Il Bizzilla – April 2014

Page 1

Issue 16


Air Malta in the 70s

Valletta I St Julian’s | Sliema | B’Kara | MIA | Bugibba | Gozo | Bay Street | Għargħur

The New Spring/Summer Collection Latest fashion for Kids From 0 to 12 years of age

High Street Sliema - next to Sliema Car Park Tel 2767 6711 | | Gocco Malta


Issue 16



Issue 16


Air Malta in the 70s

p. 8

Exclusive Edition Covers – The changing faces of Air Malta's magazine.

p. 9

Chairman’s Note – A welcome note from Air Malta's Chairman Mr. Ray Fenech.

p. 10

CEO's Note – A welcome note from Air Malta's CEO Louis Giordamaina.

p. 12

Cabin Crew Memories – A humorous peek behind the scenes as Air Malta crew share some memorable moments.

p. 14

Air Malta Destinations in Numbers – Have a look at the impressive numerical statistics Air Malta has stacked up over the past forty years.

p. 17

Maltese Infographica – Interesting quirky facts about Malta that you may not have known.

p. 18

Gozo Life – Travel between Malta and Gozo has always been challenging. It has also always been a beautifully scenic trip.

p. 23

Book Review – There’s a new book in town which reveals news insights in to Malta’s role in World War Two. Locals and visitors alike will find it fascinating.

p. 25

Art – Metal is what motivates artist Marie Louise Kold who finds inspiration both in Malta and in her native Sweden.

p. 26

40 Things to do in Malta – As Air Malta celebrates its 40th anniversary, Jo Caruana highlights the top 40 things to see and do while on holiday.

p. 30

Air Malta Timeline – A pictorial view of Air Malta's history and milestones.

p. 84

Made in Malta – A glance at products that are part of the islands' heritage.

p. 100

Air Malta News – General flight information about Malta's national airline.

Issue 16


Air Malta in the 80s

Issue 16



Air Malta in the 80s

Issue 16


Air Malta in the 00s

Covers – This issue carries four different covers - each one represents one decade out of the four in which Air Malta has been in operation.

p. 21

Travel Hot Spots – There is never a shortage of things to do in Amsterdam. Il–Bizzilla highlights five of them.

p. 68

Destination – Venice, Take advantage of this new Air Malta route and explore the various beguiling faces of this magnificent city.

p. 70

Destination – London, the capital of Europe, has changed over the past forty years but some things, like the Mousetrap, remain as popular as ever!

p. 76

Events – Enrich your stay in Malta with just a few of the most happening events on the island.

p. 82

Map – An island with a character as colourful and busy as its people, Malta is dotted with landmarks and must see places.

p. 85

Places to Visit – A long and rich history has left its mark on the Maltese islands and each site has a story to tell. 3


p. 46 - 47

p. 46

Traditional Easter Food – While Lent is a time for reflection and fasting, there is still so much to taste and try on the local cuisine front.

p. 48

Local Flavour – You’re bound to come across the traditional Galletti- Maltese water crackers: small crisp rounds served in any self-respecting Maltese platter.

p. 67

Eating Out – The recently opened GastroPub at Tigne Point is a very welcome addition to the local food scene.

p. 96

Restaurant Guide – Malta has countless great restaurants catering to every taste. We've listed just some of the best ones.


p. 51 - 55

p. 34

Malta Bases – Robert Weatherburn researches the changing faces of Malta’s airbases over the years.

p. 36

The Future of Aviation – Take a peek into what the future of flying holds and at the gadgets that will make travel easier than ever.

p. 43

Easter in Malta – Breathe in the essence of what the Easter period is all about.

p. 51

Bastions of Malta – These magnificent and recently restored fortifications are best appreciated when walking around.

p. 56

Tour of Traditions – With so much to do and see here, do try and look out for a few traditional treasures that might not be obvious.

p. 61

Air Malta Memorabilia – One man's fascinating and impressive collection of Air Malta merchandise.

p. 63

Air Malta Interview – Captain Massa, who flew the very first Air Malta flight on 1st April 1974, shares his memories with Victoria Galea.

Property p.73

Property – Perry Estate agents offers an unparalleled bespoke service helping thousands find homes every year.


p. 74


p. 72

Medical Tourism – Malta is fast becoming a popular destination for those seeking high quality well priced dental services.


Business Round up – Malta’s leading local bank has a history and a reputation of being the people’s bank.


Wedding in Malta – Yet another happy couple reveals why hosting their wedding in Malta made it so much more special.








This newly completed residential complex overlooking Marsascala Bay has set new standards for development in the south. Covering 16,000sqms Ta' Monita offers 1, 2 & 3 bedroom apartments and penthouses, a swimming pool, piazza and underground parking. Most apartments command excellent sea views. Being a Special Designated Area foreign purchasers buy under the same rights as Maltese Nationals. Prices from €98,000 for 1 bed, €119,000 for 2 bed and €158,000 for 3 bed. Visit our site sales office. Triq San Guzepp, Marsascala, Malta, Europe Mob : (+356) 79 497 504 Tel : (+356) 27 116 116 6

Email :

Web :

Il-Bizzilla. Literally the most captive audience you'll ever have.

Editor Sarah Kennard

Air Malta media gives you the opportunity to deliver your message to 1.7 million passengers.

Project co-ordinator Renata Vella Design TBWA\ANG Senior graphic designers Jeff Fabri Richard Agius Graphic designer Rebecca Bullock contributors Miranda Brown Victor Calleja Jo Caruana Chris DeMicoli Victoria Galea Adam Jacot de Boinod Deborah Ratcliffe Charlotte Stafrace Robert Weather burn Melanie Vella Julian Zammit Official Photographer Robert Camilleri BLUE MEDIA MARKETING LTD Managing directors Bertrand Attard Chris Mifsud WebSite e-mail Address 3rd Floor, Professional Building Sliema Road Gzira, GZR 1633 MALTA Tel +356 2131 0608 Fax +356 2131 0998

Il-Bizzilla is published monthly in Malta for Air Malta by Blue Media Marketing Ltd. The magazine is free to passengers on Air Malta flights worldwide. Material in this publication may not be reproduced in any form without written permission. Requests for permission should be made in writing to: Il-Bizzilla Magazine 3rd Floor Professional Building Sliema Road Gzira, GZR 1633 MALTA Editorial material and opinions expressed in Il-Bizzilla do not necessarily reflect the views of Air Malta or the publisher. Air Malta and the publisher do not accept responsibility for the advertising content. Special thanks to the Malta Tourism Authority and Air Malta for use of their photographic material. Products and services mentioned are subject to change without prior notice. Š Blue Media Marketing Limited 2013 Printed in Malta by Progress Press Co. Ltd., Mriehel. For information about advertising and restaurant listings in Il-Bizzilla or on other Air Malta media kindly contact our sales team: Renata Vella Mobile: (+356) 7999 5959 Or e-mail us on:

For information about advertising and restaurant listings in Il-Bizzilla or on other Air Malta media kindly contact our sales team: Renata Vella Mobile: (+356) 7999 5959 Or e-mail us on:


Exclusive edition covers










2013 Issue 3


Issue 1


As Air Malta celebrates 40 years in operation, we take a look at some of the iconic images which have graced the covers of its in-flight magazine. From awesome diving spots to decorative doorknobs, from prinjolata to the palatial architecture our islands have to offer, each cover of Il–Bizzilla has been carefully chosen and designed to showcase the best of the Maltese islands. To commemorate this 40th anniversary, the April issue will have four different covers to represent the four decades. Without looking at the date can you guess which decade this copy is covering? Hope you enjoy this issue!


Issue 14




8 8

Letter from the chairman

Welcome Letter from Air Malta's Chairman "The initial passenger count of 53,000 has since turned into 1.7 million"

Air Malta found its wings 40 years ago and has proudly flown Malta’s flag around the world ever since. This 40th anniversary fills me with nostalgia and satisfaction for what the airline has achieved over the past four decades. However, none of the airline’s success would have been possible without the country’s determination to make it work. The Maltese people have always understood the importance of having a good national airline which is a true ambassador for Malta. It is this passion for Air Malta that has kept our spirit alive and supported our reputation for service excellence. This is the same passion that inspired all those who served Air Malta and have contributed at different stages of the airline’s existence. Air Malta has grown with Malta throughout these years, playing a central role in the island’s economic and social development. The initial passenger count of 53,000 has since turned into 1.7 million - a steep growth that mirrors the expansion of the Maltese economy and its thriving tourism industry. The airline’s international route network, built by sustained investment over the years, is one of the island’s main assets. It provides the necessary connectivity for Malta’s economy while attracting foreign investment. Despite facing myriad challenges of its own, Air Malta was always there to support Maltese economic and social development, through thick and thin. Air Malta has created thousands of jobs over the past four decades, building careers and generating income for the economy. I am proud to serve as chairman of this important organisation. I am confident that the national airline will continue to remain an important asset to our economy for the years to come. Raymond Fenech Chairman Air Malta plc


Letter from from the the ceo Ceo Letter

Celebrating Air Malta’s 40th Anniversary "I WOuLd LIKE TO TAKE THE OppOrTunITy TO THAnK ALL Our CusTOMErs And EMpLOyEEs WHO OvEr THE LAsT 40 yEArs HAvE COnTrIBuTEd TO BuILd A nATIOnAL AIrLInE THAT WE CAn ALL BE prOud Of."


When forty years ago, on 1st April 1974, flight KM100 took off from Malta’s Luqa Airport, destination London Heathrow, Air Malta started a journey. This journey represented the hope and the aspirations of a nation which was set to move forward. The Boeing 720B aircraft, used for that flight, proudly flew the Maltese eight-pointed cross, which rapidly became Malta’s most evident symbolic ambassador in both Europe and beyond. Over the last four decades, Malta has developed as a dynamic and attractive destination for tourism and business. One cannot separate the pivotal role our airline played in enabling this growth by providing convenient connections from our base at the crossroads of the Mediterranean. As a result, as we proudly celebrate Air Malta’s 40 years of service, we are privileged to share our hospitality with you today. Leading Air Malta as it starts its 40th year of its journey is an honour. I am committed to steer Air Malta in the next leg of its journey. Our airline is ready to pursue its voyage, over a path which is marked by intense competition and continuous changes. I would like to take the opportunity to thank all our customers and employees who over the last 40 years have contributed to build a national airline that we can all be proud of. In this special edition of ‘il-Bizzilla’, you will find several articles charting the history of our airline, the experiences of our crew over the years, as well as a guide to 40 of the most attractive destinations and experiences across the Maltese Archipelago. Enjoy your flight and thank you for flying Air Malta. Louis Giordimaina Chief Executive Officer Air Malta plc

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Tales from the Crew Il-Bizzilla invited Air Malta staff to share a few memorable moments which took place during an Air Malta flight Shirley Jobson Cabin Crew • On a London flight a while back, an English passenger told me that he wished to publicly propose to his partner of many years. After seeking the purser’s permission, he came to the aft galley while a crew member asked his partner to follow him to the back. As she approached, the passenger proposing appeared from the galley and went down on one knee. I held the PA receiver while he proposed over the speakers. Thankfully she said yes! •

On another flight two old English ladies were the first ones up. One of them was giggling loudly as she had just spilt water all over her trousers. I offered her a blanket while her trousers dried which she accepted, when, without waiting another second and still giggling heartily, she removed her trousers there and then in the aisle, exposing big white bloomers. Trying hard to contain my laughter as I rushed to get her the promised blanket, I spied the expression on the face of the poor young man who was boarding behind them... priceless!

Unexpected VIPs onboard include David Beckham, twice; Jovanotti; Orlando Bloom and Gareth Hedlund, fresh from filming Troy; Matthew Modine after filming Cutthroat Island in 1995; Oliver Reed a few weeks before he died in Malta; Faithless on their way to their concert in Malta; John Rhys-Davies last year after filming Saul; Joseph Calleja many times as he travelled to concerts abroad; Tiffany Pisani on the way to the final of Britain's Next Top Model and soon after when she had won it. Chris Gove’ Instructor Training & Check In-flight Manager •


EU not new! “Passengers who do not hold passports issued by European Union countries and countries within the European Economic Area and Switzerland are kindly

requested to ask for a disembarkation card. This card must be completed prior to our arrival and is to be presented with your passport at passport control.”

The above announcement, up to a few years ago, was made onboard during every flight prior to landing in Malta and some other countries. On a flight from London to Malta, I had just finished this announcement and distributed disembarkation cards to passengers who requested it.

I noticed that a passenger did not understand the announcement due to a language barrier, so I asked him if he had an EU passport to which he promptly replied “Of course I have a New Passport” and starts waving his brand new passport in my face. As he was from Slovenia he didn't require a disembarkation card!! • Oh Chin Chilla!! On a cold wintery morning flight from Luton to Malta we were serving breakfast, and each of the crew members had a trolley. As I was distributing trays in the forward part of the aircraft, my colleague, Robert called me from the rear galley via the interphone and said...“Chris, either a rabbit or a rat climbed my foot”.

Knowing that Bobby has a tendency to joke this way I quickly brushed him off but he reiterated rather agitatedly what he had just said. I decided to go to the rear of the aircraft to clarify the matter and as I was going down the aisle, I noticed that several passengers, had their breakfast tray in front of them and were sitting with their feet raised onto their seats. Half way through the cabin, I saw something black, rather hairy and about 15 inches long, rapidly crossing the aisle from one side to the other. My first impression was thatwe had a rodent on board. As purser, the crew members were looking to me for a solution, little knowing that I am petrified when I see a little mouse. When updated on the situation, the Captain’s first reaction was one of laughter and disbelief. However, when he saw the look on my face, he stopped laughing and became concerned when I told him that this situation might force us to divert if the passengers start to panic.

It turned out a passenger’s daughters pet chinchilla had escaped from the carton box it was travelling in! Having ascertained that it was a harmless pet, eats bread and answered to the name of ‘Hush Hush”, I grabbed the bread roll from her breakfast tray and instructed her to try and catch her pet.

My announcement to inform the passengers of the situation included a reward of a bottle of champagne for the capture of the chinchilla. Shortly afterwards, an elderly gentleman came to exchange the chinchilla for his deserved champagne and things went back to normal!

Air Malta Infographica

a t l a M r i A

rs... e b m u N in


Distance covered


Passengers carried

Luggages carried


74 million

Countries flown to Weight of food carried

25,000 tonnes

Number of aircrafts used

102 aircrafts

30 countries (in Europe, North Africa & East Mediterranean)

Number of take offs


Number employees since 1974

Over 10,000

Number of pets carried


We can say that... Air Malta flew

855 times

to the moon and back 14

Passengers onboard Air Malta flights have eaten food to feed

19 Blue whales for a year


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Converted TOWNHOUSE ▪ Fantastic location just off the seafront & popular promenade ▪ Spacious layout ▪ Wonderful features including exposed beams & stonework ▪ Traditional Maltese balcony ▪ 3/4 bedrooms ▪ 3 bathrooms (2 en suite) ▪ Sitting room ▪ Living room ▪ Fitted kitchen ▪ Good sized courtyard ▪ Laundry room ▪ Roof terrace ▪ Underfloor heating ▪ Internal size 200m2 ▪ External size 34m2 ▪ Ref: HC03096 ▪ SOLE AGENTS

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New to market - fully detached corner VILLA/BUNGALOW ▪ Sought after residential area ▪ Stunning sea & country views ▪ Fully fitted modern kitchen & breakfast area ▪ Dining room ▪ Living room ▪ 3 double bedrooms ▪ 2 bathrooms ▪ Large terraces with views ▪ Wonderful swimming pool with surrounding deck area ▪ Well maintained garden ▪ Large driveway with space for 8 cars ▪ 2 lock up garages ■ Internal size 230m2 ▪ External size 800m2 ▪ Ref: DV01359

SEAFRONT APARTMENT ■ Luxurious & contemporary design ■ Brand new property ■ Very high level of finish ■ Very spacious modern open plan layout ■ Truly stunning views of the marina below & beyond to Valletta ■ Larger than usual front terrace ■ Fully equipped & fitted kitchen / dining / living area ■ 4 bedrooms (3 en suite) ■ 2 underlying car spaces ■ Main bathroom ■ Laundry room ■Intelligent lighting ■ Parquet floors ■ Internal size 400m2 ■ External size 50m2 ■ Ref: FA07819

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MALTESE Infographica

Interesting facts


A predominantly Roman Catholic country, Malta has over 360 churches – that’s roughly one for every 1,000 residents.




sq km Size of Malta

04 A traditional form of Maltese music is known as Għana. It is comprised of folk guitar music, usually men, taking it in turns to debate in a sing-song voice. The lyrics are improvised, and debates are usually friendly yet challenging.

05 The earliest evidence of human habitation in Malta was found in the Għar Dalam Cave.

Malta's capital city, Valletta, is named after Jean Parisot de La Valette, a Grand Master of the Order of Knights of St John.

The beautiful and elegant Pharaoh Hound Dog is Malta's National Dog. In Maltese, the breed is called Kelb tal-Fenek.



In 2008, the Euro became the Maltese currency, following the island's accession in the E.U. in 2004.

The Temples at Gġantija trace back their foundations to a time period before the Egyptian pyramids.

07 The flag of Malta is a simple red and white flag with the George Cross in the top left hand corner.



If you're looking for some interesting books with the Maltese Islands as a backdrop, consider reading the following... - The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat. - The Sword and the Scimitar by David Ball. - The Jew of Malta by Christopher Marlowe.


Malta was earlier known as Melita, meaning the island of honey, by ancient Greeks and Romans.


14 Malta's Grand Harbour boasts of being one of the best natural deep-water harbour in the world.

The two main symbols that are synonymous with Malta and its people are the Maltese Cross and the Maltese boat. The Maltese cross was used by the Knights of Malta.

13 In 1942 Malta was awarded with the George Cross, by King George VI (UK) for bravery.



check-in gozo Miranda Brown

Three miles have never been so far as the ones that separate Malta from Gozo. Getting to the second island of the Maltese archipelago has always been a rather adventurous affair.

Ferry services between Malta and Gozo began to operate in 1241. The first service, referred to in Maltese as id-dgħajsa tal-mgħodija, literally meaning, the boat of the passage, is first recorded in 1241. Nowadays, visitors and commuters can reach Gozo only by ferry, hopping from the urban, frenetic, Maltese life-style to the rural and slow paced Gozitan one in less than 25 minutes. The narrow body of water between the Ċirkewwa ferry terminal, on the northwest coast of Malta, and the shallow harbour of Mġarr, on the other side of the channel, splits two close but different planets. And no crossing could be more fascinating for tourists to try. Something worth knowing is that the first regular passenger service between Malta and Gozo was inaugurated on June 13, 1885: the official mail service was provided by O.F. Gollcher & Sons Ltd in conjunction with the Gleneagles bar. The fare was eight pence single and one shilling return, but a levy of one penny a


head was collected from each passenger landing to pay for a Mass in the Church for safe arrival would be said. The Gleneagles –now a famous bar in Mġarr and born as a cabin for ferry passengers in 1732offered a regular service till 1914. The Malta Steamship Company also operated a service between 1923 and 1937. This was followed by a service provided by the Gozo Mail Service Company which included both Maltese and Gozitan shareholders. After the Second World War, the vessels which served as ferry boats belonged to the Zammit family, the Gasan family and the Magro family who hailed from Gozo. In 1964 the Malta Aliscafi Ltd started a hydrofoil service between Grand Harbour and Mgarr Harbour, but the company went bankrupt in 1968. Gozo Channel was formed in 1979, to maintain, develop, and operate a sea transport service to and from Gozo. And that’s the only company operating now, between the two new ferry terminals rebuilt in 2008. But there was a time till

very recently in fact when fast helicopter transfers and thrilling seaplanes were accessible (the first until 2006, the second until 2012): the People travelling to Gozo could easily check-in at Mġarr and land in Valletta waterfront, in Sliema, or fly directly to Malta International Airport and connect to any destination available abroad. What remains today is Xewkija Heliport, 174 metres long and 22 metres wide, situated between Għajnsielem and the capital town, Victoria, together with plans to extend it and allow the landing of small planes. Other projects include the construction of a subsea road tunnel link or a bridge between the islands. There is the possibility of a referendum to determine which project the Gozitans prefer and if they really want to be more attached to Malta, the bigger chaotic sister. In the meantime Gozo Channel continues to ferry people between the two islands offering gorgeous views of the sea and the baby of the archipelago; Comino!

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(REF 17899)



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Meticulously converted house of character situated just off the village square in this sought after village, being offered for sale ready to move into. Spacious layout consists of an entrance hall, large lounge with working fireplace, separate dining room and a fully fitted and equipped kitchen all surrounding a well sized and very attractive courtyard. Upstairs one finds 3 double bedrooms all served with en suite facilities. A traditional stone spiral staircase leads to a large private roof. Early viewing is highly recommended.

A very well planned and original ground floor MAISONETTE located in this sought after residential area having an abundance of light from 3 sides of the property. Accommodation spread over 140 sq. metres consisting of a large sitting room, dining room cum kitchen/b’fast, 3 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (1 en suite) main bedroom includes a walk-in-wardrobe and internal access to a 1 car lock up garage (including store room). To further compliment this property, there is a lovely outside patio leading to a back terrace and garden measuring 70 sq. metres.ONE OF A KIND.

Situated in a brilliant location just off the Marsamxetto seafront, this unconverted palazzo comprises circa 21 rooms overlooking the road and a central courtyard, together with two totally independent duplex maisonettes, with their own entrances from the road. Although this property requires structural restoration, it enjoys great potential to be converted into either a B&B, little boutique hotel or 10-12 independent apartments, all within walking distance to the city centre and 2 minutes walk to the sea. A fantastic investment opportunity!


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AMSTERDAM Here is a city that has a particular hold over me as much for the people and their way of life as for the special attractions that I want to recommend to all of you with only a limited time to enjoy the city: Rijksmuseum Now is the perfect time to go and see the Rijksmuseum. the main artistic gallery of Amsterdam, as it has just had a massive upgrade and redesign that has taken ten years and many millions of euros to complete. It has given heightened prominence to Rembrandt’s Night Watch but most of Holland’s finer antiquities are also on display.

The Van Gogh Museum The Van Gogh Museum is naturally a favourite in any guidebook, as this tortured soul of a creative genius finally is recognised in all his glory in a massive structure fittingly directly across the green lawns from the Rijksmuseum. The flower paintings that he depicted in Arles in 1888-9 are as colourful as any of his works and, in contrast to the gallery rooms of his early dark days in Belgium’s Borinage, as joyful.


I love shopping in Amsterdam as things are reasonably priced and queues are short.

Vondelpark One of my favourite activities is a walk in the Vondelpark. Beautiful and unspoilt, it is the largest of Amsterdam’s 30 parks and lends a calm alternative to traipsing about on tiring cobbled streets, especially if one is watching others jog by as is typically their wont. I always stay at one of the three Vondel Hotels as they are chic and boutique-styled.

The Fashion District (comprising of the streets of PcHoofstraat and van Baerlelstraat) are only five minutes away from all the above. Tommy Hilfiger has his headquarters nearby and there are many seasonal commercial art and jewellery fairs (the Mode Fabriek in both January and June) and the Westergas Fabriek cultural venue. A couple could happily split for the morning between shopping and museums.

Adam Jacot de Boinod is the author of The Meaning of Tingo and Other Extraordinary Words from around the World, published by Penguin Books and the iPhone App Quiz Game Tingo involving Interesting Words.

Finally my fifth venue consists of the canals with their distinctive bridges and narrow red-bricked houses with old trading gables and with the flower market ‘Bloemenmarkt’ on Singel. You really get a sense of what was once an amazing global trading business and empire and can envisage the efficiency of boats unloading and markets disseminating the products from all corners of the earth.

Air Malta offers regular flights to Amsterdam 21


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Malta’s Early Warning


Plenty has been written about Malta during the Second World War and various films produced to give an insight into what Malta endured at the time. From memorable air battle scenes to stories of famous convoys and the part that Malta played in the invasion of Sicily. There is however, an important and interesting area in Malta’s WWII history which, is still hidden on the shelves within the UK National archives. And sadly, almost erased from memories as more veterans pass. This is about the important role Malta played in this specialised and limited field. Luckily following years of painstaking research undertaken by Major Tony Abela, the vital role that the early versions of Radar played within the Malta arena is immortalized in his book “Malta’s Early Warning Systems during WWII”.

most complicated technical details in a way that is understood by non-technical readers too.


The book brings to light the full details of what went on in Malta and the vital role Radar played, not only as an essential link for Malta’s defence and survival against all odds, but also the important contribution Malta Radars gave to hinder the supplies to General Rommer during the North Africa campaign and the contribution these systems gave to the invasion of Sicily. Both of these events went on to have a direct bearing on the outcome of the Second World War. Illustrated with over 400 photos, drawings and sketches, readers can follow the various locations where wartime radar systems were located and in some cases the structures used. 02

The detailed book includes substantial reference from official documents as well as eye witness accounts obtained from airmen who served on these systems or from their relatives. Major Tony Abela served for 19 years with the RAF as a Telecommunications Technician, 20 years as a Telecommunications and Radar Senior Engineer as an Officer of the Armed Forces of Malta within the Malta Air Traffic Control and two years as Air Traffic Systems Consultant with Eurocontrol. Well versed and professionally knowledgeably in this area, Major Abela manages to describe the

Drawing on the documented facts and accounts given by the airmen directly involved with the first radar systems in Malta, more than 70 years ago, the author contradicts the traditional

impression that the first three Gladiators, Faith, Hope and Charity were the main contributors to Malta’s defence. On the contrary the book reveals that until Air Vice Marshall Sir Keith Park took over command of Malta Air Defence, only a few pilots engaged with enemy aircraft, and these only did so in disobeying the standard orders to get aircraft airborne and head South Easterly. This was to ensure that they would not be destroyed by enemy action. It was the ingenious way that the Artillery and Coastal Defence were ordered to act that gave the well-known scare experienced by the Italian pilots. These facts and other important details are what the first radar operators saw through their electronic eyes which observed the whole situation of what was going on for over 100 km around the island, something that only this handful of dedicated airmen lived through. This fascinating book is on sale in Malta’s leading bookstores.

01. Malta’s Early Warning Systems during WWII by Major Tony Abela | 02. HM Dockyard Floating Dock under heavy enemy attack | 03. Sir Winston Churchill on one of his visits to Malta walking through the remains of damaged civilian building. 23

Artist in residence

Fascinating Metal Art in


Metal is thought of as an intransigent material, hard to mold and difficult to work with. So it is no mean feat that Danish artist Marie Louise Kold turns copper, bronze and brass into unique works of art. She imbues them with an emotional charge that manifests itself in wonderful colors, patterns and structures that have captivated viewers in many parts of the world. It is now Malta’s turn. Marie Louise Kold’s exhibition “Lines of Flight” will be shown in the Upper Galleries of St James Cavalier Centre for Creativity in Valletta between April 5 and May 25. "I can't think of a better place to show my art", says the artist. "Malta has inspired me so much with its colors, light, history, architecture and people. And St James Cavalier, this magnificent 16th century fort in ever-inspiring Valletta, provides a frame for my art that is just dreamlike."


Using a technique that is uniquely her own, Marie Louise Kold, who lives in Sweden and Malta, has made a name for herself both in her native Scandinavia and internationally. She has worked with metal since the mid-1990’s, applying techniques that have their roots in the tradition of copper printing. The metals are engraved and etched, but not used to print with – it is the metal itself that becomes the actual work of art. At times she also paints or prints directly on the metal. Copper, bronze and brass are brought to life by patination with chemicals and the art that results not only changes depending on angle and light, but also because of touch and time. The aging process continues after the work of art leaves her hands and the patina will be in constant, but slow, change.

and understood. The texts are often in Danish, by Karen Blixen and Hans Christian Andersen, but there are also lines in English and Maltese. These Danish authors are also the subjects of several of her large portraits, which are given depth and character by the individual patina on each of the thousands of squares of bronze that they are made of. The result of this is that the portraits are simultaneously abstract and photographic. The art created by Marie Louise Kold is a dynamic mixture of fantasy, passion, and colours mutated by light. The art is alive, ever changing and vibrant in its many emotions. The exhibition at St James Cavalier, Centre for Creativity, Castille Square, Valletta, is open on Mondays and Tuesdays between 9.00 and 17.00; Wednesdays to Fridays from 9.00 to 21.00, and Saturdays and Sundays 10.00 to 21.00.

Texts are often a part of her works, mostly as graphic elements – traces of communication – rather than to be read 03


01. "Middle Sea Flight Sequence IV", patinated copper | 02. Portrait of Marie Louise Kold; photo by Ġorġ Mallia | 03. "Leila, Without Wings" (detail), oil painting on patinated brass | 04. "Winged Lines" (detail), patinated copper 25


Top 40! As Air Malta celebrates its 40 th anniversary, Jo Caruana highlights the top 40 things you can do while visiting the Maltese Islands. 04


Spend a morning in Valletta, Malta’s buzzing capital. While away a few hours like a local – sipping espresso and watching the world go by from one of the many pretty cafés that line Republic Street.

Malta is actually home to the oldest freestanding structures in the world – its megalithic temples. You can visit Hagar Qim and Mnajdra in Malta, or Ggantija in Gozo.

08 Go for a hike on Comino, one of the smaller islands in the Maltese archipelago. It’s quiet at this time of year and ideal for nature walks and photo-taking.


Gozo deserves a day trip, or even a weekend. Take your car over by ferry, or rent a bike to explore the island on two wheels.


Nibble on pastizzi (ricotta cheese- or pea-stuffed filo pastry parcels) washed down with sweet tea; it’s the ultimate Maltese comfort snack!




See Birgu by night when it takes on a really romantic, candle-lit tinge and there are wine bars to frequent on every street. While in the capital, stop by the Malta Experience – a quick documentary that will bring you right up to speed on the island’s incredible past, as well as its dynamic present.

06 Dine in a historical spot such as Mdina. Here you’ll find all sorts of quaint eateries lining the alleyways of this Baroque gem, and most of them serve up delicious Maltese dishes.



Go to the theatre or do something cultural. Most events here target an English-speaking audience, and the cultural scene is already buzzing in the run up to the island’s role as European Capital of Culture in 2018.

Take a boat to the Three Cities and enjoy the incredible vistas of the Grand Harbour on the way – this natural harbour has been in use since Phoenician times and is now a popular port for cruise ships.

11 Go shopping in Sliema – Malta’s commercial capital. Here you’ll find a mix of malls, international shops and local boutiques.


Come Friday night, have a drink on Strait Street in Valletta. Once the most notorious red light district in the Mediterranean, this strip is now the IT-crowd haunt.


17 If you want to get your bearings as quickly as possibly, take an open-top bus tour to the main sights and then revisit the ones you liked the most.


Stop by the Wignacourt Museum in Rabat, a recently-renovated space in the heart of one of Malta’s most picturesque towns. The St Paul’s Catacombs are located here too.

Tuck into a fenkata – a traditional local feast of pasta in a rabbit sauce, followed by fried or stewed rabbit meat.


13 There’s so much to see below the surface of the sea around the islands, including sunken wrecks and rich marine life. So why not take a scuba diving course?

A visit to Gozo’s Ta’ Pinu Church promises to be very moving experience thanks to the shrine at the back. Allow plenty of time to explore this special spot.

Make time to see the Beheading of St John within St John’s CoCathedral in Valletta – easily one of Caravaggio’s foremost masterpieces.

25 Be a fly on the wall at the Manoel Theatre and take a tour of this wonderful space – it’s actually the third oldest working theatre in Europe, and was commissioned by the Knights of St John.




Once the summer season kicks off, you can see a village festa in action. This religious occasion is also a time for music and dancing long into the night. And don’t miss the fireworks display!



Rub shoulders with the Maltese nobility at Casa Rocca Piccola, a home still lived in by aristocrats and now open to the public.

Explore the core of an old village and mingle with the locals. We suggest Siggiewi or Zebbug in Malta, and Nadur in Gozo.

21 Take a walk along the bay in Marsascala, one of the prettiest seaside towns in the south of Malta.



Once in Gozo visit the Azure Window (a famous movie location) and the Inland Sea. Take a little boat out to sea through the cave structure to admire the area from the best vantage point.

Take an off-season swim at Golden Bay, followed by a cliff-top walk along the rugged coast to the historic watchtower.

28 16

On the hunt for a typical afternoon snack? You can’t beat fresh kannoli (pastries stuffed with sweet ricotta) from Busy Bee in Msida.


Have a lazy Sunday lunch in Marsaxlokk, where you’re guaranteed some of the freshest, finest fish imaginable.

Give yourself a rest and book yourself in for a spa treatment. Malta is really well known for its top therapies and rituals, many of which use local ingredients for a truly indigenous touch.




Walk from Sliema to St Julian’s or vice versa, mingling with locals as they enjoy an evening stroll. For added bonus points, stop for an ice-cream en-route and slurp it while taking in the view.



Take a bus to nowhere – just because you want to! Hop abroad and see where you find yourself, then stop for a walk or a snack.

Throw caution to the wind and spend an evening at the casino. St Julian’s is ‘casino corner’, with a variety to choose from. Who knows? It may be your lucky night.


The Blue Lagoon gets very busy during the summer months. But, as one of the most beautiful bays in the Mediterranean, this is another must-do.

38 34 Wander around the Citadella in Gozo, getting 360-degree photos of the island below.

35 31

The ancient Hypogeum burial site, a UNESCO World Heritage treasure, is a must-see for your trip. Book well ahead!

Party like it’s 1999 in Paceville, Malta’s clubbing hotspot. The stretch of clubs here open their doors at about 9pm and keep the music pumping until the early hours of the morning.


Want to sample local wine? Viticulture is going strong in Malta and numerous wineries offer tours of their vineyards followed by a very enjoyable wine tasting session.

As Malta’s warmer-weather clubbing scene comes alive over the next few weeks, head to one of it’s open-air clubs to party with top international DJs and dance under the stars.


Embrace Malta’s blossoming fine-dining movement and give into gastronomy – you’ll find everything from scrumptious Mediterranean cuisine to delicacies from the Far East.

40 There are festivals all year round – from strawberries and bread to wine and beer festivals. Great fun, and a true celebration of local produce.


Want to see the island from a different angle? Hire a yacht and sail around the archipelago, taking in the coastal highlights as you go.



history through photos

30th March Air Malta receives first Boeing 737-200. 10 Year Anniversary.

30th March The Maltese Government contracts Pakistan International Airlines to help setup Air Malta.



1973 1983

March First touchdown of Air Malta aircraft.


31ST March


Inauguration of Air Malta.

First Air Malta captains.




Captain Marthese Desira heads first all women crew flight.

New Air Malta livery unveiled.

6th June Arrival of the 10 millionth passenger on Air Malta's UK routes.

27 th MaY Pope John Paul II on Air Malta.

1993 1989




30th August First Airbus delivery.


27 th August

Delivery of first Boeing 737-300.

Air Malta launches first website.

20 Year Anniversary.



11th JANUARY Inauguration of Lufthansa Technik (Malta).

18th JUNE Signing of agreement to setup Lufthansa Technik (Malta).

23rd MARCH

8th March

Air Malta re-brands aircraft to promote Valletta's Bid to become European Capital of Culture 2018.

Air Malta carries its 1 millionth passenger through Internet Booking Engine.

2004 2002





5th JULY


18th APRIL

Air Malta concludes muli-million dollar agreement to change aircraft fleet.

New Airbus fleet inaugurated.

Pope Benedict XVI flies on Air Malta.


To be continued...

23rd JANUARY Il-Bizzilla - Air Malta's new in-flight magazine.

7 th FEBRUARY Air Malta appoints Joseph Calleja as its Brand Ambassador.

END 2014 50 million passengers will have travelled on Air Malta flights.



29th september Air Malta's fresh new look welcomed at air show.

28th MARCH

12th JUNE

Air Malta aircraft fly in formation over the Maltese Islands.

'Awaken the Spirit of Travel' - Air Malta lights up Gnejna Bay with candles.




The darkness slithers in to envelop our aircraft waiting on the approach to the runway, and the airport's lights brighten in response. 34



here's a sense of expectation as the engines increase their pitch and whine, and the plane moves forward; slowly, cautiously. A tangible awareness of power throbs through the aircraft: power yet restrained as it turns towards its take-off position: runaway lights – amber, red, green – move past and seem to move of their own accord – a strange sensation; – and then, quivering with urgency as the engines a sudden surge and roar – the plane gathers speed – thunders along the runway – and the lights flash past in kaleidoscopic blur.

the seaplane base at Kalafrana – Malta had three operational aircraft facilities. During World War II, Hal Far and Ta ' Qali were the fighter aircraft bases, and they were often under heavy attack and badly damaged. They were the bases for the Swordfish and Albacore torpedo bombers attacking Axis shipping; particularly the supply ships en route for the Axis armies in North Africa. Hurricane and Spitfire fighters were also based at these airfields; and these legendary aircraft were critical to the defence of Malta during the German and Italian air strikes against the island, and the air battle for

by aircraft on reconnaissance and anti-submarine patrols. After the war its runways were lengthened, and the Canberra and runway-hungry Valiant 'V' bombers were able to use it. Luqa was decommissioned as an RAF base in 1978, but – using the same runways as the RAF aircraft – Malta's air passenger terminal had been opened at Luqa in 1958. In 1977 the main runway was further lengthened to accommodate the latest wide-bodied aircraft, and an Alitalia DC10 and an AerLingus Boeing 747 were the first to land. Today the lengths of the two main runways are 3.5 km, and 2.4 km, respectively.

The G force pushes us back in our seats as the aircraft lifts its nose and then takes flight in the element for which it was built. Airborne, free of the earth's fetters, we bank away into the evening sky. Destination Malta...and Malta's International Airport at Luqa which won the ACI Award for the best European airport in 2010. It's also classified in the top fifteen airports in the world. In 1915, during World War I, the British Royal Navy began building a seaplane base at Kalafrana in Marsaxlokk. This was to act as a base for reconnaissance for the fleet; to give early warning of the movement of enemy surface ships and submarines. In 1918 it was taken over as a Royal Air Force base, and remained in service until 1946. Today, there is nothing left of the base at Kalafrana. Marsaxlokk's Container Port was built over the site. In the 1920s, however, Malta also had two small operational airfields: at Ħal Far and Ta' Qali, and they were used – primarily – by small military aircraft. But when it had become clear that Malta's geographical position would give it an important place and role in the development and expansion of civil commercial air traffic, an up-to-date airfield was needed. The first permanent airfield aimed at filling this role was opened at Ħal Far in 1933, and it became a stop-over point and refuelling base for aircraft flying further east to Egypt, and further south in Africa. A little later, with the airfield at Ta' Qali updated – and with

Malta during 1941 and 1942. Because of the successes of the torpedo bombers and fighters attacking the Axis shipping, Field Marshall Rommel – the Desert Fox – the German commander in North Africa, remarked that Malta was the 'thorn in his side'. Ultimately, without the supplies he needed, Rommel lost the battle for North Africa and the route to the oilfields of the Middle East. But already in the 1930s and almost immediately after Hal Far and Ta’ Qali were operational, the development of larger military and commercial aircraft created the need for longer runways and larger facilities, – and so work began on the Luqa airfield in 1935. RAF Luqa started out with three runways surfaced with tarmac, and a fourth that was built but not surfaced until 1941. It was planned as an 'all weather' airfield. During World War II it was the base for the RAF’s heavy bomber squadrons of Wellingtons and Lancasters, and

Malta's award-winning new terminal was opened in 1992, and – for me – it is passenger friendly – relaxed – with the Maltese reputation for helpfulness and friendliness – and with excellent facilities. All too often I dread the hours spent in airport terminals, but it's always an easy and comfortable experience at Luqa. Something about Air Malta. Soon after the end of World War II a number of small airlines began operating on Malta, but in the early 1970s the government began negotiations for an international airline to be established. This was done in 1973, with the cooperation of Pakistan International Airlines and British European Airways. Air Malta itself – the national airline of Malta – made its first flight – using a Boeing 720B aircraft – on 1st April 1974. Today, with its headquarters and base at Malta International Airport, Air Malta has a fleet of 10 modern Airbus aircraft flying to 37 destinations.



Come Fly With Me Chris DeMicoli


s it a bird? Is it a plane? No it's... nope that's not superman either; though the future of aviation does seem like something out of a comic book. The reality is, man had already come a long way since the Wright Brothers, when the Concorde was birthed into existence in the 1960s. Unfortunately we all know how that turned out. In fact it's been over a decade since the Concorde was retired, but the dream lived on. Since then engineers have been studying the physics of flight in the hope of reducing the sonic booms; as well as testing different shaped planes in wind tunnels and dropping models from high altitude balloons. In the year 2000 the Quiet Supersonic Platform programme was created -a military programme - but that's where innovation stems from. This lead to the Shaped Sonic Boom Demonstrator in 2003, which proved that an aircraft's shockwave can be altered, to the Quiet Spike in 2006, where this concept was solidified and taken a couple steps further. In 2013 NASA awarded three contracts for designs of aircraft that will be flying in 2025. The contracts were awarded too Boeing, Northrup Grumman and Lockheed Martin. Each one has to be


significantly less noisy where a sonic boom is measured at 105 PLdB (Perceived decibel level), these would have to hit 70 PLdB or lower - as well as being more fuel efficient and have cleaner exhaust than planes flying now. Other specifications by NASA are that crafts should: “ up to 85 percent of the speed of sound; cover a range of approximately 7,000 miles; and carry between 50,000 and 100,000 pounds of payload, either passengers or cargo". That's no easy feat. One of the submissions by Lockheed Martin is the Supersonic Green Machine. Yes the name is a little on the nose, but this baby will dramatically lower the level of sonic booms through the use of an inverted V engine- under wing configuration. The time frame for this advanced supersonic cruise aircraft is around 2030. Aside from the US, Japan is the only other nation with a serious interest in supersonic aircraft, and the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) is conducting its own research into low-boom technology. Both the US and Japan are exploring a phenomenon called the Mach cutoff, which is a way to fly at low supersonic speed over land without any boom.


You’re welcome La Valette Club Join us at the La Valette Club. We are here to ensure that you start and end your trip in luxury, style and comfort.

Malta International Airport plc. Luqa LQA 4000, Malta Tel: (+356) 2369 6292 / 6016 Freephone: 8007 6666 Email:


"The reality is that humanity is always going

to dream big."

The NASA contracts shows progress based in reality - but that doesn't mean conceptual ideas have no value. In February 2014 Spanish designer Oscar Vinals was praised for his Skywhale concept, which was christened by aviators as the possible future of commercial air travel. The Skywhale would have a number of improvements such as; three decks making it economically viable, tilting Harrier-style jets, the ability break itself up into pieces during a crash landing as an extra precaution for travellers, and wings that repairs themselves. The concept plane won't need a runway for taking off and landing, and will come with virtual reality screens/ windows. According to Vinals' concept plans, the giant aircraft would be powered by three Harrier-style jets and feature a double fuselage, meaning it could go longer without refueling. There would also be micro solar cells on the wings that could draw power from the sun. The Skywhale, though conceptual does base itself in reality, and compliments itself with the upgrade of Airbus's Smart Skies vision for 2050. In 2010 Airbus asked the question "What will air transport look like in the year 2050?", it's answer was not only based on different aviation design, but rather how the aircraft is operated on the ground as well as in the air. Over the least four years, Airbus has tried to conceptually push the envelope. Their Smart Skies vision deals with Air Traffic Management, from shaving off 13 minutes per flight (which would save around 9 million tonnes of fuel annually), and express skyways, to tighter ground operations, a continuous eco climb and free-glide landings. The Future to Airbus is one of aircraft carriers, changing manufacturing methods, using intelligent materials and quantum electrical systems - and it all seems a little beyond belief, yet completely realistic and achievable.


Well commercial and military aviation is all well and good, but what about flying cars and the like? In 2010, the Puffin personal aircraft was unveiled at the NASA Langley campus. This was the first real step -albeit hypothetical - for personal aviation. The Puffin is an American hovercapable, electric-powered, low noise and personal vertical takeoff and landing. It would be capable of flying a single person at a speed of 241 kilometers per hour. Unfortunately the Puffin, stopped at being a concept and was never realized - but here's hoping it inspired Tesla, Google or some other big money company. The reality is that humanity is always going to dream big. What science fiction writers’ dream of, years later scientists achieve, just on a lark or having stumbled into it. Humanity's limitation is our imagination - because the reality is that man was meant to fly. James Hogan, CEO Etihad Airways: "A new generation of airlines, who have the vision and willingness to be different,

will succeed in cutting costs, improving productivity and finding affordable ways of accessing new markets. The emerging markets — the Middle East, Africa, Southeast Asia — will become established markets and Abu Dhabi will be one of the uniting global hubs." Sir Richard Branson, president Virgin Atlantic Airways: "I have no doubt that during my lifetime we will be able to fly from London to Sydney in under two hours, with minimal environmental impact. The awe-inspiring views of our beautiful planet below and zero-gravity passenger fun will bring a whole new meaning to inflight entertainment." David Siegel, CEO Frontier Airlines: "The first flight was just 18 miles long, but now look how far we can go. Perhaps in the future, experts will be designing futuristic propulsion systems. We could see innovations in aircraft design, local community-based air transport with smaller, higher efficiency aircraft, and maybe even pilotless commercial aircraft."


Our Pick:

Top Travel Airport Gadgets Peter Ian Staker

Make your travels easier with these nifty gadgets already available in some countries Apple’s Airport Express This little white box functions as a wireless base station. By simply plugging in the Ethernet cable and finding a free outlet the Airport Express delivers a configured private Wi-Fi domain. It bypasses the hefty fees of airport Wi-Fi and can double up as a home device for extending the range of an existing Wi-Fi network or sharing music and data – which all depends on whether its password protected or not, a decision left to the user. However for a travel companion, there’s no better thing – instant Wi-Fi. Thank you Apple. Retailing at $99

Tumi Ultra Slim Universal Power Adaptor Kit The Tumi kit is the perfect response to the weary traveller who is plagued with carrying all their gadget and communication chargers. This is an elegantly packed kit with a spring-powered retractable cable and a leather-trimmed carrying case. Retailing at $195

Headplay Personal Cinema System The device connects to TVs, video game consoles, DVD players, laptops, iPods, and virtually anything with video and audio out jacks, and lets the user view the proceedings via special goggles. The visor and media centre pack is comprised of a small plastic brick with ports for VGA, composite and S-video as well as USB and mini USB; all of which are small enough to fit into an included kit bag. There’s also an optional battery giving you up to 6 hours of playback time. Retailing at $549



Mobile Edge ScanFast Collection Mobile Edge is one of the market leaders in Checkpoint Friendly Laptop Cases. The ScanFast Collection is designed to speed users through airport security checkpoints quickly. Users no longer need to remove their laptop from their case. The ScanFast Collection has been tested and exceeds the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines for Checkpoint Friendly Carry-on luggage. Prices range depending on the options, from briefcases and messenger bags to backpacks from $39.99 - $119.99

Trakdot Luggage Tracker For complete peace of mind there is now an app/ product and service which ensures your luggage will never go missing. It has been approved by Conformité Européenne (CE) for use in European Community and even has an “airplane mode”. The Trakdot bundle of $89.99 includes an activation fee, annual service fee and the shipping and handling of the product itself. It does require an additional annual fee of $12.99, but that’s an easy sale for people who want complete peace of mind.

Able Planet's Clear Harmony Noise Cancelling Headphones These comfortable headphones only require two AAA's batteries which provide up to thirty-five hours of use. A volume switch is conveniently located on the headphone cord, and it all comes in a lovely carrying case – with solid assurance that users can submit to silence for an undisturbed sleep. Why have we picked Able’s noice cancelling headphones over competitors? It’s significantly cheaper, retailing at $349



Triumphant at Easter Victor Calleja

Enter churches reverentially, not as a visitor or to gape at the scene. Walk slowly, let your senses and your inner soul wander round. Breathe in the essence of what the Easter period is all about.


EASTER IN MALTA; Easter Procession


deally do this on Maundy Thursday when churches look funereal and humanity mourns the passion and death of the man Christians revere as the son of God.

If you think this is all a fairy tale fret not. Forget the godly aspect, leave that for those you consider less enlightened and, if you have different religious beliefs, accept this as another version of spirituality. Regard it merely as drama and theatre, which will mesmerise you as you move around the churches on the evening of Maundy Thursday, where silence reigns and

people move in groups of prayer. In strict reflection of the solemnity of the period, the churches are all covered in drapes of damask with the usual ornamentation concealed. The main attraction is the catafalque in honour of the dead Christ. Let your senses wander and take in the aroma of the cloves, the abundant flowers and the candle wax. Move slowly and admire the scene which is very dimly lit—except where the dead Christ reposes. Here, although all is serene and subdued, light, flowers, candles and statues of angels are in abundance.




This is all part of the most important event in the Christian calendar, Easter, when the crucifixion and death of Christ are commemorated. On Good Friday many parishes hold processions with a bevy of statues depicting scenes from Christ’s passion. Roman soldiers, apostles and many other characters from the bible in full regalia walk behind the statues, re-enacting the times of Christ. This is pure pageantry and makes a wonderful spectacle, even if the solemn sometimes borders on the burlesque, like the representation of the servant’s ear reputedly cut off by Peter to defend Christ. For believers, the dead Christ who was beaten and crucified like the worst criminal eventually triumphs. All the solemnity of the preceding days turns to riotous joy on




"Easter is a time for regeneration, for victory over evil and death" Easter Sunday when the suffering Christ wins over death and rises up to heaven. A number of parishes in Malta and Gozo mark this event by another procession which, this time, features only the statue of the risen Christ. The statuebearers run up hills and around streets and squares in a manner far removed from the solemnity of the Good Friday procession. Christ this time sways and moves, bearing his flag aloft in triumph while the crowds gathered in the streets join in the festive fun. Throughout Malta and Gozo you can see depictions of the Last Supper with tables laid out in a style resembling that of the times of the Apostles. Some have more charm than historical veracity but all are a treat for the eyes. Food glorious food features highly in Malta and Easter and the days preceding it are no exception. During Lent—the forty days prior to Easter Sunday—many offer a sacrifice for their sins and, since many Maltese people are known for their sweet tooth, quite a few find avoiding sweets a fitting penance during Lent.

Some quibbling surrounds a most appetising sweet called kwareżimal. For some obscure - but most welcome - reason, this is not considered a sweet so the faithful can eat it to their heart’s content and still rank as adhering to the no-sweet fast. Karamelli tal-ħarrub (boiled sweets made from carobs) are not only permitted but quite a staple item on Good Friday, when you can see them being sold by stalls lining the road during the processions. Along comes Easter Sunday and all is permitted and everyone goes on a sugarbinge with figolli (almond-filled pastry usually in the shape of a rabbit, lamb, fish or heart), bieqja (a small bowl of olives made entirely of marzipan), and a series of other traditional sweets like Easter eggs, hot-cross buns and Colomba (the Easter equivalent of a panettone). Hardly sweet but quite delicious is the bread called qagħaq tal-appostli (Apostles’ ring). Easter is a time for regeneration, for victory over evil and death—certainly for Christians. Feast your eyes, your senses and your whole being on these days of spirituality while enjoying the spectacle and the food.

01. Biblical enactment of the passion during in the Good Friday procession / 02. Actor portraying Jesus



Easter in Malta

A delightfully tasty time to visit Foreigners visiting Malta in Easter usually reach our shores on Maundy Thursday or Good Friday catching the tail end of Lent. Julian Sammut


he Lenten sweet kwareżimal – permitted as it contains no butter or eggs – is still on sale and definitely worth trying. The name for this almond, citrus zest and spiced pastry derives from quaranta, Italian for forty, the number of days of fasting for the best quality, ask a local to point in the direction of the best confectioners. As far as savoury food goes, street snacks like the qassata ta’ l-inċova, a spinach and anchovy pastry, and sfineġ tal-bakkaljaw, salt cod fillets

deep fried in a crispy, fluffy batter, are commonly on sale. The qassata are sold from pastizzeriji. One of the band clubs in Rabat is especially sought out for the latter. On Thursday evening and Good Friday in the morning most families set out Valletta or number of villages for the traditional Seven Chruches visit where altars of repose are laid out with beautiful antique silver pieces and blankets of white flowers. All town and village squares buzz with activity and the reciting of prayers, amidst the cries of street vendors selling qagħaq

ta’ l-Appostli, large bread rings studded with almonds. The pealing of bells on Easter morning celebrates the resurrection of our Lord and the end of the long period of Lenten abstinence. Children rush out carrying their figolla – a biscuit and marzipan sweet, colourfully decorated with sugar icing and with a chocolate egg in the middle. Traditionally baked in the shape of a fish, rabbit or dove, the figolla most probably hails from Sicily where much of our “sweet” heritage originates 01







Lamb remains the traditional dish for the family lunch on Easter Sunday. from. However it may be that the little animal shapes were originally intended to symbolise new life as Easter eggs do. When the Knights of St. John reached Malta in 1530 they were accompanied by a large following of Greeks, mainly Rhodiots, who being Christian, fled Rhodes with them and settled in the Three Cities, mainly Birgu. It was these refugees who introduced this Easter Sunday procession to our islands. Did they bring us figolli too? The figolli are blessed by the local Parish priest as the men of the town or village run through the streets carrying the statue of the risen Christ in the traditional Irxoxt, (resurrection celebration). Without a doubt the most spectacular of these processions are held in the neighbouring cities of Bormla (Cospicua) and Birgu (Vittoriosa) where the statue bearers run triumphantly and the statues are brought together high up on the hill of Santa Margerita. The spectacular procession in Valletta held in the evening is also worth a visit.

either roasted, ħaruf il-forn, or cooked as a frikassija. The roast is surrounded by potatoes, fresh garlic and onions and flavoured with mint, lemon juice and a dash of white wine, whilst for the frikassija the lamb is chopped into smaller pieces, fried until golden with onion, garlic and leeks, then dressed with egg, and lemon juice and braised slowly on a low flame. Fresh peas are added and a crusty loaf of Maltese bread is essential to mop up the delicious gravy, as are finger bowls and a pile of paper napkins. These tasty Lenten and Easter dishes can be savoured at Gululu the casual Maltese restaurant and ftajjarija – ftira is similar to Neapolitan pizza and baked in a wood burning oven - in Spinola Bay, St. Julian’s.

Lamb remains the traditional dish for the family lunch on Easter Sunday. An entire young lamb or the leg of a larger one is

Julian Sammut is an amateur of Maltese food and traditions, and the proprietor of Gululu restaurant in St. Julian’s.

Easter is a very special feast to all Maltese. It is the Catholic church’s most important feast and heralds in the warmer weather and happier, carefree days.

01. Maltese Figolli / 02. Gululu Kcina Maltija and Ftajjarija in Spinola Bay, St Julians showing off a Frikassija tal -Haruf / 03. Close up of rabbit / 04. Sfineg tal- Bakkaljaw from Gululu / 05. Ftira tar- Randan available at Gululu 47


Galletti T

Deborah Ratcliffe

When you’re out and about on the Maltese Islands, having a meal or shopping for food, you’re bound to have come across the traditional Galletti- Maltese water crackers: small crisp rounds, with that satisfying ‘snap and crunch’ when you bite into them. The name comes from the ‘crackling’ sound when baking: hence - ‘crackers’!

hey’re a very popular biscuit on the Islands and easy to find in grocery stores. However, not one person I’ve spoken to has baked their own and furthermore didn’t know a soul who did! Even old farming families said, as far back as they could remember, that bought them. However, all is not lost as the acclaimed Maltese cookery writer, Matty Cremona, came to my rescue with a recipe from her book, “The Way We Ate”: a Maltese cook book with a difference; giving readers a glimpse into the history of the cuisine as well as scrummy recipes. My next task, having tracked down a recipe, was to check out the Galletti’s origins – the universal answer from my friends was: ‘no idea’! Numerous theories were expounded: - maybe the thin, hard, brittle cracker was a smaller version of the Ship’s biscuit. Thus making the Galletti a cousin of the seafaring biscuit – Hardtack. Sailors, in days gone by, mischievously regaled landlubbers with tales of weevil infested, tooth crunching iron hard biscuits but luckily the Maltese version is a long call away from its hard done by cousin! Another suggestion was that they actually came from Italy – and were called ‘Galletta’ – and, again, were staple food for the Italian sailor.


In her research Matty hasn’t yet come across a mention of Galletti in documents or other sources she has studied. I love her hypothesis; bored bakers first made them quickly while waiting for other bread dough to rise. (Galletti dough is not left to rise but cooked immediately) Consequently, she surmised, they liked the end product so much they just carried on making them! So now we come to another dilemma – what are the correct ingredients? Opinions varied again. Some friends thought only flour was used, others that semolina was added, some suggested a slug of local olive oil would have helped moisten the dry ingredients and others that only water was added. Whatever the definitive recipe do try Matty’s and recreate a ‘taste’ of old Malta! Today, these crunchy commercially made crackers, are sold literally in their millions: gone are the days of plain crackers as now a plethora of flavours are available: including sundried tomato, cracked black pepper, aromatic rosemary and my favourite goats cheese variety. Each year the Galletti has a metamorphosis with


neat twists on the old theme producing some delicious new ideas – pre-packed dips with Galletti for example, or the latest mini variety with new flavours. Galletti are often used to dip into the famous Bigilla – a scrumptious concoction of cooked dried broad beans. I personally love to use Galletti as a base for canapés:

they’re pretty hard and will hold a ‘wet’ topping for quite a while. Try plain Galletti with black olive pate and a swirl of crème fraiche.... or pile a variety of flavours onto a large dish and serve with local olives, capers and tasty Ġbejniet. Ġbejniet are small cheeselets served either friski (fresh) or dried, and

traditionally made from sheep or goats milk – although today, you can also purchase cow’s milk cheeses. The Ġbejniet friski are served within hours of making and have a wonderful fresh taste. To make the dried cheese, friski cheeses are placed, under a special cover, on a roof top to dry in the sun and wind.

Matty Cremona’s Galletti Ingredients • 200 grams all purpose flour • 150 grams semolina plus a little for kneading • 4 tablespoons olive oil or 25-30g butter • Pinch of salt • 1 packet instant yeast • Approximately 200g warm water

Method 1. Sieve the flour into a large bowl 2. Add the salt and olive oil (or butter if preferred) 3. Mix well, rub in the oil/butter with finger tips 4. Stir in the semolina and the yeast 5. Make a well in the middle of the flour and slowly add the water* 6. Stir until the mixture forms into a dough 7. Knead dough till soft and pliable 8. Cut into two manageable pieces, putting one aside** 9. Roll out the dough very thinly, cutting circles and shapes with a biscuit cutter 10. Prick through the centre with a fork or skewer 11. Place on a baking tray 12. Dust lightly with semolina

Tip ** It’s easier to cut the dough in half and roll one piece at a time to keep the dough a manageable size. * Add the water slowly as you don’t want to end up with a wet dough.

13. Cook at 220°C until lightly coloured- about 15 minutes.


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A walk around the periphery of Valletta will show an exquisite and bold example of a fortified city. Explore on foot some of the newly restored bastions for a touch of the best views in Malta and Gozo and to get some insight into the story of past generations and cultures.

Fort St Angelo




o fully appreciate the sheer beauty of Malta’s fortified walls, you have to delve a bit into its history. After all, that’s why these high walls and fabulous feats of architecture, were built. Their job was to keep the enemy out, and these structures are testimonies of many a battle fought. A good place to start if you want to learn about Malta’s fortifications – from what to see on the island to how they were built over the centuries – head to the Fortifications Interpretation Centre on the periphery road of Valletta at the end of St. Mark Street. It is a newly designed and lovingly restored museum housed in a 16th century warehouse close to St. Andrew’s Bastions, just one of Malta’s rich architectural patrimony. 01



01. Kalkara Palaces 02. Newly restored bastion walls, Mdina 03.; Valletta Harbour



When the Knights of St. John came to Malta in 1530, they decided to change much of its architectural makeup. At that time, Malta’s few fortifications left much to be desired since most were in ruins. So the Knights took it upon themselves to fix the existing fortifications and improve the artillery. In 1551, the Order built Fort St. Elmo on the tip of Sciberras Peninsula. However it was badly designed, and although it ‘put up a good fight’ during the Great Siege of 1565, it landed in the hands of the Turks. Then, after the Siege, Francesco Laparelli arrived in 1565. He was an Italian military engineer who was given the task to submit proposals for a new fortified enceinte to the city which was to

be called Valletta. A lot of his designs remain in the Valletta we see today. His proposals included four bastions stretching from Marsamxett Harbour to the Grand Harbour. He wanted there to be nine cavaliers, though only two were ever built. Apart from the bastions around Valletta, one can appreciate the beauty of the fortified walls of the Three Cities – perfectly viewed from the Upper Barrakka in Valletta – which had taken the brunt of the Turkish attacks during the Great Siege. The old fortified city of Mdina, on a hill in the heart of the island, is a definite must to visit – as much to see its impressive high walls as to wander about its narrow and atmospheric streets.



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Gozo’s Bastion Walls "Malta’s historical past and its bastions have stood the test of time."

The Citadel in Victoria Gozo is one of the must-sees in Gozo. Beautifully restored, it is a small fortified town with its own castle standing proud on a rocky hill. History states that the site was developed as a fortified town since Phoenician occupation. When the Order of St.John arrived, the ‘Castello’, as in the case of other fortifications, was in a poor and neglected state. It could not offer any protection to its citizens in the case of war. In fact, in 1551, the Castello fell to the Turks, and the castle was left in ruins. Moving on, the walls were rebuilt to provide modern fortification facilities;

however, an earthquake in 1693 reduced the houses and the medieval church to ruin and, until the 1900’s, the area was sparsely populated. Today, the area teams with life, offering a good vantage point for some of Gozo’s lush valleys. Works continue around different parts of the citadel. Malta’s historical past and its bastions have stood the test of time. Major investments over the last few years have led to the restoration of many of these magnificent fortifications to their original splendour, for many future generations of locals and travellers to enjoy and relive a slice of Malta’s history.; Cittadella, Gozo, Aerial View


Local Heritage

A Tour of The Traditions Melanie Vella

Look beyond the sea and sand on offer during the coming months in ‘Sunny Malta’ and you will find an island with an abundance of historical traditional treasures which blend effortlessly into contemporary life. 01


01.; Traditional Maltese balcony 02. & 03. Typical Maltese balconies in Valletta


Local Heritage


Gallerija Maltija The Maltese Balcony or ‘Gallerija Maltija’ is unequivocally a unique architectural feature that embellishes the urban Maltese streetscapes. In hues of traditional green, bright red, deep blue and exotic purple, they add character to the long winding streets of traditional Maltese towns and villages. The carved stone balconies are the oldest type of balconies. Many households defined their social status by the grandeur and intricacy of their stone balconies. The two closed wooden balconies of the Grand Master’s Palace, Valletta inspired a new construction trend. By the mideighteenth century, they spread throughout Valletta and other towns. The balconies earned the name ‘La Maltija’ which betrays their Moroccan and Arabic architectural roots. The Muxrabija or ‘look-out place’ originally kept Arabic women from being seen. Maltese women were never hidden in the house, yet they enjoyed watching the world go by perched on a high stool in their balcony – perhaps it was their reality TV? Traipse through Valletta, Mdina or Gozo and raise your eyes to admire the Maltese balconies floating above street-level - often adorned with the household’s laundry flapping in the breeze.


Local Heritage

Pastizzi Best served with a glass – yes, glass of tea or coffee, the diamond shaped cheesecakes or ‘pastizzi’ (pronounced pas-tit-si) are one of Malta’s iconic savoury delights. Traditional pastizzi are filled with creamy ricotta called ‘pastizzi tal-irkotta’ or spicy mushy peas called ‘pastizzi tal-piżelli’. The filo pastry is the key ingredient as it crumbles deliciously especially when freshly baked. Gastronomic historians attribute these puffy little pastries to the Turks, who were one of the many foreign powers to dominate Malta. The word ‘pastizz’ is also used as a euphemism for describing someone as an ‘idiot’ or ‘buffoon’. Maxims and Maksims and Mac Seans and Mac Sims Pastizzerias are dotted around the island serve up these tasty takeaway treats for around 0.25€ to 0.35€. For an authentic ‘te fit-tazza u pastizz’ trek off the tourist trail to Crystal Palace in Rabat and get in with the locals. Otherwise, wander into Mdina and find the treasured ‘Fontanella Tea Garden’ for a more scenic view, sit atop the bastions, with a delicious pastizz in hand.

Maltese pastizzi tal-irkotta

"The word ‘pastizz’ is also used as a euphemism for describing someone as an ‘idiot’ or ‘buffoon’."

Għana Maltija Maltese għana, pronounced aa-na, the għ is silent, is the traditional Maltese folk music. Għana is strongly influenced by Malta’s geographic location – a combination of the famous Sicilian ballad and the rhythmic wail of an Arabic tune. The singing is accompanied by traditional musical instruments, including the zaqq (bagpipes), the zavzava (drum), the tambur (tambourine), the argunett (mouth harp) and the accordion. Music has always played an important role in the everyday life of Maltese people. Għana was sung by Maltese


peasants for many years as a form of entertainment. The għannej (folk singer) belts out stories of life in the village or important events in Maltese history, usually with a humouristic touch. Street hawkers used to sing folk songs to attract attention and declare their products’ superiority. Now that’s traditional Maltese marketing! The ‘Ghanafest’ in the month of June features a blend of Maltese Mediterranean folk music. This is a great excuse to come back to Malta and enjoy the summer sun.

Local Heritage

Luzzu The characteristically bright coloured luzzu, pronounced loot-su, has added splashes of colour to the seas of Malta for almost a hundred years. Before the introduction of modern registration, fishermen painted their luzzijiet (plural) certain colours to indicate the home port of each particular boat. Today they are traditionally red, blue, yellow and green. Wooden eyes peer down at the sea from both sides of the bow, to ward off evil. They are the modern survival of an ancient Phoenician custom, also practiced by the ancient Greek. Malta’s love for the luzzu has made her find modern adaptions and many now provide attractive tourist trips around the harbours of Malta and Gozo although the vast majority are still used as fishing boats.

Maltese luzzu

To experience a typical Maltese fishing village head to Marsaxlokk in southern Malta. Treat yourself to the fresh catch of the day, after strolling through the local market which is in full swing every Sunday morning.



Air Malta Memorabilia

One collector's items Monique Chambers meets the man with an impressive collection of AirMalta memorabilia


rancis Dingli has been collecting Air Malta memorabilia since 1990. His first item, a copy of ‘Malta This Month’ started a hobby which 24 years later, is still going strong. Whilst both the magazine and the airline have seen many changes, Francis’ passion for collecting has continued, adding items each time he travels. Today, while Air Malta celebrates its 40th anniversary, Francis has notched up over 300 items in his fascinating collection. The collection started when Francis wanted to keep and develop a sense of his Maltese identity and memories of the country strong and always with him, having left Malta at a very early age.

Over the years Francis tells me he has collected models, promotional materials and general items. Indeed, his favourite piece is the first envelope to enter an Air Malta plane in the 1970's. These envelopes are used to carry documentation pertinent to the flight. Airline memorabilia is sought after, especially that of smaller airlines, with items like timetables and safety cards being quite in demand. Tickets, plastic bags, luggage tags and crockery can also be found, however teaspoons seem to be one of the most common items found online. Sick bags and sugar sachets are also sought after as are the refreshing towel wipes delivered with every on-board meal.

Items available on specialist sites and also eBay, include crew passport covers, badges, signage and even copies of the inflight magazine over the years! Globally, the hobby of collecting airline memorabilia has associations, bloggers, facebook pages and a show; this year there is one in Las Vegas in July, where seminars and competitions are held for visitors looking to learn, share, swap and buy more for their collection. Best photo, best model and even uniform’s are judged in the annual competition. We look forward to hearing more about Francis’ collection during Air Malta’s 50th celebrations!

"the hobby of collecting airline memorabilia has associations, bloggers, facebook pages and a show"


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In the seventh heaven Captain Charles Massa talks to Victoria Galea and recalls his career with Air Malta


he very first Air Malta flight ever captained by a Maltese pilot was KM616 to Gatwick on the 8th of October 1985 and that pilot was 31 yearold Captain Charles Massa. Captain Charles Massa remembers it well despite the passage of time. He also relates an anecdote about how it was all set up to be a big media event as, after all, this really was a historic moment for Malta. Captain Massa recounts how at the time Air Malta flights were captained by foreign pilots and that he had flown under supervision till then. He wasn’t even aware that he was chosen to pilot that first historic flight to Gatwick and that it was his colleagues congratulating him who broke the news. As a first on his own steam it already was stressful enough for young Charles Massa. To this was added the pressure of a national first and the watching eyes of the media. He was understandably nervous. But he needn’t have worried. He recalls the beautiful autumn day. All went well but on his return to Malta he was puzzled that he did not find a waiting crowd of enthusiastic reporters or cameramen as the plan had been but just the airline photographer. What had happened was that two flights captained by Maltese pilots had taken off

that day, one to Gatwick and later, one to Rome. Obviously the flight to and from Rome was shorter than that to and from Gatwick and in the confusion, the media coordinators had overlooked this situation with the result that the waiting media heralded the first flight in – the Rome flight – and had gone home by the time Captain Massa returned from Gatwick. He smiles and says it is all part of the memory and excitement of the moment and makes it more memorable. Speaking to Captain Massa just a few hours after his return to Malta, having followed a 6 week updating training session in Germany, it was obvious that here was a man who loved his job and who is literally in the seventh heaven at the helm of a plane. “I really love what I do. Looking back it all seems so different. Now everything seems effortless and taken for granted,” he said, recalling the days when there was no national airline, when going abroad was a special occasion for most and piloting a plane was an unachievable dream. Captain Massa’s eyes gleamed while he recalled that he had always wanted to be a pilot since he was a child but at the time he might as well have wanted to walk on the moon. The possibilities of becoming a pilot in Malta were that



remote in a country that did not have its own airline. In fact, despite his dreams, Charles went on to study accounts. He was in his fourth year of studies when he heard of the possibility of the opening for pilot training. He applied, took the exam, passed, was chosen, dropped his studies and embarked on a dream of a lifetime. “I have never looked back.” Memories of those early years, as the national airline took its first courageous steps with its two airplanes, are still fresh in Captain Massa’s mind. “How different it all was back then. Tougher in many ways and you needed determination to succeed. We trained in Pakistan now we even get online training. But they were good times and it seemed like one big adventure. We were a great team – there was a lot of solidarity among staff at all levels.” Charles spoke of the general sentiment following the birth of Air Malta. “It was a mile-stone. There was excitement but also some skepticism obviously as the country had no expertise. This was a totally new sphere and what did Malta know about it…?” “My own family was not at all pleased at my choice to drop my studies and turn to something so totally unknown at the time. And yet what a change it wrought! I believe the setting up of Air Malta made all the difference and, looking back, the impact on the country was immense. It gave us an identity and also added a respectable chunk of national pride.” Captain Massa is convinced of this importance. “Even now, I believe that the survival of the national airline is of the utmost importance for our country.” And despite all the difficulties of recent years he believes that the airline remains a national asset to nurture. “I can’t imagine Malta without Air Malta.” Inevitably the passage of four decades has brought with it much change, not least in technology. “We now just play around with a joystick – more or less like playing with a Play Station”, he joked.

He quickly changes tone and says that one thing is certain, safety and security is something which Air Malta really takes seriously and speaks of the extensive and ongoing training, medicals and strict regulations that come with the job. This tread leads us onto the inevitable subject of air security. “Even that has changed a lot. Before people would be coming and going to the pilot’s cabin with no real restrictions. The 11 September 2001 changed all that. Hijackings were nothing new but 9/11 saw the situation transformed and instead of demands by hijackers the plane itself was now being used as the weapon.” “Being a pilot demands dedication. Some consider it glamorous but it plays havoc on your private life. You can forget your social life and holiday-time for everyone else is usually the busiest time for us and that is a bit tough on one’s family. But working with Air Malta has many advantages and separation is usually not long – just the duration of the journey to your destination and back. I wouldn’t change my job for anything.”

Charles Massa is a very serene man. He doesn’t get ruffled easily and is easy-going. However he does not like negativity. “Some people think that anything foreign is better than Maltese. I do not understand that. Our national airline is really a gem and has nothing to be ashamed of. And it is true that there is a lot to be seen and learnt in other countries, but there is so much that is unique about our country too. I have been as far as New Zealand with Air Malta, seen many countries and experienced different cultures but I continue to believe we are very lucky to be living in Malta. There are still some countries I would like to see but sometimes coming back to Malta on a lovely spring day or going up to Gozo for a small break is enough to make me appreciate what we have and to regenerate my batteries.” His patriotism is also evident when he answered my question about memorable trips or personalities. His first answer was that he has flown all Malta’s presidents over the years. Now that, coming from someone who has also flown a number of international personalities and stars, says a lot about Captain Charles Massa’s priorities.


Travel round up

Westin Dragonara/

Accessible Travel for All The Westin Dragonara Resort has recently been awarded the European Excellence Award for Accessible Tourism by the Malta Tourism Authority (MTA). The resort is highly accessible and well equipped to provide the right facilities and services to persons with a disability. This 5 star establishment invested in appropriate equipment such as alarms for the deaf and blind, pool hoists, accessible conference facilities and emergency equipment- all important facilities which make a difference to this tourism market. However, it is the hotel’s attitude that makes it also a clear winner. Access for All is the Westin’s credence, making it stand out above the rest. The MTA recently launched the EU cofinanced European Excellence Award for Accessible Tourism project as part of its efforts to encourage tourism stakeholders to embark on projects which promote accessible tourism. The award aims to recognise hotels or restaurants which have excelled in their efforts to make their property accessible, despite certain limitations. Seabank Resort and Spa and Paradise Bay Resort Hotel ranked first and second runnersup respectively. Commenting on this event, Tourism Minister Karmenu Vella


said that the Government is committed in giving the necessary assistance so that standards towards accessibility in tourism are raised not only in infrastructure but also in services. On his part MTA’s CEO Josef Formosa Gauci explained how MTA recognises the importance of accessible tourism as another niche in the tourism sector as well as its important role in creating awareness amongst the tourism industry for new opportunities. Travel is a right for all. Accessibility is not solely about meeting access needs such as catering for the one-off client in a wheelchair but also about a broader market which makes accessible facilities and services are favourable to all. The beauty of accessible design is that it is universally beneficial; it positively affects families with young children, senior travellers (60+), who are expected to reach 40% of Europe’s population and even employees. Accessibly designed environments are also far safer and more comfortable for all. Over the years the European Commission has embarked on numerous projects, aimed at raising not only awareness of accessible tourism but also to encourage

countries to take concrete actions in making this as reality. Through its Calypso I and II projects, the EU aim to make sure Accessible Tourism is an item on the agendas of Member States. It has moved from awareness to action and is keen to promote exchange mechanisms, amongst countries, to share not only best practices, but to make travel more affordable for all. According to Eurostat (2005), the general demand for accessibility amounts to 127.5 million people. This is a significant potential market for Europe and Malta. If accompanying family and friends are factored into the equation, the total potential travel market amounts to between 134 million to 267.9 million with potential tourism revenues amounting to between €83 billion to €166 billion. The average expenditure per person per holiday is estimated at €620. Investing in Accessible Tourism makes business sense and is an increasingly attractive segment whose potential waits to be unlocked. Some tourism service providers in Europe and Malta are already on that path reaping the benefits and offering an enticing experience to persons with special needs and their accompanying family and friends.




remember a time when most Maltese would be happy to eat in any restaurant when visiting Italy. We would leave the place singing its praises and telling anyone and everyone that they MUST eat there and HAVE TO try this and that. Today I find that this is no longer so. One must take care, walk around, wander away from the main square and search out the locals before deciding where to eat. It is not the first time that I've left a restaurant disappointed in Rome or some Sicilian village. We have become more discerning because the quality, diversity and availability of food in Malta has improved substantially over the last twenty years or so. We are used to better food both at home and out. The choice and availability of quality ingredients is second to none. Having said that, Italian food remains the most popular here and this in no small way is because of the Maltese love for carbs, so pizza and pasta are available at every corner. Chinese, Indian, Greek, Turkish restaurants and steakhouses are also popular, Café’s serving snacks and salads are very busy too. Good food choice apart, the culture of eating out is also a factor for this accelerated increase in eateries. We have become more discerning with our wine too, we know more about it, and whisky buffs are sprouting like mushrooms. More and more

J.D Vella

people want to, indeed need to, get out and have a good time and not only at the weekend. What we may still be lacking, certainly outside the major entertainment areas, are places where one can enjoy oneself, eating and drinking well, comfortably in relaxed and attractive surroundings with a beautiful view and….without having to spend too much money. The Chophouse GastroBar at Tigne’ Point I daresay pretty much matches up to all of this. Tucked away from the madding crowd with the magical view of Valletta across Sliema creek, an assortment of sofas, high stools and tables and regular dining tables set the mood for a menu of bar bites,tapas, salads or meat and fish dishes which include a Burger Boutique. The Chophouse wine list, one of the top ten on the island I reckon, is available at the GastroBar as is a selection of more than 100 single malt and aged blended whiskies. The Chophouse Wine School and Whisky Club are very active and one can observe with an option to sign up. The GastroBar is a very welcome newcomer to the F&B scene and is full of promise. An added bonus is that patrons are provided with free parking at The Point car park, and in bad weather there is covered access from the car park directly to the restaurant elevator.



Venice Deborah Ratcliffe

Venice, assails the senses with its intense beauty. Wherever you look, the magnificence can be almost overwhelming - Churches, Palaces, Museums, stately Mansions, each more striking than the last. If time is short then joining an escorted tour will allow you to check out all the main highlights. Seriously don’t miss: St. Mark's Square filled with tourists and pigeons. The superb St. Mark's Basilica - built as the Reliquary for the Saint - lavishly endowed with treasures donated by the fabulously wealthy merchants during the peak of Venetian mercantile/trading power. Do visit the Doge's Palace where until 1797, the Doges ruled the Venetian Empire. Politics reigned supreme and life was essentially controlled by elite families whose names were in the ‘Golden Book’.

One of the main attractions of any visit to Venice is, of course, a gondola ride on the majestic Grand Canal. It’s a magical experience, passing under ancient bridges, gliding by the magnificent historical buildings with their reflections dancing in the shimmering waters. An amusing aside is a delightful experience friends of mine had in Venice, whilst sitting in a gondola, exploring the glorious Venetian canals. Chatting away to the Gondolier, Sylvie let slip it was their wedding anniversary. To her blushing embarrassment the Gondolier burst into a medley of love songs! If you want a really different experience then why not take a lesson in becoming an iconic Gondolier? Not sure if singing lessons are thrown in! Gondolas can be expensive so look out for the Vaporetti- a Venetian ferry - much cheaper and the views are still the same! Take to dry ground, stand on the Rialto Bridge and watch the


different faces of Venice meander pass by - tourist boats, family runabouts, cargo boats - the canals buzz with life. Don’t forget to explore the labyrinth of narrow passageways and alleys, graced by delightful bridges, imposing houses and hiding real family run cafes patronised by the locals. March visitors catch the last remaining few days of the fascinating Carnival - naturally celebrated with panache and flair in Venice. Check out the web site: to see what’s on highlights include watching ‘The Best Masked Costume Contest’ or participating in the ‘Walking Theatre ... Secrets of Venice". Finally, in March opera lovers can immerse themselves in La Traviata at the Teatro La Fenice - once again fully restored after another catastrophic fire It was originally commissioned by the Nobile Societa, a group of wealthy nobles and citizens.




London For those of you reading this of a slightly more ‘mature’ age, do cast your mind back and see if you can recall the year when ‘Seasons in the Sun’ by Terry Jacks was No. 1 in the UK singles charts, Leeds United won their second Football League First Division title and Agatha Christie’s ‘The Mousetrap’ had already been running for 22 years or so! Deborah Ratcliffe


id you guess 1974? Well, 1974 is a year particularly dear to the hearts of the Maltese people - a year that heralded some momentous events including the declaration of Malta as a Republic within the British Commonwealth - Independence was gained ten years before in 1964 from the UK. Another significant milestone on Malta’s timeline of 1974 was flagged up on the 1st April, 1974 when Air Malta commenced scheduled services to London, Birmingham, Manchester, Rome, Frankfurt, Paris and Tripoli. From a small start wet-leasing two Boeing 720Bs, Air Malta has now blossomed into a leading European regional airline operating a modern sophisticated fleet of aircraft carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers to destinations throughout Europe, the Eastern Mediterranean and North Africa. In 2014, the airline dedicated to excellence, is 40 years old. Happy Birthday Air Malta! Visitors, returning after 40 years to London, will see many changes from the day the original flight landed - although The Mousetrap is still running - as tourism has become a dominant part of London’s economy. Visiting can be expensive if you try and pack everything in as there’s just so much to see and do. So I suggest a little preplanning to check out deals and offers by browsing the plethora of London web sites. To start the ball rolling I‘ve checked


out a few listed below. Remember thought there’s still masses to see and do for free! The city offers various schemes to cut the cost; without losing the quality of the stay. You can buy a discounted London Pass with ‘free’ entry (once you’ve bought it!) to over 60 attractions including the Tower of London and Westminster Abbey. The Visitor Oyster Card is a pay-as-you-go smartcard offering excellent savings on London Public Transport. Check out the Visit Briton web site for details of these deals as they can vary from time to time. One of the best ways of seeing the highlights of the city is to take a guided tour - open air buses are such fun - British weather permitting! Walking tours are becoming increasingly popular and specialist tours - perhaps the eerie evening tour following in the Footsteps of Jack the Ripper - really brings this eclectic city alive! To discover what’s on in London in April there’re various web sites loaded with information on what to see and what to do - one really informative site is Visit London on - don’t miss the celebrations for Easter, the iconic Thames Boat Race or join in the cheering for the athletes taking part in the London Marathon. London Town is another good site to view - London/April-2014-in-London showcasing

Check out the Visit Briton web site for details of these deals as they can vary from time to time.


some quite wonderful sights and sounds including The English Ballet’s - ‘Lest we Forget’. Gounod's ‘Faust’ at the Royal Opera - now this is a real ‘must see’ as Malta’s own celebrated Tenor Joseph Calleja takes the lead role of Faust- Joseph has been nominated for a 2014 International Opera Award in the Reader’s Choice category. On a lighter note a rather aromatic experience would be a fun visit to the London Coffee Festival! If you come to London for the theatre then you’re in paradise! There’s something for every taste - from the catchy songs of Mamma Mia to the suspense of Ghost Stories to the delightful comedy of Jeeves and Wooster. Theatre links are numerous but do try to get an idea of what’s on and, importantly, what tickets are available. From fine dining to Pub grub London boasts the very best in British and International cuisine.

activities/food-and-drink flags up the main eateries - don’t miss out on a traditional Roast Beef Sunday lunch with all the trimmings. Do partake in a very elegant Afternoon Tea genteelly nibbling wafer thin cucumber sandwiches in one of the top hotels, or dine in the increasingly popular ‘Gastro’ pubs serving excellent well priced food and naturally beer! Not to be missed is the traditional favourite fare of Londoners...Pie and Mash and of course...Jellied Eels- both stemming from the 18th century. Originally the ‘Pie’ was filled with eel but today tends to be mince. Oh yes don’t forget to indulge in a full English breakfast and of course Fish ‘n Chips with mushy peas. Time permitting why not add a cooking class? Try filleting fish in Billingsgate or even book a full cordon bleu course. The first Air Malta flight to London took off on 1st April 1974.



High-Flying Dentistry

BACKSTAGE! Have you ever asked you dentist how your new teeth will be produced? Where does the impression taken in the clinic end up after you have left the clinic? How is that sticky silicone material used to produce your new teeth? And most of all will you be satisfied with the results? The Dental laboratory is the production site of a dental clinic. In the lab dental appliances like dentures, crowns, bridges, implant crowns and implant bridges are produced. So where does it all start from? The impression is converted into a model made of stone. This model is an identical imprint of the patients’ set of teeth and gums. Both models of the upper and lower jaws are placed together in a hinge-like apparatus called an articulator simulating the hinge-like movement of the jaw. The teeth to be replaced are waxed up into the shape and form of the proposed teeth. At this stage the contours, size and angulations of the wax-up are adjusted to the preferences of the patients’ requests as well as the characteristics of the adjacent teeth. This is done so the proposed teeth blend in naturally and do not stand out from the natural ones. By means of an investment process, the wax is converted into metal or non-metallic material. Once this framework is produced the substructure


may be polished and prepared for the subsequent stage of porcelain build-up. Porcelain is glass, and like glass porcelain starts off as a selection of coloured powders. Several layers of porcelain may be baked onto the substructure and stained to match the colours and characteristics of the natural teeth. This art of porcelain build-up is the job of a ceramicist. This highly trained technician whose time and efforts are aimed at delivering the right aesthetic result is capable of copying natural teeth and creating prosthetic teeth identical to the long-lost originals. ROAD TO SUCCESS 1. Dialogue: It is of utmost importance that the dentist, patient and technician meet at the clinic and discuss what the patient’s options are, what the limitation for each option is as well as the advantages and disadvantages of all the treatment types are. 2.

Material of choice: Materials have changed and improved considerably. Aesthetic potential, biocompatibility and costs have all effected the materials chosen by today’s ever so demanding patients. Gold was the material of choice. Today the material of choice is the all-ceramic metal- free substitute.


Patient: The patient must be realistic in his/her expectations and must specify all that he/she wants. The patient must trust the dentist on all counts. The patient must further pass on valuable information to the dentist to be able to discover what he/she really wishes. The dentist will then discuss the case with the technician in the lab and design the prosthesis.


Conventional vs Digital Dental laboratory equipment: Conventional techniques will always remain an integral part of a dental lab’s everyday running. However with the help of computer-aided dental techniques, in particular laboratory techniques the precision of teeth will be enhanced and timeframes considerably reduced.

The laboratory is one of the most integral parts of a clinic. It is in the lab that patients’ teeth come to life. Speak out your thoughts and wishes and ask your dentist to realise them!

Dr Jean Paul Demajo Dental and Implant Surgeon Trained in London working in private practice in Malta.


A cut above the rest PERRY ESTATE AGENTS – OFFERING AN UNPARALLELED CUSTOMER SERVICE TO THE REAL ESTATE INDUSTRY IN MALTA. At Perry we offer a comprehensive range of property services. Whether you’re buying, selling or renting you can be sure that you are getting the highest quality of service together with our undivided attention. As one of Malta’s foremost and most reputable estate agencies, we pride ourselves on being a small team of the most experienced and knowledgeable negotiators in the industry with a unique understanding of the property market as well as a combined experience of over one hundred years. Our continued focus on customer service and our straightforward, transparent approach means we offer clear, concise advice and deliver satisfactory results. It is no wonder therefore that we have so many testimonials from satisfied customers both corporate and private and that over half our customers come to us through personal recommendation. Over the years we have dealt with the most discerning of clients who have chosen to purchase property in Malta through our agency and have entrusted us with their property transactions time and time again. Our fully fledged letting department has also relocated and continues to relocate some of the most established companies of international repute in Malta, handling both their commercial and residential property matters. Whether it is has been top end rental apartments/houses for senior staff or more functional quality accommodation nearer the bright lights for the younger staff member our team has always proved to provide a quality, personal service at every stage of the process. Last year we celebrated the publication of our 50th edition of The “Perry Magazine” together the launch of Malta’s leading real estate property portal,, with the primary

aim being to deliver the highest quality services, confidence and value to customers. Our publication which is distributed free with "the Sunday Times” and at various key locations including the Malta International Airport is now in its fifteenth year of publication. Our first magazine was published in 1999 and like fine wine, has improved with time. It is the oldest real estate magazine and has gained an authoritative stance in the property market. We have dedicated the coveted front cover but to Maltese art and as a result we have gained a Melitensia following and our magazine has become a collector’s item. We cover the length and breadth of the Maltese Islands and our strength is that we do things differently. We believe that personal relationships should be at the heart of everything we do. All our staff are experts in their field and fully trained and have been with us for over ten years, an unusual occurence in our industry. We are also well known to handle only the best quality properties to ensure that we never compromise on the quality of our service saving you time and money. If you are a prospective buyer, seller, landlord or tenant please do not hesitate to contact us to arrange a meeting. We would be delighted to be given the opportunity to meet you and discuss how we can assist you with all of your property matters.

Robert Spiteri Paris B.A LLD. Is a senior associate at Perry Limited one of Malta’s most reputable and longest established real estate agencies specialising in the sales and lettings of all types of quality property throughout Malta. Perry Limited value your comments, kindly log on to their new website today at and please give the Perry team your feedback by mailing them on



The Maltese Bank that keeps regenerating itself Dating back to the 19th century when the first commercial bank was set up by a group of English and Maltese merchants, Bank of Valletta’s history remains inextricably linked to that of the Maltese islands. As a bank with a Maltese soul, Bank of Valletta has always distinguished itself as the bank at the heart of the community. To date, the location of its branches still bears testament to that – without fail, they are to be found at the core of the village in close proximity to the church, the other point of reference for the villagers. The bank’s people, from the branch manager to the youngest cashier knew the locals personally. The decentralisation of the banking system brought that state of equilibrium to an abrupt halt. A period of evolution allowed the bank to remain ahead of its market. Weathering the storm and emerging stronger and more resilient than ever, Bank of Valletta evolved from a traditional bank to a fully-fledged financial services provider, providing expertise in investment banking, private banking, fund management, bancassurance,


stockbroking and trustee services. Today, Bank of Valletta services its customers through a network of 38 branches, supported by centres of expertise that include an International Corporate Centre, Business Centres, Investment Centres and a Wealth Management arm. In spite of this evolution, and a fast rate of growth, Bank of Valletta remains true to its original values. It is one of Malta’s largest employers, with a workforce of 1,600, serving over 300,000 personal customers and 10,000 corporations. BOV has always been a pioneer in bringing innovative financial solutions to the market. Firsts in Malta include ATMs and today’s fleet of advanced deposit ATMs Internet Banking, the first and only drive-through ATMs in Malta, and again the first and only provider of a pluri-awarded BOV Mobile service. Through the course of change Bank of Valletta remains the lifelong financial partner of its customers and one of the main economic drivers of the community. A dedication towards corporate responsibility and an extensive Community Programme, that sees it reinvesting a percentage of its

profits into its community ensures that it lives up to its patronage of what makes us Maltese – our heritage, our culture, sports and education, whilst championing the business community and safeguarding its green stakeholder. Born from humble origins, Bank of Valletta is today recognised as an innovative, dynamic, forward-looking organisation, the leader in Malta’s financial services industry and a catalyst for the country’s economic development. The Bank has always been there, always putting the customer first… from the largest investor to the youngest new saver. But evolution is constant. To keep ahead and remain sustainable, BOV has kept investing in the latest technology, the most creative ideas and original solutions. Banking may have become more automated but that has not lessened the importance of our people. The care and attention every employee gives to each customer is what sets BOV apart and wins customers’ trust. This philosophy was, is and will remain Bank of Valletta’s trademark.


Getting married in Malta with a perfect combination of style and fun! “When Steve and I met in 2003, I knew that, not only would he become my best friend but that one day we would be married. Several years later, when he popped the question on a wintery night in London my mind immediately raced to where we would celebrate our big day.

To say that her and her team were phenomenal is an understatement. From the first meeting I knew that we were in extremely professional hands. Sarah managed every aspect of the wedding in incredible detail and at a speed which was second to none!!

We had always planned on getting married abroad but, with a young son and a 60 strong group of friends and family joining us for the ride, we were conscious it was a big decision to make.

We were blessed with a stunning choice of venues, menus, suppliers and more. Any fears I had about organising a wedding abroad were quickly allayed Sarah’s involvement.

Our prayers were answered when a friend suggested Malta. Just a 3 hour flight from London, it offered the kind of Mediterranean charm that seemed too good to be true.

The wedding day was everything we could have wished for and more. The personal touch of Sarah, her assistant and her team meant that it went to perfection and that made for a very relaxed bride!!

On our first visit we were blown away by the picturesque coastline and stunning views. There was no question it was both a perfect destination to holiday and to celebrate our wedding. Although we had settled on a destination, the prospect of arranging a wedding aboard was still daunting. Fortunately we found Sarah Young a wedding planner based in Malta.

The ceremony in the garden was beautiful and so romantic, the dinner set up in the ballroom was breath taking and to top it up we then partied the night away enjoying the wedding to the full. Friends and family congratulated us on such a spectacular venue and flawless day. It really was a day we’ll never forget!!”



Surprising Spring A Feast of Colours, Culture and Events in Gozo Burgundy carpets of red clover fields which run down to the Mediterranean.

Snorkeling and diving at this of the year is no anathema, together with other

Golden stretches of landscape made almost surreal as they reflect sunlight

sporting activities such as climbing. April is characterised by sporting

and beautiful locations where you can still enjoy the stillness and the

events such as the Gozo Half Marathon, and the Eco-Gozo ultra-trail event,

sounds of nature. It is springtime and this is Gozo at its best.

surely a treat for lovers of these sports.

March marks the beginning of Spring. However, it is in April that it reaches

The month of April is also synonym with a number of cultural activities,

its full bloom. Just thirty minutes away by ferry from the main island of

that complement Gozo’s already extensive cultural calendar. During this

Malta, Gozo is a true and exceptional experience during spring time.

month the Gaulitana Festival of Music reaches its apex, with the production

Apart from the all-year round attractions including its baroque Churches,

of Puccini’s opera Tosca, with the participation of the Malta Philarmonic

the Azure window and the varied museums, Gozo in spring time provides a

Orchestra. Operas are not a novelty in Gozo’s cultural and artistic

truly authentic experience.

landscape, as the two main theatres in Victoria already present two operas on an annual basis during the month of October. Indeed, Gozo cannot said

The lush countryside, is an open invitation, for people to experience Gozo

to be starved of cultural events.

through walks or other sporting activities. The wind which caresses the greenery on Gozo’s hills is a sign of the spring time re-awakening of nature.

Culture and religiosity are also intertwined on this little island, and the celebration of Easter brings to life a number of traditional cultural events

Long coastal walks at this time of the year are ideal, as the

linked to this religious festivity. Activities linked to the Holy Week are

temperatures are comfortable and the scenery impressive.

alive on this beautiful island. A number of localities such as Xagħra, Nadur,

Rainbows of blossoms, and colourful vegetation carpets the island’s

Żebbuġ, and Victoria hold Good Friday processions, with the participation

terraced landscapes and cliffs. A walk accompanied with a lunch or

of volunteers dressed in costumes representing biblical figures, and

dinner at one of Gozo’s restaurants offering a variety of local and

artistic statues carried along the streets of these localities. One can also

Mediterranean cuisine would be the ideal epilogue to a day in contact

see penitents walking barefoot with their heads covered in white hoods,

with nature. Gozo’s tranquil life will do the rest.

dragging heavy chains or carrying big wooden crosses.

Activities in April

12 April - Opera Tosca (Gaulitana Festival of Music) 13 - 20 April - Holy Week Celebrations 26 April - Eco-Gozo Ultra Trail Event 27 April - Gozo Half Marathon

For all the information on these activities, kindly go to

12 April Opera Tosca (Gaulitana Festival of Music)

13 - 20 April Holy Week Celebrations (photo by Daniel Cilia)

26 April Eco-Gozo Ultra Trail Event



Dates to remember in...


What the Funk! 4 Buskett Roadhouse 4th April Fluff out your 70s wig and crease up your best bells, the live music funk party is set to return with its 4th edition with a groovy concoction of over twenty musicians and singers, accompanied by the notable loud and classy brass band. The best of local talent including Olivia Lewis, Nadine Axisa, Glen Vella and members from Fakawi, Tribali and Red Electric among others will get the crowd twisting and twirling the night away. For more info visit What the Funk on Facebook: and tickets are available from

The Malta Artisan Fairs Hotel Phoenicia, Floriana 12 & 13th April Browse unique locally made arts and crafts , as well as delicacies made by the artists exhibiting, and get to take home special gifts. From filigree to contemporary jewellery, bric-a-brac, beautiful souvenirs, toys, delicious cookies and preserves made with local seasonal produce, home furnishings and more. There will also be food stalls with a twist , as well crafts workshops for your kids . So whether you want a snack whilst browsing, or have high tea on the terrace, while enjoying some live music, the Malta Artisan Easter Fair, promises an unforgettable day in Malta. For more information refer to or find us on Facebook



Photographic Competition Police Headquarters, Floriana 13th April to 1st May As part of The Malta section of the International Police Association (IPA 50th anniversary celebrations, the association is holding a Photographic Competition at the Police Headquarters in Floriana between the 13th April and 1st May 2014.

Strawberry Festival

Jesus Christ Superstar, Rock Opera

Mgarr, Malta 10th April Strawberries - red, juicy, scrumptious

Mediterranean Conference Centre

fruit grown in abundance in the fertile fields of Mgarr at this time of the year.

(MCC), Valletta 11-13th April

The annual strawberry festival celebrates strawberries in all forms and flavours. Watch Maltese strawberry aficionados whip up tantalising treats with one

Celebrate the Easter weekend and add a twist to traditional

common ingredient in the mix – indulge in

religious activities with Tim Rice and Sir Andrew Lloyd

strawberry cakes, pancakes, milkshakes, ice creams, smoothies and milkshakes, jams and even strawberry wine. Once you’ve been fruitfully inspired, take a box of the delightful fruit back home with you to create your own strawberry delights.

logo courtesy of IPA Malta

Webber’s popular British rock opera Jesus Christ Superstar. Malta Arts Events is showcasing this classic musical starring seasoned actors Dušan Vitázek, Petr Gazdík and Ivana Vaňková members of the Brno City Theatre in the Czech Republic. The rock opera is a dramatised version of the last seven days of the life of Jesus Christ through the troubled eyed of Judas Iscariot. From Jesus’ arrival into Jerusalem to the crucifixion scene, this controversial work blends classical music forms with rock music to bring Easter week to a singing crescendo. For reservations contact the Mediterranean Conference Center booking office booking at or 00356 25595750/1. For more information check out their Facebook page

Easter Holy Week 13-20th April Holy Week starts on Palm Sunday, where many churches celebrate the entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem with a ceremony of blessing sacred olive palms and holy music concerts. Good Friday is a silent day where solemn processions are held with men carrying large statues to commemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary. On Easter Sunday, the Resurrection of Jesus is celebrated where the statue of the Risen Christ is carried by men, often running through the streets followed by the local ‘klabb tal-banda’ belting out celebratory symphonies. Traditional Easter food is prepared to mark the end of the traditional 40 day Lenten fast, with colourful figolli (almond-stuffed pastry) and kwarezimal (sweet lenten biscuits) tempting anyone’s taste buds.



The Malta Experience Located in Malta’s Capital City, Valletta, housed within what was once the Sacra Infermeria of the Knights of Malta is “The Malta Experience”. This audio-visual spectacular is one of the largest attractions in Europe in terms of duration, system and language commentaries. It is also the only show that retraces seven thousand years of Maltese history. The forty-five minute presentation can be listened to in one of seventeen languages.

The Malta International Fireworks Festival Marsaxlokk, Bugibba and Grand Harbour in Valletta 25th, 26th and 30th April The Ministry for Tourism and the Malta Tourism Authority will be organizing the 13th edition of the Malta International Fireworks Festival. The Festival has become a landmark event in the Islands’ calendar of events, with the Grand Finale taking place in the unique settings of the Grand Harbour in Valletta. The festival forms part of the anniversary celebrations of Malta’s accession to the European Union and the colourful spectacle annually attracts thousands of locals and visitors alike. While each year is special in its own way, this year there will be an additional bonus, marking the 10th Anniversary of Malta joining the European Union. Following last year’s success, this year’s events kicks off in the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk, on Friday 25th April. The spectacle continues on the following

In a purposely built auditorium, with a panoramic screen, sensational vision and a gripping commentary, The Malta Experience brings 7000 years of history back to life. The show is undoubtedly worth a visit for anyone interested in Malta’s unique history. Moreover it is an ideal reference guide to the island’s places of interest. So why not make it your first stop and let Malta’s treasures unfold before your eyes. Shows are every hour on the hour as follows: Monday to Friday: 11:00hrs till 16:00hrs Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays: 11:00hrs till 14:00hrs (Closed on Good Friday & Easter Sunday). PRESENT YOUR BOARDING PASS FOR A 15% DISCOUNT ON ENTRANCE FEE (not valid with any other offer)

day in the tourist hub of Bugibba and the spectacular Grand Finale will come to a close with a bang in Valletta’s Grand Harbour on 30th April with a Pyromusical show. The festival has rightfully earned the title “International” as over the years it has attracted foreign pyrotechnic companies from as far afield as Australia, Canada and Venezuela and closer to home like, Italy, Austria, Spain and Poland. Several Maltese and foreign fireworks factories take part and will together put on a spectacular pyrotechnic show with fantastic fireworks displays synchronized to music. Further details on



And early next month‌

HellFire Eco Gozo Ultra Gozo 26th April Gozo is thought of as the quiet, relaxed sister island to Malta, but do not be fooled! There is plenty to do and see by day and night, an active arts scene, fabulous restaurants, hidden way nightclubs and if a gentle stroll in the countryside is not your thing, you will find it is also home to the Hellfire Eco-Gozo Ultra. This aptly named event, is a 60km trail run/trek around the island of Gozo, literally, the perimeter of the land, ironically, starting at the home of the Grotesque Carnival, which took place last month in Nadur. You may forget the pain with stunning views of the Mediterranean countryside. The organizers’ bill it as the perfect opportunity to appreciate the beauty of the Mediterranean island on foot, away from cars and noise. I must warn you here, one of them ran 27 marathons, in 27 countries. In 27 days. Whilst some top athletes run the whole way in a touch under 6hrs, a more leisurely pace is the choice of most undertaking this challenge – a relaxing run if you will. A shorter 21km route is available for those testing their mettle and a 60km mountain bike option is also organized for those testing themselves with metal.

National Fireworks Festival Floriana 3rd May

Set for the Spring time when flora and fauna are at their best, the milder climate of Gozo is perfect

The 8th edition of the National Fireworks

at this time of year, cool enough to exert oneself and usually drying after the winter rains, so little

Festival will take place in Floriana. The


fireworks are mechanized and grounded - a Maltese tradition and summer staple.

The Hellfire Eco-Gozo Ultra is just one in a series of events you can participate (even from

The winners of the festival will be chosen

the sidelines) in. Triathlons, duathlons and the somewhat scarily named Lungbuster (a gentle

based on 3 categories: best mechanisam,

10% gradient race up and down hills) are also offered.

best products used and most original exhibition. All categories will have a

Orienteering, self-hydration and tough terrain are just some of the things the races will throw at you. For further information visit


winner who will win a trophy.


History in Action Fort Rinella, Kalkara 5th May Fondazzjoni Wirt Artna will be holding its annual History in Action event at Fort Rinella, Kalkara on Sunday 5 May 2013 between 10.00 and 17.00. This event will consist of several historical re-enactment displays each featuring salient aspects of 19th century military life and combat skills. The day will end with the spectacular firing of the 100-ton gun.

Malta Design Week Is Back! Old University, Valletta 17th till 24th May After the success of the first Malta Design Week in October 2011 at The Old University, it is back, as a bi-annual event, with the second edition taking place in the epic location of Fort St Elmo. The event has grown, offering over 40 exhibitions, lectures and discussions (Design Dialogues), workshops, satellite events, and a design shop; bringing together Maltese and international designers, companies, and institutions, to work together, innovate, and create, and share their respect for good design. Further info on






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The new BOSS Hugo Boss Collection is available at the BOSS Stores Malta of St Julians and the Departures Lounge, Malta International Airport. This season, the BOSS man sets off on a major expedition, namely crossing the entire African continent – from the colorful coast of Kenya through the sands of the Savannah to the modern metropolitan centers of South Africa. For the looks, this means the richest possible array of wearable luxury.

At SARTO you will find elegant, sophisticated and timeless fashion apparel combined with the finest selection of accessories, bags and shoes. The company’s long history in tailoring stands at the foreground of the Italian name, SARTO. Derived from the word ‘Sartorial’, Sarto evokes art and craft – a Sarto is both a tailor and an artist. SARTO offers supreme quality and exceptional service together with luxury brands for both men and women such as Burberry, Blumarine, Dolce & Gabbana, Emporio Armani, Giuseppe Zannotti and Valentino accessories as well as the Ready-to-Wear Collection.



01 Valletta 02 Attard 03 Balzan 04 Birgu 05 Birkirkara 06 Birżebbuġa 07 Bormla 08 Buġibba 09 Cirkewwa 10 Dingli 11 Fgura 12 Furjana 13 Għargħur 14 Għaxaq 15 Gudja 16 Gżira 17 Ħamrun 18 Iklin 19 Isla 20 Kalkara 21 Kirkop 22 Lija 23 Luqa 24 Marsa 25 Marsaskala 26 Marsaxlokk 27 Mdina 28 Mellieħa 29 Mġarr 30 Mosta 31 Mqabba 32 Msida 33 Mtarfa 34 Naxxar 35 Pembroke 36 Pietà 37 Qawra 38 Qormi 39 Qrendi 40 Rabat 41 Raħal Ġdid 42 Safi 43 San Ġiljan 44 San Ġwann 45 San Pawl il-Bahar 46 Santa Luċija 47 Santa Venera 48 Siġġiewi 49 Sliema 50 Tarxien 51 Xemxija 52 Xgħajra 53 Żabbar 54 Żebbuġ 55 Żejtun 56 Żurrieq


57 Victoria 58 Għajnsielem 59 Għarb 60 Għasri 61 Kerċem 62 Marsalforn 63 Mġarr 64 Munxar 65 Nadur 66 Qala 67 San Lawrenz 68 Sannat 69 Xagħra 70 Xewkija 71 Xlendi 72 Żebbuġ

Islands 73 Comino 74 Filfla 75 Manoel Island 76 St. Paul's Islands


01 Anchor Bay 02 Armier Bay 03 Balluta Bay 04 Delimara Point 05 Fomm ir-Riħ 06 Għadira Bay 07 Għar Lapsi 08 Ġnejna Bay 09 Golden Bay 10 Marsaskala Bay 11 Marsaxlokk Bay 12 Paradise Bay 13 Pretty Bay 14 Salina Bay 15 St. George's Bay 16 St. Paul's Bay 17 St. Peter's Pool 18 St. Thomas Bay 19 Wied iż-Żurrieq 20 Xrobb l-Għaġin 21 Blue Lagoon 22 Santa Marija Bay 23 Daħlet Qorrot 24 Dwejra Bay 25 Marsalforn Bay 26 Ramla Bay 27 San Blas Bay 28 Xlendi Bay 29 Xwejni Bay





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2, Ross Street, St Julians T: +356 2202 1000 E: Open Monday to Saturday 10:00 – 20:00 hrs






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2, Ross Street, St Julians T: 00356 22021601 E: Open Monday to Saturday 10:00 - 20:00 hrs



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Malta International Airport Gate 1, Departures Lounge T: +356 2202 1003 E: Open Monday to Sunday 06:00 – 22:00 hrs





Made In Malta

made in


VOLCANIC STONE TABLES MADE IN MALTA Whether you live here or are just visiting, take a piece of Malta home with you. Mediterranean Ceramics creates one-of-a-kind volcanic stone tables and countertops in a variety of patterns and colours inspired by the beauty and vibrancy of the island. At our open studio in the Ta’ Qali Crafts Village you will have the opportunity to meet our local artisans and learn more about our unique process of stone and ceramic making. Take some time to browse our large selection of locally-produced ceramic products — including dishware, home decor, furniture, and gifts — and then relax in our café with a cool drink and a fresh snack. If you are in Valletta, make sure to visit our gift shop at the waterfront. Local and worldwide delivery is available for all of our products. Visit or call +356 2010 5552 David Grima: 99201055 or Brian Grima: 99440922

mdina glass Head over to Mdina Glass in Ta’ Qali to see the glassmakers, free of charge...and check out their wide range of practical and decorative handmade glassware including a large selection of scented candleholders that look as good as they smell. You can choose from six enticing fragrances and a variety of shapes, sizes, colours and finishes. Starting at €18 and available in all Mdina Glass outlets throughout Malta & Gozo and online at (with shipping worldwide available). For more info tel: 2141 5786


Places to visit

Places to isit ...the best way to describe what you can discover while strolling down any of the charming lanes of Malta and Gozo’s towns and villages. Here’s a look at what you’re likely to find... For a more comprehensive look at places to visit and for opening times, go to As opening times may vary, phoning ahead of scheduled visit is advisable.


Located on the northeastern shore of Malta, Valletta was built by the Order of St John, after the Turks of the Ottoman Empire invaded the island during the 1565 Siege of Malta. With its old world splendour and magnificent baroque architecture, it is no wonder that Valletta is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Valletta got its name in 1566 from the Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Valette, the year the city was founded. It was one of the first cities in Europe to use a grid street system. After the war, much of the economic development occurred in the suburbs, leading to a population drain that has left Valletta with a population of around 7,000 today. The small city remains the capital and administrative centre of the island.

The small city remains the capital and administrative centre of the island 85

Places to visit

St John’s Co-Cathedral The simple, sober façade of St John’s gives no hint of its lavish interior. It was built as the conventual church of the Order and the Knights spent enormous sums of money embellishing the chapels of their langues. The Co-Cathedral was built between 1572 and 1581 by Geralomo Cassar, and his training as a military engineer accounts for the sober exterior. Nearly a century later, the prolific Italian artist, Mattia Preti, transformed Cassar’s severe interior into a glowing showpiece of Baroque art. His greatest task, which occupied him for five years, was the decoration of the vault. St John’s Co-Cathedral Museum and Oratory Of all the artistic treasures in the church, the piece-de-resistance is generally considered to be Caravaggio’s painting of The Beheading of St John. This huge, vigorous work of art dominates the oratory.

Auberge de Castille The Auberge de Castille was the official seat of the Knights of the langue of Castille, Leon and Portugal. Today it serves as the office of the Prime Minister.

Palazzo Ferreria Palazzo Ferreria is found opposite the ruins of the Royal Opera House. Its façade resembles that of a Venetian St John’s palace.

Auberge D’Italie The Auberges of the Knights are the inns (or officers’ quarters) where knights of a particular ‘langue’ used to reside.

Sacra Infermeria Valletta’s Sacra Infermeria, built in 1574, was the best-equipped hospital of the Order. In its day, it counted among the finest hospitals in Europe. The Infermeria had six wards; the largest measured 161 metres and is still the longest, and one of the most impressive halls in Europe.

Casa Rocca Piccola This small palazzo, built in 1580, was the private home of the 9th Marquis de Piro. It contains over 40 rooms and a delightful courtyard giving you the opportunity to see how a patrician household lived. Fort St Elmo Fort St Elmo guards the entrances to both Grand and Marsamxett Harbours. It was the scene of a heroic defence during the Great Siege of 1565. Hastings Gardens Hastings Gardens, in Windmill Street, has splendid views of Manoel Island and Msida Creek. Lower Barrakka Gardens This garden commands a superb viewpoint of the harbour mouth, and over to Fort Ricasoli, Bighi Palace, Fort St Angelo and the creeks of Vittoriosa and Kalkara.


St James Cavalier As a millennium project, St James Cavalier was transformed into a Centre for Creativity, adapting internal spaces for modern use, providing a backdrop for numerous exhibitions, recitals, concerts, festivals and cinema shows. The Casino Maltese Originally used ad the Treasury of the Knights of St John, today the exclusive Casino Maltese retains most of its original 16th century features. A truly outstanding venue with a history of noble visitors.

National Museum of Archaeology Housed in the Auberge de Provence - the museum contains the more important finds from the many prehistoric sites across the islands.

The Great Siege of Malta This walk-through show is an irresistible, entertaining spectacular on the four month long Ottoman siege of Malta in 1565, a siege that shaped and changed Malta for ever. This 30-minutes audio-visual journey, quality assured by MTA, is located at Republic Square (Piazza Regina).

National War Museum Located at Fort St Elmo this museum has a permanent exhibition of relics and personal memorabilia of World War II including Gloster Gladiator - christened Faith - and the George Cross.

The Manoel Theatre and Museum The Manoel Theatre, built for the `honest entertainment of the people’, by Grand Master Manoel de Vilhena in 1731, is one of the oldest theatres in Europe, still in use.

The National Museum of Fine Arts This splendid palace, known as Admiralty House during the British period, was originally erected in 1570 and restored in the 1960s. The Saluting Battery The old Saluting Battery, at Upper Barrakka, was originally established to provide in-depth defence of the Grand Harbour. It is also doubled as a ceremonial platform providing artillery salutes to visiting dignitaries and shipping. A noon-day gun is still fired daily, recreating the age-old tradition. The Siege Bell Memorial Inaugurated in 1992 by Queen Elizabeth II, the Siege Bell Memorial is a monument to the fallen of World War II. The bell is rung each day at midday. The Upper Barrakka Gardens The Upper Barrakka Gardens are situated near Auberge de Castille offering visitors unrivalled views across one of the world’s largest and deepest natural harbours, Grand Harbour, and over to the Three Cities. Toy Museum Located in Republic Street, it showcases toys from the 1950s onward. Valletta Living History This innovative 35 minute audiovisual show, at The Embassy Complex in Valletta, chronicles Valletta’s major milestones taking you on a journey through time and history revealing the facts and figures about Malta’s capital city.

Places to visit

Places to visit

Valletta Waterfront The Valletta Waterfront is an award-winning landmark on the Island of Malta. There are nineteen beautifully restored 18th century warehouses built during the Baroque period, stretching along the water’s edge with a backdrop of historic bastions and fortifications. The gemstone buildings were originally constructed by Grandmaster Pinto to be used as stores by the Knights of St. John. Today, ushering in a modern era, the iconic doors have been revived with an artistic impression of colour, representing the storage of goods from days past, with blue for fish, green for produce, yellow for wheat and red for wine. The heritage buildings have been transformed into a variety of lively restaurants, retail outlets and office space as well as a host of services ranging from banks to tax-free shopping, Wi-Fi connection to a tourist information service and various transport services.

The iconic doors have been revived with an artistic impression of colour 87

Places to visit

The Three

Cities On the other side of the Grand Harbour, opposite Valletta, lie the historical fortified towns referred to as the three cities. Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea, built by the Grandmaster Fra Nicholas Cottoner, have a unique charm and character that distinguish them from all other towns in Malta, including Mdina and Valletta. Older than Valletta, the three cities were home to the first knights. Fort St Angelo, which was built around 12th century AD, was the headquarters of the Knights until Valletta was built.

Fort Rinella Kalkara

Maritime Museum Vittoriosa

The fort was built by the British in 1878 to

The museum is housed in the former British na­val

protect the eastern flank of the Grand Harbour.

bakery, built in 1842 over the site of a slipway

It is home to the world’s largest cannon – the

where the Order of St John repaired their war

monstrous Armstrong 100-ton. The fort was

galleys. On show are exhibits of expertly-made

built very low to protect it from bombardment

model ships, paintings, nautical instruments,

The Malta at War Museum Vittoriosa

from sea. It consists of many underground

weapons and traditional Maltese boats.

The Malta at War Museum entails a rich exhibition of original war time artefacts and

chambers and galleries all of which are Fort St Angelo Vittoriosa

memorabilia from a civilian perspective, a 40

Fort St Angelo is the jewel in the crown of Malta’s

feet deep wartime underground air raid shelter

Inquisitor’s Palace Vittoriosa

military heritage. According to tradition, it stands

and an interesting wartime documentary –

The Inquisitor’s Palace was erected in the 1530’s

on the site of a fortified Roman settlement. In

‘Malta G.C’ completes the visit.

as the civil law courts of the Order of St John. This

medieval times, the fort was occupied by the

architectural gem is now home to the museum of

Aragonese and the Angevins. In 1530, when the

Safe Haven Gardens Senglea

Ethnography. Careful historical reconstructions

Knights arrived on the islands, the fort became

Safe Haven Gardens are at the tip of the

of the palace display areas such as the tribunal

the seat of the Grand Master of the Order. It was

peninsula of Senglea. From here one can enjoy

room and the prison complex, as well as a

to play a heroic role in the Great Siege of 1565,

wonder­f ul views of Valletta and the Grand

permanent exhibition on the impact of the

when, against all odds, it managed to repel a

Harbour. The watchtower in the gardens is

Inquisition on Maltese society.

formidable Ottoman army.

known as the Gardjola.

accessible for the public to see daily.


Places to visit



Malta Classic Car

The Sanctuary of Our Lady Mellieha

Selmun Palace Mellieha

Collection Museum Qawra

This is considered to be the oldest

The majestic 18th century Selmun Palace is the

A museum featuring a ‘living’ collection

sanctuary dedicated to Our Lady. According

largest and the last castle built by the Knights

of a large selection of automobiles

to tradition the apostles Paul and Luke

of St John, in 1783.

spanning over 50 manufacturing years.

visited this sanctuary.

The Red Tower Mellieha

Sweethaven Village Mellieha

Wignacourt Tower St. Paul’s Bay

Grand Master Jean Paul Lascaris built St

This is where the musical Popeye, the story of

Wignacourt Tower, serves as a small

Agatha’s Tower, popularly known as the Red

the much-loved sailor starring Robin Williams,

museum dedicated to Malta’s rich military-

Tower, in 1647. It served as a signal post for

was filmed in 1980.

architectural heritage.

communication with Gozo.


Places to visit

Palazzo Falson Historic House Museum Previously known as ‘The Norman House’, Palazzo Falson is one of the very oldest medieval buildings in Mdina dating back to the 13th century. It contains a remarkable collection of antiques, including paintings, furniture, jewellery, armour and much more and is open for public viewing.

Mdina Mdina is one of the few great architectural treats in Malta that did not result from the activities of the Knights of St John. The oldest city on the island, going back to pre-historic times, the word Mdina derives from the Arabic word ‘medina’ which means ‘city’. Mdina was fortified in medieval times, but its protection in early times must have been its high location on a rocky crag. It is certain that either during the Byzantine or during the Arab occupation of Malta, the fortifications were retracted to the present proportions, perhaps for better defensibility. It is during this time, when the city was refered to as the ‘medina’, that Mdina got its name. The Arab legacy continued even though the Arabs were officially expelled from Malta in 1250, when the islands were under Christian rule. Thus the name ‘Mdina’ survived even though the city was referred to as Civitas (city in Latin) or Citta Notabile.


Vilhena Palace Vilhena Palace has a fine Baroque façade and an impressive entrance courtyard, both of which one notices on the right when entering Mdina, through Notabile Gate. In 1973 this beautiful palace was converted to host the Natural History Museum. The most interesting of the exhibits is a chip of the moon given to Malta by President Nixon in 1979. Casa Testaferrata This house was the seat of the old noble family Testaferrata. Historians believe that in Roman times on the site of this building there was a temple dedicated to Apollo. Carmelite Church and Priory Museum The Carmelite Church and Priory Museum offers a unique and innovative experience as the only monastery in Malta that has opened its doors to the general public. This 17th century priory has recently been restored back to its former glory. Walking around the cloister, one is led into the different areas of the priory, which now form part of the museum.

Places to visit

Xara Palace The Xara Palace is a small Relais & Chateaux hotel. The history of the late 17th century Xara Palace is inextricably linked to that of Mdina, its walls forming part of the city walls that make up its impressive bastions. PALAZZO DE PIRO The magnificent 18th century Palazzo de Piro, located in Malta’s silent city, Mdina, has been restored to create a unique venue of cross-cultural, artistic and social dialogue. Palazzo de Piro Cultural Centre, operated by Infinitely Xara, features a program of various collections held by the

Mdina Cathedral Museum

Metropolitan Cathedral Museum, offering an outstanding setting to

Originally a seminary, the museum today is one of the most outstanding religious museums in Europe. A small chapel is found on the second floor exhibiting church vestments. It also exhibits an impressive cross-section of sacred art, famous paintings, a coin collection, Roman antiquities and original documents from the time of the Inquisition.

with panoramic views over Malta, also includes the Xpresso Cafe by Infinitely Xara which works with local producers to provide visitors with local dishes. Cathedral of St Paul

Palazzo Gatto Murina Palazzo Gatto Murina, one of the earliest ‘Siculo-Norman’ structures (i.e. built between 1100 and 1530), was erected during the latter part of the 14th century. An audiovisual show “ Tales of the Silent City” is housed inside the Palazzo.

showcase, promote and sell independent contemporary art. The venue,

The skyline of Mdina, with its Baroque cathedral, bastions and palaces, is an imposing landmark visible throughout central Malta. The Cathedral is the archi­t ectural heart of this elegant, walled city, and lies on the site of a much earlier Norman church destroyed by a violent earthquake in 1693.

Rabat Howard Gardens Howard Gardens are one of the biggest public gardens in Malta. These gardens form a natural border between Rabat and neighbouring Mdina.

St Paul’s Catacombs The Maltese islands are rich in late Roman and Byzantine burial sites. St Paul’s Catacombs are a typical complex of interconnected, underground Roman cemeteries that were in use up to the 4th century AD. St Paul’s Catacombs represent the earliest archaeological evidence of Christianity in Malta.

Casa Bernard in St. Paul's Street A late 16th Century historical Maltese Palazzino, a hidden gem recently restored to its former grandeur now open for guided tours daily Monday to Saturday from 10.00a.m. to 16.00p.m. Step into the past and enjoy the experience of visiting this Europa Nostra award-winning house still lived-in today. The Roman Domus The mosaic pavements in the `Roman house’, rank among the finest and oldest mosaic compositions from the western Mediterranean, alongside those of Pompeii and Sicily. They were discovered in 1881 just outside Mdina in the remains of a rich and sumptuously decorated town house of the Roman period.


Villa Bologna Attard Situated in the heart of Attard, across the street from the grand San Anton Presidential Palace, Villa Bologna is a Grade 1 Listed National Monument. It has known many distinguished residents, foremost among which, Prime Minister Sir Gerald Strickland, the only Maltese politician to have been a member of the House of Commons and later the House of Lords. Positioned within a large working estate, Villa Bologna offers its visitors a number of small distinctive ‘secret’ gardens with enchanting characteristics and provides a feeling of a calm and welcoming Mediterranean oasis as they stroll through vast expanses of flowering beds into shady niches around tinkling fountains or sparkling ponds. Opening hours 9am - 5pm Monday to Friday and 9am - 1pm Saturday.


Places to visit

Gozo &


Places to visit


With a coastline of 43km, Gozo is the second largest island of the Maltese archipelago. Forever immortalised as The Island of Calypso, this name originated from the Greek mythological location of Ogygia referred to in Homer’s Odyssey. In this epic poem, the fabled island was controlled by the nymph Calypso, who had detained the Greek hero Odysseus for seven long years as a prisoner of love. Gozo’s history is entwined up in the general story of its sister island of Malta. As a result, Gozo shared the same influences of cultures bestowed on by the number of dominators and events that touched the Maltese islands during the last seven thousand years.

The Blue Lagoon Comino The Blue Lagoon, a sheltered inlet of shimmering aquamarine water, is the main attraction on the tiny island of Comino and popular for day trips. The Lagoon and the isle’s other bays with their crystal clear waters, make Comino the ideal choice for most kinds of water sports, especially diving and snorkelling.


Places to visit

Gozo & Comino

Dwejra Dwejra is perhaps the archipelago’s most spectacular natural landmark. Here, geology, time and sea have worked together to produce some of the most remarkable scenery on the islands - The Azure Window, the Inland Sea, Fungus Rock, sheer cliffs and a rocky coastline yielding fossilised remains of sea creatures dating from the Miocene period. The Citadel Victoria Gozo’s Citadel rises steeply above the surrounding countryside, its impressive bastions commanding a superb view of the island. The Citadel owes its roots to the late medieval era.


Museum of Archaeology Victoria Housed in Palazzo Bondi, this museum showcases archaeological finds from the 11 phases of prehistoric Gozo, as well as the Classical World to the Middle Ages. A section of the museum includes items discovered at sea, off the Gozitan coastline. Ggantija Temples Xaghra The Ggantija Temples (“place of giants”) are thought to be the oldest free-standing structures in the world. They are among the best-preserved temples on the Maltese islands. A Unesco World Heritage Site, the complex comprises two Neolithic temples dat­ing from the third millennium B.C (3600 to 3000 B.C.).

The Xewkija Rotuna Xewkija Xewkija village is dominated by a huge rotunda church built in 1971. It is Gozo’s answer to Malta’s Mosta Rotunda. The dome is larger than that of St Paul’s Cathedral in London. The church has capacity for a congregation of 3000 - the entire population of Xewkija. Gharb Folklore Musuem Gharb This privately-owned museum in the village’s main square depicts depicts the past daily life in Gozo. This museum is a showcase of traditional life and includes the printing press used for Gozo’s first newspaper plus a collection of old tools and clothes.

Places to visit

Gozo Cathedral Museum Victoria This museum has more than 2,000 items on display including the Cathedral’s archives, some magnificent paintings, clerical vestments and a silver vault. Among the paintings are several by well-known local artists Giuseppe Hyzler, Michele Busuttil and Tommaso Madiona. Ta’ Pinu Sanctuary Gharb The origins of the Basilica of Ta’ Pinu go back to a day in June 1883, when a peasant woman heard the voice of the Virgin Mary in an old chapel. In 1931, the church (as it is today), was consecrated and a year later Pope Pius XI raised it to the status of Basilica. The original 16th century chapel was fully integrated into the new church. Gozo Cathedral Victoria The Cathedral, built early in the 17th century, is small but graceful. Its floor is made up of a mosaic of marble tomb­stones and ecclesiastical emblems, while its ceiling has a remarkable trompe l’oeil painting depicting the interior of a dome that was never built. Folklore Museum Victoria The museum, housed within the Citadel, contains a wide range of exhibits depicting the domestic, rural and traditional ways of life in the agrarian economy of the Maltese and Gozitans. Pomskizillious Museum of Toys Xaghra This museum of toys is an Aladdin’s cave full of whimsical treasures. Some toys on display are 200 years old.


Restaurant Guide

In the best Mediterranean tradition, the Maltese Islands are packed with fabulous restaurants. With everything from Maltese traditional fare to Japanese sushi, from Italian pizza to Korean kimchee, served in a variety of beautiful settings, dining out in Malta is an experience not to be missed.


Palazzo De Piro – Xpresso Café And Bistro Address: Palazzo de Piro, 3 Triq is-Sur, Mdina MDN 1131 T: 2010 0560 • E: • W: Set within the magnificent 18th century Palazzo de Piro Cultural Centre, located in Malta’s Silent City, Mdina, Xpresso Café and Bistro is an elegant spot for casual dining, snacks , coffee, afternoon tea or simply a get together with friends. Our talented Brigade of Chefs makes use of the fresh produce from nearby valleys and slopes when producing our seasonal menus. Through close co-operation with local growers and producers, Xpresso Café and Bistro seeks to showcase the freshest and best the region has to offer through a menu of healthy dishes. With magnificent views of the Maltese Islands, fine architectural heritage and a passion for culture and art, Xpresso Café is the perfect place to enjoy the history of Malta, its rich culture and its culinary delights.

Trattoria AD 1530 The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux, Misrah il-Kunsill, Mdina T: 2145 0560 • E: • W: The Trattoria AD 1530 at The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux in Mdina is a charming eatery that prides itself in serving traditional and tasty food typical of the word ‘Trattoria'. Strategically situated in one of the old squares of the Silent City, with the beautiful and imposing Vilhena Palace directly opposite and the magnificent 17th Century Palazzo of The Xara Palace on the other side, the Trattoria's idyllic location is simply perfect for indoor or al fresco dining. The Trattoria AD 1530 is the ideal restaurant for every occasion and is open for coffee, lunch, dinner, snacks and afternoon tea.

de Mondion Restaurant The Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux, Misrah il-Kunsill, Mdina T: 2145 0560 • E: • W: or Set atop Mdina's centuries-old bastions, within the Xara Palace Relais & Chateaux, awarded the runner-up for the best boutique dining hotel in the world, the de Mondion offers a unique fine dining experience, enhanced by truly spectacular panoramic views of the island from the terraces and charming features served in elegant surroundings. Consistently rated amongst the top restaurants in Malta for its cuisine, refinement and excellence, the de Mondion promises discreet yet impeccably attentive service allowing patrons the time and privacy to savour the cuisine, the company and the view. With an exquisite cuisine combining the finest seasonal produce with innovation and expertise to create tantalizing dishes, the ‘award winning’ Kitchen Brigade have and continue to delight the palate of a multinational clientele. Group Lunches are available on request. We also welcome enquires for Private Functions and Special Celebrations. Bookings recommended.


Restaurant Guide


Restaurant Guide


Ta’ Kolina 151, Tower Road Sliema T: 2133 5106 • M: 9942 4877 • E: Ta’ Kolina is a quaint, family run restaurant on Tower Road (one of Sliema’s most popular spots) and has been opened since 1974. Ta’ Kolina is a typical Maltese restaurant with its traditional Maltese limestone interior and décor. A set menu comprising of traditional Maltese food offers a choice of local (5) starters; (5) main courses; dessert & coffee etc. for €20.00. A unique a la carte’ menu with some 20 starters from €4.50 to €7.50 & 20 main courses from €11.00 to €24.00 to choose from. Ta’ Kolina offer a variety of fresh fish, rabbit, steak and many more traditional dishes. A wide selection of best Maltese wines are available ranging from €6.50 to €25 per bottle. All in all this restaurant provides its guests with the true taste of Maltese cuisine at a reasonable price.

Ta’ Kris Restaurant & Maltese Bistro 80, Fawwara Lane, Sliema T: 2133 7367 M: 9984 7713 Tucked away in a quite narrow street of Sliema, Ta’ Kris is the perfect location for a tranquil evening, in a warm atmosphere. Specialising in Maltese dishes, Ta’ Kris offers genuine food at very reasonable prices. The menu boasts a variety of meat dishes including rabbit, pork, chicken, veal and beef, as well as authentic Maltese dishes such as ‘bragioli’ (thin slices of beef rolled and stuffed with minced pork, ham and seasoning, seared in tomato and wine sauce). Sea bass stuffed with a tuna risotto, covered in Maltese caper sauce, is yet another delicious item which Chef Kris graces his patrons with. With an excellent service, dish selection and atmosphere, Ta’ Kris Restaurant & Maltese Bistro offers a unique culinary experience.


Chapter One 9, Church Street, St Julian’s T: 2138 0000 Chapter one is a relatively small and cosy restaurant situated in St Julian’s just down the road from the Hilton andPortomaso. Owned and run by Hiram Cassar, a young talented chef, whose passion and love for food led to the opening of his first venture, Chapter One. His main training took place in a well known prestigious Michelin starred restaurant in Paris where he was able to learn, not only the art of cooking but discipline and perseverance. An emphasis is made on the use of local products and simplicity. The cuisine is local and Mediterranean with a French flair. Rabbit, duck and other meats feature on the menu, fresh fish and seafood are always available.

Zest Hotel Juliani, 25, St George’s Road, St Julian’s T: 2138 7600 • E: • W: Zest... where east meets west in both dining and décor. The chic restaurant is a point of encounter between Continental and Asian cuisine in a contemporary ambiance, oozing relaxed elegance. The menu boasts a selection of dishes from Thai curries, Indonesian noodles, Singaporean seafood laksas, continental pan fried lamb to Japanese teppanyaki. Attractive features include an open wine cellar and a sushi bar on the restaurant floor, where patrons can sit around the chef and enjoy the art of preparing Japanese sushi. Located on the first floor of the Hotel Juliani, using the transformed town house’s original entrance and external staircase, the restaurant enjoys the added bonus of an open-air, terrace bar, overlooking romantic Spinola Bay and ideal for pre-dinner drinks.


Bars & Nightlife

Malta is known for its vast number of bars and clubs catering to all ages and to all tastes in music. Try out one of the following for a great night out.


Saddles Pub & Wine Bar Main Street, St Julians W: Situated in the heart of St.Julians, Saddles has been established for over 38 years. Considered as a central meeting place. Start your evening on a perfect note in a friendly atmosphere. A big screen is available for sports and enjoy an ice cold pint of GUINESS in the terrace. The first floor is a cosy wine bar popular for organised parties and enjoy a tasty cocktail or a genuine glass of wine in the balcony with views. Welcome to MALTA...Saddles always ready to PARTY! Open all day long. Wi-Fi available all day!


Club Twenty-Two Level 22, Portomaso Business Tower, Portomaso T: 2310 2222 • E: • W: Already the mecca for Malta’s most discerning and hedonistic crowd, Twenty-Two has also managed to attract a big number of international VIP’s and celebrities from the world of music, film, television, fashion, sports and business. Twenty-Two established itself from day one as Malta’s only real exclusive venue with its stunning surroundings and breathtaking views with impeccable VIP table service found nowhere else on the island – Twenty-Two is luxury and comfort found only in the major fashion capitals around the world! Twenty-Two combines the comfort and exclusivity of a stylish wine lounge and is situated on the 22nd floor of the Portomaso Business Tower – Malta’s tallest building!Open from Wednesday to Sunday, caters for private events.


air malta news

Flying the Pride of Malta Every day, we experience the wonder of being Maltese - the crunch of a Maltese loaf of bread, the gorgeous hues of a summer sunset, the unique texture of our stone – in all that forms the intricate puzzle of our national identity. Air Malta is one of us. A proud member of our community that breathes the same air that we do, that greets millions of passengers with that winning Maltese smile. We will be an airline fit to succeed in the 21st century.

Every member of our team is trained to be expert to make sure our flag flies proudly to over 35 destinations. Then our team goes a step further. We are naturally Maltese and are projecting our national spirit at every one of these destinations. Time has shown us that while we are happy to embrace our history, we should also look forward to a bright, new future. A future in which our airline carries the true Maltese spirit everywhere it goes. And this is clearly shown in our new identity. Our colours, our patterns, our character and our cross are always displayed with a great sense of pride. Join us as we continue to transform the airline of the Maltese Islands into a proud ambassador for everything that being Maltese stands for.


air malta INFO


INFO Flight and Company information

Alcohol consumption

Electronic devices


Alcohol consumed at high altitude can have a stronger effect than usual. Cabin crew are legally empowered to refuse serving any alcohol to an intoxicated passenger and to anyone under the age of 18. In extreme cases, crew may also temporarily confiscate the passenger‘s own drinks so that the passenger would not become a nuisance to the other passengers and crew. Furthermore, Air Malta is bound by international regulations which prohibit embarkation or the carriage of drunken passengers. But once you are reading this article, Air Malta‘s Flight Safety Committee is confident that you are a law-abiding and exemplary passenger. Indeed, the cabin crew may need your assistance to restrain another passenger in the unlikely event that he or she may act irresponsibly during the flight. The consumption of one’s own alcoholic beverages in-flight goes against Air Malta policy.

All electronic devices must be switched off for take-off and landing.

Smoking is prohibited from when you leave the terminal building until you arrive to the terminal building. Smoking is allowed in designated areas only. Smoking is not allowed during any phase of the flight and in any area of the aircraft.

Electronic devices such as laptops, electronic games, video cameras, DVDs, etc. can be used only from the time the ‘Fasten Seat Belt’ sign is switched off after take-off until advised by the crew before landing. Mobile phones and other devices able to transmit and receive signals must be set to Flight Mode for use in-flight. You may ask the cabin crew for more information should you wish to use your electronic device during the flight.

Should you be aware of a passenger who has smoked in the toilet during the flight, please inform the cabin crew immediately, so that they can check for any undetected fires. The use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) is also not allowed on board Air Malta flights. Similarly, the use of naked flames on and around the aircraft is also prohibited.


air malta INFO

In-Flight Bar Service We are pleased to offer you a great selection of soft and alcoholic drinks available on board your flight today.




Alcoholic Beverages: Teachers Whisky



5.00 5.00

Bells Whisky



5.00 5.00

Gordon’s Gin



5.00 5.00

Smirnoff Vodka



5.00 5.00

Camus Brandy



5.00 5.00

Bacardi Rum



5.00 5.00

Havana Club



5.00 5.00


4.00 3.00 5.00 5.00

Noval Port



4.00 3.00 5.00 5.00


5.00 5.00


4.00 3.00 5.00 5.00

Tia Maria



5.00 5.00

Pjazza Reġina Red



5.00 5.00

Pjazza Reġina White



5.00 5.00


Champagne: Drappier Carte D’Or Brut

10.00 8.50

16.00 16.00

Beer: Heineken

4.00 3.00 5.00 5.00

Cisk Lager



5.00 5.00

Minerals and Mixers:

Bar Prices We accept bank notes in Euros, Sterling, Dollars and Swiss Currencies, Coins only accepted in Euro and Sterling. Unfortunately we are unable to accept Credit or Debit Cards. The correct change would be very much appreciated.

Safety Excessive consumption of alcohol is prohibited to the extent that the bar service may be refused, thus ensuring safety and comfort to other passengers on board.



2.00 1.50 2.00 2.00

Diet Coke



2.00 2.00

Coca Cola



2. 00 2.00

Fanta Orange



2.00 2.00


2.00 1.50 2.00 2.00

Tomato Juice



2.00 2.00

Bitter Lemon



2.00 2.00

Tonic Water



2.00 2.00

Ginger Ale



2.00 2.00

Soda Water



2.00 2.00

Sparkling Water



0.00 0.00

Still Mineral Water



0.00 0.00

Apple Juice



0.00 0.00

Orange Juice



0.00 0.00


Charter Flights We are pleased to offer complimentary juices and water. All soft and alcoholic drinks are against a charge.

Scheduled flights We are pleased to offer you complimentary soft drinks, juices and water with your meal, all other beverages will be charged for.

air malta INFO


DID YOU KNOW? Facts about Malta 1. Malta might be the easiest place in the world to f ind a place of worship… there are around 365 churches in Malta, one for ever y day of the year.

Enhance your Travel experience At Air Malta, we want our passengers to get everything they need to make the travel experience comfortable in one place. Here are a number of services that we offer that you might not have known about: Join the Club Upgrade to Air Malta’s Club Class for priority service. Members can make use of the special check-in counters for a more leisurely and efficient boarding, enjoy access the La Valetta Lounge at Malta International Airport, and get more privacy with a separate in-flight cabin area. Kindly ask at the check-in desk for further details.



Qty: 4 in fleet Number of seats: 141 Engines: 2 CFM56-5B6/P Maximum take-off weight: 73.5 metric tons Overall length: 33.84m; Wingspan: 34.1m Cruising speed: 834 kph Range: 4,815 km

Qty: 6 in fleet Number of seats: 168/180 Engines: 2 CFM56-5B4/P Maximum take-off weight: 77.0 metric tons Overall length: 37.57m; Wingspan: 34.1m Cruising speed: 834 kph Range: 4,055 km

2. During summer, the Maltese population triples with the arrival of nearly 1 million tourists from all over the world.

from different languages such as Italian, French, Spanish and A rabic, and is the only Semitic language in the world that is written in the Latin alphabet.

3. In Malta we drive on the left side of the road like the British, so if you are planning to drive, please do keep this in mind.

5. Malta is one of the 10 smallest sovereign states in the world.

4. Malta has a unique language spoken by over 1 million people worldwide. It has evolved

Carry more with you Are you worried about not being able to fit everything you need into your suitcase? Stop stressing out and check out our extra baggage service. Simply book your extra baggage online and get the most out of your trip!

Web check in Skip the line and check-in before you get to the airport. You may check-in online before you get to the airport up to 24 hours prior to departure up until 2 hours before your flight.

Fly in comfort Enhance your comfort with extra legroom during your flight. This option gives you more space to relax in preparation for your trip!

Your Air Malta boarding pass now gives you access to great discounts Find out how to make your ticket go the extra mile by visiting our website or our Facebook page. You can use your Air Malta boarding pass to get special discounts during your stay in Malta at many hotels, museums and more. All you have to do is present your boarding pass when purchasing the services listed on airmalta. com or at Air Malta Facebook page and you will be entitled to a special discount for your Air Malta boarding card. Make sure to mention that you wish to use this discount when making a booking, and have your boarding pass with you in order to redeem these offers.

Get sportive Are you passionate about a sport? We make it easy to travel and take your specialized equipment with you at very minimal cost. Visit for more details. Groups We also cater for large groups who want to travel together. If your group is larger than ten adults, contact our Group Bookings team for special rates that you can’t get anywhere else!


air malta INFO



• St Petersburg


Arlanda Stockholm



• Glasgow DENMARK


• Moscow Sheremetyevo


• Copenhagen

• Moscow Domodedovo

• Manchester


• Bremen • Hamburg • Birmingham • Cardiff • Norwich • Bristol • Berlin • Amsterdam • Hannover HOLLAND • Exeter GERMANY • Brussels BELGIUM • Dresden

London Heathrow • • London Gatwick

• Paris Charles de Gaulle Paris Orly •

• Frankfurt



• Munich FRANCE

• Warsaw POLAND

• Zurich SWITZERLAND • Geneva • Lyon Linate Milan • • Turin

• Vienna


• Otopani


• Bologna





• Istanbul F.Y.O.M.

• Rome • Olbia




• Verona

• Marseille



• Budapest HUNGARY


• Naples


GREECE • Cagliari • Athens SICILY • Catania

• Algiers




• Larnaca



• Tripoli

• Benghazi






Airport Weekly Flights Algiers 2 Amsterdam 5 Athens 2 Benghazi 2 Berlin 3 Birmingham 2 Bristol 1 Brussels 7 Budapest 2 Catania 10 Cardiff 1 Düsseldorf 6 Exeter 1 Frankfurt 7 Glasgow 1 Geneva 1 Hamburg 2 Istanbul 2 London Gatwick 7

Code-shared Routes

Airport Weekly Flights London Heathrow 15 Lyon 2 Manchester 4 Marseille 2 Milan Linate 7 Moscow Domodedovo 2 Moscow Sheremetyevo 2 Munich 7 Norwich 1 Sofia 2 St Petersburg 2 Paris Charles de Gaulle 7 Paris Orly 9 Prague 1 Rome 10 Tripoli 7 Vienna 7 Zurich 7




PA New York (Newark) • NJ wv

• Abu Dhabi




Intra-European Flights operated by Air Malta: Athens-Sofia-Athens (2 weekly flights)

Flights code-shared: Meridiana Lufthansa Austrian Airlines

Emirates Etihad Airways SN Brussels

Abu Dhabi Arlanda Berlin Bremen Catania Dresden Düsseldorf Frankfurt Hannover Munich New York (Newark) Oslo Stockholm Larnaca


via Heathrow, Manchester and Brussels with Etihad Airways via Munich code-shared with Lufthansa via Munich code-shared with Lufthansa via Munich and Frankfurt code-shared with Lufthansa via Munich code-shared with Lufthansa via Munich and Frankfurt code-shared with Lufthansa via Munich code-shared with Lufthansa code-shared with Lufthansa via Munich and Frankfurt code-shared with Lufthansa code-shared with Lufthansa via Munich with Lufthansa code-shared via Munich with Lufthansa via Munich code-shared with Lufthansa code-shared with Emirates

Bologna Cagliari Naples Olbia Turin Verona Budapest Otopani Prague Sofia Warsaw Brussels Copenhagen

via Catania code-shared with Meridiana via Rome and Milan code-shared with Meridiana via Catania code-shared with Meridiana via Catania, Rome and Milan code-shared with Meridiana via Catania and Rome code-shared with Meridiana via Catania code-shared with Meridiana via Vienna code-shared with Austrian Airlines via Vienna code-shared wit Austrian Airlines via Vienna code-shared with Austrian Airlines via Vienna code-shared with Austrian Airlines via Vienna code-shared with Austrian Airlines via Catania code-shared with Brussels Airlines via Brussels code-shared with Brussels Airlines


21 March - 10 May 2014 Gozo - Malta

Fri 21/3 19.30hrs

A 4-HAND OPENING GIUSEPPE FRICELLI – DARIA ALESHINA (Piano Duo) - (Italy) Ministry for Gozo Hall, Victoria

Sat 22/3 19.30hrs

Sun 20/4 20.00hrs


CELEBRATING EASTER: A FESTIVE VOCAL RECITAL AGATA BIENKOWSKA (Mezzo-soprano) FRANCA MOSCHINI (Piano) - (Poland/Italy) Ministry for Gozo Hall, Victoria

Wed 23/4 19.45hrs

Wed 26/3 19.30hrs

THE TRUMPET SHALL SOUND JASON CAMILLERI (Trumpet) SHIRLEY HELLEUR (Piano) - (Gozo/UK) Ministry for Gozo Hall, Victoria

HARPING IN A CHURCH JACOB PORTELLI (Harp) FRANK CAMILLERI (Violoncello) - (Gozo) Jesus of Nazareth Church, Xagħra

Sat 26/4 11.30hrs

MORNING TRILLS & FRILLS ELIANA RUSSO (Flute), TANIA CARDILLO (Piano) - (Italy) Ministry for Gozo Hall, Victoria

Sat 29/3 20.30hrs

2 VIOLINS IN A MUSEUM GAUDOS DUO - (Hungary) Rotunda Church Museum, Xewkija

Sun 27/4 11.00hrs

A VIOLIN TRIO ANTIPASTO TRIO FENILYA - (Italy) Ministry for Gozo Hall, Victoria

Sun 30/3 20.00hrs


Wed 30/4 19.30hrs

YOUTH & MUSIC 2 STEPHANIE PORTELLI, ANNABELLE ZAMMIT (Sopranos) VANESSA CAMENZULI (Mezzo-soprano) - (Malta) Ministry for Gozo Hall, Victoria

Wed 02/4 20.00hrs

LIRICAMENTE! ANNAMARIA STELLA PANSINI (Soprano) BRUNA GRECO (Mezzo-soprano) DAVIDE DELLISANTI (Piano) - (Italy) Ministry for Gozo Hall, Victoria

Thurs 01/5 19.30hrs


Sat 03/5 20.00hrs

A WALK THROUGH MUSIC ANA MARIA BADIA NIKIFOROVA (Violin) NORIKO USHIODA (Piano) - (Spain/Japan) Ministry for Gozo Hall, Victoria

Mon 05/5 20.00hrs


Wed 07/5 20.00hrs


Thurs 08/5 20.00hrs

PIPES IN A BASILICA ALEXANDER FREY (Organ) - (USA) Basilica of the Nativity of Our Lady, Xagħra

Sat 10/5 20.30hrs


Sun 06/4 18.30hrs


Sat 12/4 19.30hrs



Sun 13/4 11.00hrs

A PIANO ZAKUSKA ELENA LEBEDEVA (Piano) - (Russia) Ministry for Gozo Hall, Victoria

Sat 19/4 11.30hrs

CRUCIFIXUS EST: A SACRED VOCAL RECITAL AGATA BIENKOWSKA (Mezzo-soprano) FRANCA MOSCHINI (Accompanist) - (Poland/Italy) St James Church, Victoria

Concerts (except for opera) are free of charge