the accused would be tied with a rope behind his back which would be attached to a hook in the ceiling. He would then be pulled up in the air with his whole body weight supported only by his arms, suspended in mid-air for a short span of time where he would be lowered and raised again for not more than thirty minutes. Quite an unpalatable picture, but quite tame compared to contemporary methods used.

Today, the Inquisitor’s Palace, with its rich and opulent history remains the only one of its kind in the world to have resisted the ravages of time. Today, it serves as a National Museum of Ethnography under the auspicious patronage of Heritage Malta, who have undertaken the gargantuan task of restoring and cataloguing each and every artefact donated or recovered in connection with customs and traditions indigenous to our islands. It is an endless endeavour, but is somehow proving fruitful as can be seen in the various permanent exhibitions at the Inquisitor’s Palace. The immeasurable bounty of historical treasures, where each and every nook and cranny tells a story is undoubtedly incomparable to both locals and foreigners alike.

The post The Inquisitor’s Palace – Vittoriosa appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
http://www.maltauncovered.com/places-of-interest/inquisitors-palace-vittoriosa/feed/ 1
Malta holidays and travel guide http://www.maltauncovered.com/malta/malta-holidays-travel-guide/ http://www.maltauncovered.com/malta/malta-holidays-travel-guide/#comments Sun, 31 Jan 2010 11:10:21 +0000 http://www.adminaid.net/?p=95 Malta holidays and travel guide is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

Malta is a group of islands in the heart of the Mediterranean, just below Sicily (Italy). The three main islands are Malta, Gozo and Comino, which attract a large number of travellers each year, who often return to spend their holidays in Malta. Many toursists visit the island of Malta for its rich history and […]

The post Malta holidays and travel guide appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
Malta holidays and travel guide is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

Malta is a group of islands in the heart of the Mediterranean, just below Sicily (Italy). The three main islands are Malta, Gozo and Comino, which attract a large number of travellers each year, who often return to spend their holidays in Malta. Many toursists visit the island of Malta for its rich history and culture but the country is most famous for its sunny and warm weather. Malta holidays are popular among travellers from all over Europe who enjoy the  beauty of the islands at very reasonable prices.

With the increasing number of cheap Malta flights being offered by low cost airlines, Malta is becoming an increasingly popular holiday destination and its accession to the EU in May 2004 has enabled Malta to step up the quality of holidays it can offer its guests. The Mediterranean’s best kept secret, as the country is often referred to, offers a completely refreshing view on island life, with plenty of resorts and beaches but moreover a welcoming and generally friendly population and an island literally stuffed with places of great cultural and historical value. Most Maltese speak English and getting around the islands is relatively easy, with public transport serving almost all parts of the islands and widely available car rentals.

Get all your Malta travel guide info before you go!

Collect your travel info before booking your holiday by reading through this Malta travel guide. Malta has so much more to offer than any holiday brochure can ever show you. This site offers you the opportunity to see Malta from a non-commercial perspective, providing you with reliable information and an honest impression of a great holiday destination.

A quick preview of what’s in this Malta holiday & travel guide

About GuideToMalta.net

GuideToMalta.net is privately owned and is not affiliated with any tourist organizations. Feel free to get in touch with any feedback you may have regarding the site’s content. Also feel free to send us any questions you may have about Malta, and related topics covered on GuideToMalta.net!

The post Malta holidays and travel guide appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
http://www.maltauncovered.com/malta/malta-holidays-travel-guide/feed/ 0
Bugibba and Qawra, Malta http://www.maltauncovered.com/villages-in-malta/bugibba-qawra-malta/ http://www.maltauncovered.com/villages-in-malta/bugibba-qawra-malta/#comments Sat, 30 Jan 2010 18:56:12 +0000 http://www.adminaid.net/?p=265 Bugibba and Qawra, Malta is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

Bugibba and Qawra are small towns on the North coast of Malta, adjacent to the town of St. Paul’s Bay. Bugibba and Qawra are popular locations for tourists and are busiest in the high season while relatively quiet during the winter months. Although the shoreline is mostly rocky, a few locations are suitable for swimming. […]

The post Bugibba and Qawra, Malta appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
Bugibba and Qawra, Malta is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

Bugibba and Qawra are small towns on the North coast of Malta, adjacent to the town of St. Paul’s Bay. Bugibba and Qawra are popular locations for tourists and are busiest in the high season while relatively quiet during the winter months. Although the shoreline is mostly rocky, a few locations are suitable for swimming.

Bugibba’s main square, located along the seaside promenade, is the center of activity in the area with a few pubs, nightclubs and restaurants attracting people of all ages to enjoy summer nights. Besides pubs and nightclubs, Bugibba and Qawra also offer a bingo hall, a cinema and a casino. For those who prefer a quiet night out, the location’s seaside promenade is ideal for a leisurely stroll.

Bugibba and Qawra are known mostly to form one of the busier tourism resorts during the summer months, when the area comes to life with the buzz of nightlife and numerous tourists enjoying a drink and entertainment provided by the various hotels in the area. The area doesn’t offer much more than that, however. No genuine Maltese feel, no specific activities other than sunbathing and only few shops lining the seaside promenade.

Having said that, Bugibba and Qawra are great locations as a home base for a holiday of exploring the rest of Malta. Accommodation is good and relatively cheap and the rest of the island is easily reached by public transport. From the Bugibba bus terminus you can find routes to various places in Malta, and also get to Cirkewwa to catch a ferry up to sister-island of Gozo. So if you’d like to add a little culture to your holiday, or spend time at the beach rather than the swimming pool, it’s easy to catch a bus or take your hired car out for a short drive to wherever you fancy.

History of Bugibba and Qawra

Bugibba and Qawra were virtually uninhabited until the 1960’s, when only a few watchtowers had been erected by the Knights of Malta back in the 17th century. The area consisted mostly of open fields with crumbling rubble walls when in the 1960’s a few entrepeneurs opened a few hotels in an attempt to attract tourists. When these ventures proved to be successful, Bugibba and Qawra developed at an astonishing rate in a virtual gold rush of investment. High-rise buildings were developed, with little attention being given to aesthetics or architectural consistency and design was simply an afterthought.  During the 1990’s the appearance of Bugibba and Qawra was hugely improved with the development of the seaside promenade, the Bugibba square and neatly constructed pavements.

Beaches in Bugibba and Qawra

An artificial sandy beach can be found on the shoreline close to the New Dolmen Hotel and a natural beach with pebbles is located at the tip of Qawra (also referred to as Ta` Fra Ben). Although most of the Bugibba/Qawra shoreline is rocky, there are flat surfaces that are suitable for sunbathing. Finding entry/exit points can be tricky but simply watch the locals and you’ll be fine. Beware of black sea urchins – although not large in numbers they inhabit rocky shorelines.

If you prefer sandy beaches, both Ghadira (Mellieha) Bay and Golden Bay can be reached fairly easily by bus, from the Bugibba bus terminus (see below for more info).

Nightlife in Bugibba and Qawra

  • Plenty of nightlife activity during the summer months with a number of bars, nightclubs and karaoke bars providing entertainment
  • Mostly concentrated around Bugibba Square but good options in other areas just the same
  • Main nightclubs are Amazonia (seafront, near Oracle Casino and New Dolmen Hotel) and Fuego (near Qawra Palace Hotel)

Bugibba and Qawra facts

  • Transit time from airport: 45-60 minutes
  • Ideal for family holidays
  • Compromise between the very quiet (Mellieha) and busy (St. Julian’s) in summer months
  • Nightlife is limited but entertaining
  • Rocky coast with limited swimming opportunity. If you prefer beach life you’ll have to catch a bus. Golden Bay/Ghajn Tuffieha (pron. aajn tuffee-ha) and Ghadira (pron. a-deera) are around 30 minutes away
  • Thinking of renting a car? Unless your accommodation offers free parking, be aware that finding space to park can be a real headache in Bugibba and Qawra, mostly during the summer months

Annual Festa’s in Bugibba and Qawra

Bugibba and Qawra do not celebrate any traditional village feasts, however, neighbouring St. Paul’s Bay (within walking distance) celebrates their festa in the 2nd/3rd week of July.

Read more: Maltese village feasts or festa

Popular Bus Routes

Route 49, to:

  • Mosta (20 min)
  • Valletta (50 min)

Route 652, to:

  • Golden Bay (35-40 min)

Route 48, to:

  • Mellieha Bay (40-45 min)

Routes 70 and 645, to:

  • St. Julian’s/Paceville – Malta’s center of nightlife. (30 min). Regular service until 10pm, with limited night service. Expect to take a taxi back or route bus when regular service resumes the next morning. (30 min)
Got any tips/reviews to share about Bugibba and Qawra? Leave a comment!

Map of Bugibba and Qawra

[umap id=”64029″ tp=”6″ size=”m” alignment=”center”]

The post Bugibba and Qawra, Malta appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
http://www.maltauncovered.com/villages-in-malta/bugibba-qawra-malta/feed/ 0
St. Julian’s and Paceville, Malta http://www.maltauncovered.com/villages-in-malta/st-julians-paceville-malta/ http://www.maltauncovered.com/villages-in-malta/st-julians-paceville-malta/#comments Sat, 30 Jan 2010 18:50:04 +0000 http://www.adminaid.net/?p=340 St. Julian’s and Paceville, Malta is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

The village of St. Julian’s is located alongside the Northern coastline of Malta, adjacent to Sliema and a few miles to the West of the capital city Valletta. Paceville is an area at the core of St. Julian’s which is known as Malta’s centre of nightlife, offering a variety of bars and nightclubs for a […]

The post St. Julian’s and Paceville, Malta appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
St. Julian’s and Paceville, Malta is a post from the Malta holidays guide GuideToMalta.net

The village of St. Julian’s is located alongside the Northern coastline of Malta, adjacent to Sliema and a few miles to the West of the capital city Valletta. Paceville is an area at the core of St. Julian’s which is known as Malta’s centre of nightlife, offering a variety of bars and nightclubs for a great night out.

Despite the various package deals offered for St. Julian’s, the town is mostly popular among teenagers for its nightlife and young couples who appreciate the nightlife but enjoy fine dining, wine bars and who don’t mind a regular commute to get to beaches and places of interest. Nevertheless, St. Julian’s has something to offer for people of all ages and walks of life.

Spinola Bay (one of St. Julian’s more popular bays) in particular is an excellent location for an evening stroll around the marina which plays host to fishing boats which are berthed there all year round. You’ll also find a few restaurants serving great food and offering a great view of this picturesque bay and its surroundings.

History of St. Julian’s

St. Julian’s as it is known today is a relatively young village which was practically undeveloped until the 1800’s, having traditionally been a fisherman’s village. Most of the Northern coastline of Malta had been left undeveloped for fear of making the area vulnerable to attack from the Ottoman empire, which posed a threat to Maltese security in the 15th and 16th centuries.

The building of Spinola Palace, overseeing what is nowadays called Spinola Bay, started in 1688 and proved to be a first step in the slow development of the coastal area of St. Julian’s. Under British rule (starting with the defeat of Napoleon and ending with Malta’s independence in 1964), St. Julian’s was transformed into an important seaside village boasting several prestigious residences.

Beaches in St. Julian’s and Paceville

Although St. Julian’s is a seaside town, there’s only one public beach that is suitable for swimming. St. George’s Bay offers a small sandy beach and is located on the Paceville side of St. Julian’s. The town’s two other bays, Spinola Bay and Balluta Bay don’t have a beach and are rarely used for swimming. The bays are used mostly to berth fishing boats, giving the area a very distinctive feel but not favouring avid swimmers.

Nightlife in St. Julian’s and Paceville

Paceville is the place to be for clubbing and a bustling nightlife, with a mixed audience and various styles of music. From R&B and Hiphop over at Havana, to club/trance at Axis or Sky Club and Salsa and other Latin styles at Fuego… and a lot more to check out. Entrance fees are low, although not all clubs actually have an entrance fee at all, which makes Paceville ideal for simply hopping from one bar/club to another.

St. Julian’s offers mainly restaurants, wine bars and pubs, which all come in different flavours and in the case of restaurants, cater for different budgets. Check out the map for a couple of suggestions for bars/clubs to visit.

St. Julian’s and Paceville facts

  • Thinking of renting a car? Unless your accommodation offers free parking, be aware that finding space to park can be a real headache in St. Julian’s, particularly during the summer months as well as on weekends

Popular Bus Routes

Routes 62, 64, 66, 67 and 68, to:

  • Valletta (30 min)

Route 65, to:

  • Mosta (30 min)
  • Ta` Qali Crafts Village (40 min)
  • Mdina/Rabat (45 min)

Route 70, to:

  • Bugibba/Qawra (30 min)

Route 167 (summer only), to:

  • Mellieha Bay (45 min)
  • Cirkewwa – Gozo ferry (55 min)

Got any tips/reviews to share about St. Julian’s and Paceville? Leave a comment!

Map of St. Julian’s and Paceville

[umap id=”64032″ tp=”6″ size=”m” alignment=”center”]

The post St. Julian’s and Paceville, Malta appeared first on MaltaUncovered.com.

]]>
http://www.maltauncovered.com/villages-in-malta/st-julians-paceville-malta/feed/ 1