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THE AIR MALTA IN-FLIGHT MAGAZINE

# 9 9 M A RC H 2 02 1

4 Mellow out in Mellieħa.

13 Page Turners.

38

Inflight food menu inside.


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contents 4

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22

MELLOW OUT IN MELLIEĦA

OFF THE BEATEN TRACK: ĦAL MILLIERI CHAPEL, ŻURRIEQ

Dean Muscat takes us on a stroll around one of Malta’s most picturesque towns.

7 PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST This month we catch up with the multi-talented Anna Calleja.

13 PAGE TURNERS Looking for your next gripping novel? Here’s our round up of those featuring Malta.

16 AIR MALTA DESTINATION: EXPLORE A MORE CURIOUS SIDE OF ROME This month’s Air Malta destination ventures to the Italian eternal city.

20 THE ART OF PUBLIC SPEAKING Ever wondered what it takes to master this skill? Well, here’s your answer.

Head to this scenic chapel, packed with tales to tell.

24

SIX TOP SIGHTS This month’s top sights round up takes us around Mellieħa.

25

ISLAND HIGHLIGHTS Here’s what not to miss when exploring the Maltese islands.

30

A MALTESE MASTERCHEF Foodies stop here, welcome to the world of top chef Stefan Hogan.

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36 AIR MALTA NEWS

A round-up of this month’s news.

38 MENU

Browse our new onboard menu here.

45 DESTINATION INFORMATION Planning a trip? Take a look at all of Air Malta’s flight routes and code-sharing routes here.

46 FLIGHT AND COMPANY INFORMATION

All you need to know about flying with Air Malta.

48

OUR MONTHLY RECIPE

ELECTRONIC DEVICE INFORMATION

Chef Stefan serves up his twist on a local favourite - octopus.

All the information you need with regards to phone, laptop and tablet usage onboard.

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RESTAURANT GUIDE Feeling peckish? Here’s where to head in February.


ON THE COVER

An ethereal evening glow illuminates the northern town of Mellieħa.

MEET THE TE AM EDITORIAL AND DESIGN TBWA\ANG EXECUTIVE EDITOR Dayna Camilleri Clarke SALES AND BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT TBWA\ANG CONTRIBUTORS Air Malta Christine Cassar Dayna Camilleri Clarke David Baker Dean Muscat Din L-Art Ħelwa Duncan Barry Laura Bonnici Lauren John Ministry for Gozo Simone Mizzi Stephen Gauci Veronica Stivala

Visit Gozo Ylenia Attard Writemeanything PHOTOGRAPHERS Aron Tanti Corinthia Palace Hotel Christine Cassar Daniel Balzan Jason Borg (DOI) Koala Media Lisa Farrugia Mario Gauci Mia Scerri Stanley Farrugia Randon Viewing Malta Writemeanything ILLUSTRATOR Bryan Wolfgang Reiter OFFICIAL AIR MALTA PHOTOGRAPHER Daniel Balzan

WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE FEATURED ON IL-BIZZILLA?

For advertising opportunities and restaurant listings, get in touch with TBWA\ANG on sales@il-bizzilla.com or (+356) 2131 0608. For anything related to editorial or photography, contact Dayna on editor@il-bizzilla.com

The publisher, authors and contributors reserve their rights with regards to copyright. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or copied by any means without the written consent of the publisher. Editorial features and opinions expressed in il-Bizzilla do not necessarily reflect the views of Air Malta, the publisher, or the editorial team. Both Air Malta and the Publisher do not accept responsibility for commercial and advertising content. Although the authors and publisher have made every effort to ensure that the information in this magazine was correct before going to print, the author and publisher do not assume and hereby disclaim any liability to any party for any loss, damage, or disruption caused by errors or omissions, whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. Special thanks to the Malta Tourism Authority, Air Malta, Shutterstock and ViewingMalta.com for the provision of photographic material. Printed in Malta by VelPrint Ltd. All magazine rights are reserved by Air Malta PLC.


W ELC OM E

FROM THE CHAIRMAN...

FRO M THE ED ITO R... Dear travellers,

Merħba. As we continue to face the uncertainties of the Covid-19 pandemic, Air Malta is persevering in its efforts to keep the Islands connected to mainland Europe. The Airline has maintained steady and reliable connections for customers who need to travel for work, health, or medical reasons or to connect with families and friends.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot, and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” As Charles Dickens famously wrote about the month of March, the same can be applied to the Maltese islands, as the days grow longer. March is a beautiful month to get out and explore a more rural side of Malta, and our “off the beaten track” feature this month takes us to Ħal Millieri chapel, Żurrieq, a site which dates back hundreds of years and has been lovingly restored by Din L-Art Ħelwa (The National Trust of Malta).

In addition, we have continued with our mission to ensure that cargo, mail and medical supplies destined to Malta are carried efficiently and expeditiously to the Islands. Last month we carried a consignment of the AstraZeneca vaccines; the second Covid-19 vaccine that the Airline brought to the Islands after it carried Moderna’s jab last January.

Elsewhere in the issue, Veronica Stivala meets local actress and public speaking coach Nicole Buġeja, who shares her top tips on public speaking. I’m not sure about you, but the sheer thought sends shivers down my spine, so professional advice is always warmly welcome!

Currently we are operating 19 weekly flights to eight destinations, concentrating on our core markets of the UK, France, Germany and Italy. To reduce costs, improve the seat load factor and maximise our efficiency whilst maintaining passenger and cargo connectivity to and from the Islands, we are constantly reviewing our seat capacity and network. We expect that as the situation improves and Health Authorities decrease travel restrictions, we will increase our network and frequencies.

If you are dreaming of your next visit to Malta, or a page-turner take a look at our literary escape on page 13. Whatever your genre, all of these hand-picked books from writer Lauren John, were inspired by and set on the islands. I’m a real book worm, so can’t wait to add those to my ever-growing list!

For more information and the latest news about Air Malta and our flight schedule please visit www.airmalta.com and www. facebook.com/AirMalta and join our newsletter mailing list to receive great offers directly to your inbox.

Foodies fear not- we haven’t neglected you. As you’ll know by now our islands are a real culinary melting pot of flavours, and our interview with renowned Chef Stefan Hogan gives a glimpse into his world, and not forgetting an accompanying octopus recipe. So, wherever you are, and wherever you are going, from recipes to artists such as Anna Calleja (page 7) and stellar novels, we’ve got you covered.

Air Malta is customer driven and we are always keen to know how we can improve your flight experience. Visit www.airmalta.com/ wearelistening to answer a few short questions about your flight with us and you can win one of 10 free return Air Malta flights that we are offering every month. It only takes two minutes! Your feedback helps us understand your travel needs better and continue improving our travel experience.

Take care and stay safe.

Thank you for flying Air Malta! Enjoy this edition and keep safe.

Dayna

David G Curmi

EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN, AIR MALTA

EDITOR

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D E S T I NAT I ON

DISCOVER THE MANY SEASIDE DELIGHTS AND RURAL CHARMS OF MELLIEĦA, A SWEEPING VILLAGE IN MALTA’S NORTHERN REGION.

WORDS DEAN MUSCAT

M E L L OW OUT IN MELLIEHA CONSIDERING HOW SMALL MALTA IS, IT’S QUITE ASTONISHING TO DISCOVER HOW THE TOWNS AND VILLAGES LOCATED IN THE ISLAND’S NORTH, SOUTH, EAST, AND WESTERN REGIONS ALL RETAIN THEIR OWN DISTINCT MOODS AND CHARACTERISTICS.

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D E S T I NAT I ON

Mellieħa, a large village with outer limits that extend across the

boat operators offering trips to Comino and the Blue Lagoon.

island’s entire north side, possesses the mellow vibes of a beach

Adrenaline junkies will also love all the thrilling water sports

town mixed with the friendliness of a rural village. Despite

available, including jet skiing, parasailing and banana boat rides.

covering a huge surface area, it remains one of the least densely populated localities in Malta and has become something of an

Just missing the top spot in Mellieħa’s beach popularity contest

expat commune for those seeking the quiet life in Malta. It’s

is the smaller but no less busy Golden Bay, which is fringed

certainly a far cry from the overpopulated cosmopolitan bustle of

with sandy dunes and grassy cliffs crested with a 17th century

those other sought-after expat hotspots, Sliema and St Julian’s.

watchtower. There’s also horse riding, quad bike hire and an acclaimed scuba diving centre on site, not to mention beach

Beach bums are particularly spoilt for choice in Mellieħa thanks

activities galore. Golden Bay enjoys uninterrupted horizon views,

to its bounty of sandy beaches. From west to east, you’ll find

so you can take in some truly spectacular, glowing sunsets here.

Anchor Bay, Golden Bay, Paradise Bay, Little Armier, Armier Bay,

It’s the perfect setting should you be planning a surprise proposal

Slugs Bay, Għadira Bay, and Imġiebaħ Bay.

while on holiday.

Għadira Bay, sometimes referred to simply as Mellieħa Bay, is

And those who prefer to bronze and bathe away from the masses

the largest and most popular of the bunch. Its soft, cinnamon

may want to check out Slugs Bay, which is tucked away in

sands stretch out for almost half a mile while its clear turquoise

Mellieħa’s rustic Aħrax area. Don’t worry, this pocket-sized beach

waters remain shallow for a considerable distance from the shore,

is much more alluring than its name would have you believe.

making it ideal for families with young kids. Throughout summer,

You’ll need to clamber down some rocky terrain to reach it, so

Għadira is lounger and umbrella-striped for as far as the eye can

be sure to swap your flip flops for a pair of comfy trainers. It’s

see and the whole beach remains a hive of activity from sunrise to

certainly worth the effort. With its jagged rocky formations and

sundown thanks to the many food kiosks, ice cream vendors, and

tiny cave set on the small patch of sand, Slugs Bay has a touch of

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D E S T I NAT I ON

Popeye Village

the pirate’s cove about it. It’s also very secluded. Get there early

feathered visitors. An hour-long booking costs less than a cup

enough and you might even have the place all to yourself.

of coffee.

Mellieħa also boasts stretches of unspoilt countryside, offering ample opportunity to be at one with nature. If you’re visiting

Close by you’ll also find Foresta 2000, a protected woodland reserve

Malta between September and May, make the most of the

open all-year-round, which overlooks Għadira Bay. Walking around

season and head over to the Għadira Nature Reserve. This

the reserve’s dusty pathways you’ll come across many indigenous

seven-hectare reserve is where Malta’s ancient Roman-Punic

trees and shrubs, including the Aleppo Pine, Holm Oak and Carob

salt pans used to lie, and is most probably where Mellieħa gets

Tree. This is natural habitat to many birds, lizards and amphibians,

its name from, which stems from the Semitic word for salt.

while in the summertime butterflies flutter about in abundance. See if you can spot the brightly coloured Swallowtail or the tiger-coated

Today, the area comprises of a brackish lake and salt

Painted Lady.

marshlands, making it one of the very few wetlands still to be found on the island. Throughout the year, the reserve welcomes

Unsurprisingly, all the above is just scratching the surface. Elsewhere

around 140 species of migrating birds, who stop to rest and refuel

in Mellieħa are some fabulous eateries, air-raid shelters, military

before continuing on their long journeys. Birdwatchers can even hire

forts and towers, and even a kooky amusement park dedicated to

a special photography hideout to capture fabulous shots of these

everyone’s favourite spinach-eating sailor man. Enjoy!

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A RT

WORDS LAURA BONNICI

PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST ANNA CALLEJA

THE ARTWORK OF YOUNG MALTESE ARTIST ANNA CALLEJA HAS ALREADY RECEIVED INTERNATIONAL ACCLAIM, BUT IT IS HOME THAT NOW CALLS FOR HER FIRST SOLO EXHIBITION, HOMEBOUND. TALKING TO LAURA BONNICI, SHE QUESTIONS WHAT IT MEANS TO FIND COMFORT AT HOME IN A TIME OF GREAT UNCERTAINTY. Home sweet home, there’s no place like home – the concept of home

I appreciate that closeness even more,” she shares. “My personal

is ingrained into our very culture and psyche. In the dictionary, two

history with Malta and this closeness to those I love has influenced

distinct definitions of the word hint at its importance to us. The first

my work for years. My 2019 painting, And They Lived Happily Ever

points to it as a place of residence, but it is the second that delves

After, shows my parents on the sofa with my cat. It is a bridge

deeper, recognising the home as a haven of comfort, relief and rest.

to home; the video calls with my parents a visual motif to show presence and absence in a liminal environment between Malta

Recent events, however, may have added a third, far darker layer

and Falmouth. I exist in the same composition, but my frame is

of meaning to our concept of home: now, it is also a cage. Indeed,

separate. Though we are far apart geographically, on a video call

as the COVID-19 pandemic has continued, home has shifted from a

we can visually cohabit a screen.”

restorative place in which to prepare for the outside world, into an enclosed refuge to safeguard our health against it.

The notion of distance is a running theme in Anna’s work and career. Studying Fine Art at Falmouth University and specialising in

Exploring this new contrast between comfort and confinement in

paint, print and sculpture, she has already exhibited in a long list

the home is Maltese artist Anna Calleja, in her first solo exhibition,

of venues including in Malta at the Wignacourt Museum, at the

Homebound. Home, for Anna, has been varied and diverse as

Tate St Ives, Porthmeor Studios and at the Mall Galleries in London.

she has built her career as a multi-disciplinary artist in her home

The impressive resume of this young artist – aged just 23 – also

country of Malta and abroad. Through the pandemic, however,

includes awards, such as a Winsor and Newton Young Artist Award

Malta has felt further away than ever before. “I love that in Malta,

at the Royal Institute of Oil Painters Annual Exhibition, for her 2020

your loved ones are always close by. After living abroad for years,

painting, Alone in Quarantine.

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I NSERT A TR ET XT HERE

The pandemic offered further inspiration when Anna exhibited

in that it is a return to home but also being confined – bound – to

four paintings in Newlyn Art Gallery’s Extraordinary Postcards in

home. Not only does this duality reflect upon our experience of

Extraordinary Times exhibition. This community project showcased

the global pandemic, as the domestic space has become both our

artwork that represented participants’ time in lockdown and

haven and our cage, but also my inner conflict of home.”

resulted in a BBC interview with Anna – and offered renewed motivation as she prepared for the next milestone moment in her

While her work is autobiographical, Anna draws her influences from

artistic career.

a variety of sources across art, literature, music and current affairs. Her aesthetic harks back to both classic and contemporary artists

“I decided to work towards a solo exhibition to give me a sense

she admires, while referencing historic tropes in figurative painting

of purpose after graduating and act as an introduction to the

and revisiting the childhood certainty of fairy tales that chronicled

Maltese art scene after living abroad for years,” she continues.

sleeping figures, lost shoes, misted mirrors and domestic happy-

“This idea was reinforced when other exhibitions I was invited to

ever-afters.

in 2020 fell through due to the pandemic. I have been working on this body of work for over a year now, starting the collection

“My work has changed drastically over the past few years. I have

in Falmouth and continuing in Malta. Upon my return to Malta,

experimented with many different forms of making; collage,

many artists were extremely generous with their time and advice,

printmaking, installation, sculpture, performance, taught myself

especially Debbie Caruana Dingli who has been guiding me towards

how to sew, knit and make books, before returning to figuration and

this, my first solo exhibition.”

painting. There are always artists and creatives to look up to and learn from.”

In Homebound, Anna uses the process of painting and printmaking to create quiet moments of solace, introspection and stillness, focusing on the familiarity of home to express more far-reaching – yet universal – themes. “I use the domestic space as a stage to play out and channel my ideas, feelings and anxieties, drawing on my own notions of comfort to confront an anxious present and an uncertain future,” she highlights. “The home is both a place of

Homebound, a solo exhibition of paintings and prints by Anna

safety and of vulnerability and melancholy; it is a place of curated

Calleja, will open from 4 - 25 March 2021 at the Art Galleries of the

identity, taste and is loaded with personal history.”

Malta Society of Arts, Palazzo de La Salle, Valletta. Entrance is free. Homebound is supported by APS Bank as the main sponsor, as well

Even the exhibition’s title reflects on the experience of the pandemic

as Deloitte, Atlas Insurance and Fenech Farruġia Fiott Legal.

as well as Anna’s own journey. “Homebound holds a dual meaning,

For further information visit www.artsmalta.org/events

9


GOZO

WORDS VISITGOZO / MINISTRY FOR GOZO

THE FASCINATING XWEJNI SALT PANS THE WHITE GOLD OF THE ISLAND

The men carry two buckets, left and right on a yoke, to the caves in

The archaic beauty of Gozo can hardly be felt better than in

the coastline, where they store the harvest in sacks. Production has

Xwejni, with its miles of salt pans along the north coast. Whoever

recently dropped to less than 10 tons per season; in the best year,

has carved the first rectangles in to the limestone dates back to

1977, it was once 42 tons, Leli tells us. But demand has also fallen.

the Roman period. One can assume that they have been used for

“People used to come in donkey carts and fetch sacks of salt,”

thousands of year, with a principle that is impressively simple:

reports Leli’s wife, Roża. Back then, there were no refrigerators and

Salty seawater evaporates in the summer sun, leaving behind

the farmers preserved their food by salting it.

the valuable “white gold”. The quality of the water, the climate, the rock and the orientation of the pools influence

Before the season starts, the pools are repaired with stones and

the yield. The crusaders, who claimed the salt monopoly for

cement. Then sea-water, which is pumped into the 12 main basins,

themselves, made unauthorised cultivation punishable.

is flown through the gutters into 350 small basins. In bad weather, spray splashes into the gullies and dilutes the brine again. This

HARD PHYSICAL WORK, EXPOSED TO THE WEATHER

can ruin almost a month’s work. Once a basin has crystallized and

You need a lot of strength and endurance to be a successful

been emptied, water is refilled in the scorching heat. In years with

‘salt farmer’. Gozitan families have cultivated this work for

favourable weather conditions, this allows harvesting to continue

generations, and the most prominent of these comes from

into October.

Żebbuġ. Emmanuel Ċini, or Leli tal-Melħ, made a small business out of the salt works in 1969, which his wife brought

Even if the tourist business is the new main source of income,

into the marriage. She herself had been helping out her family

Josephine Xuereb, the daughter of the founders, has her own

since she was ten years of age. Once a week, at around 4 o’clock

thoughts. “Will later generations pass by here one day and ask

in the morning, all the members of the family had to get up.and

themselves what this actually was?”

go out together to harvest the salt before sunrise – during the particularly hot months of June and August. The women still sweep the salt, which is rich in iodine and magnesium, into pyramics in the basins and shovel it into buckets.

From Gabriele Spiller’s ’50 Reasons to Love Gozo'.

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GOZO

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GOZO

WORDS VISITGOZO / MINISTRY FOR GOZO

ENJOY DWEJRA’S NATURAL BEAUTY

IT’S NOW BEEN FOUR YEARS SINCE DWEJRA BAY LOST AN ICONIC LANDMARK THAT MADE GOZO WORLD FAMOUS. THE AZURE WINDOW REPRESENTED GOZO AND THE ISLAND’S ENDURING AND RAW BEAUTY FOR MANY, MANY YEARS UNTIL IT WAS SWEPT AWAY BY GALE FORCE WINDS AND HIGH WAVES ON 8TH MARCH 2017. However, Dwejra has many more features to offer that were,

climbing the rock was virtually an impossible task. Great punishment

perhaps, overlooked when the Azure Window was still around. It is

awaited those who were caught scaling the rock. Back in time, a

no coincidence that this location has been a favourite backdrop for

kind of primitive cable-car enabled access to the rock.

filmmakers, as nature and geography seem to have schemed to create a place like no other.

THE BLUE HOLE The Blue Hole is an internationally acclaimed diving spot.

Here are several spots that you should not miss on your next visit

This vertical chimney, which Jacques Cousteau himself once

to Dwerja.

earmarked as one of his top 10 diving spots in the world is a must for every serious diver. While diving here, you might want to take a

THE INLAND SEA

peek at the submerged Azure Window, which has now become an

This area has been formed by a circular depression in the land,

awesome diving spot.

which created a unique lagoon. The Inland Sea is connected to the main sea via a 100-metre tunnel that can be used by small

THE TOWER

boats. Traditionally, the Inland Sea at Dwejra was a fishermen’s

Built in 1652, this tower acted as a sentinel against the pirates

cove and the small fishermen’s huts are still standing, but today

and marauders, and guarded the Fungus Rock. The Tower

fishermen gladly take out tourists for boat trips.

also played a part in WWII when it acted as a guard for the western side of Gozo. If the flag is flying on top of the tower,

THE FUNGUS ROCK

it means that it is open to the public. We suggest a visit to

This islet has its own interesting story about a precious medicinal

Dwejra during sunset hours. Sunsets at Dwejra are experienced

plant growing here and because of which, it was heavily guarded.

everyday by visitors who stand in awe of a natural ritual, of

The Knights of St John even levelled out its sides to ensure that

unparalleled beauty.

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L OTCEAXLT H E R E I NSERT

WORDS LAUREN JOHN

PAGE T U R N ER S DISCOVER THE BEAUTY OF MALTA WITHIN THE PAGES OF A NOVEL INSPIRED BY AND SET ON THE ISLAND. THERE’S SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE AMONG THESE FIVE VERY DIFFERENT PAGE TURNERS, AS WE UNCOVER WHAT CAPTIVATED THE AUTHORS ABOUT THE ISLAND.

“It’s basically a love letter to the island,” says Caroline Smailes,

Drama and conflict might be found between the pages, but in the

author of Like Bees To Honey who, with a Maltese mother and

end I give readers a happy ending”.

grandmother, has spent many a long summer in Malta. Caroline weaves a story around Nina, her son, and their journey to see

Find out just what that happy ending is in the Phantom of Valletta,

Nina’s ageing parents. They find on arrival that Malta isn’t just

an imagined part sequel/part re-telling of Gaston Leroux’s Phantom

a beautiful destination for tourists, but a stop-off for recently

of The Opera classic. Here, the very much alive ‘opera ghost’ is

deceased ghosts as well.

drawn from Paris to Valletta, seeking a new life, a new goal, and retribution for past mistakes. A novel for anyone interested in

Malta is very much a part of Caroline’s heritage, and she invites

Malta’s built heritage, as Vicki invites readers to follow Erik as he

you to enjoy and learn from all the little details she has added

seeks to buy and restore Valletta’s opera house to its former glory.

throughout the pages. “The novel contains so many snippets including travel guides, food and the language.”

From built history to military tales, that author Nicola Kearns says were “very difficult to find in history books or fictional books about

While family history inspires an affection for the island from

Malta”. Nicola has a keen interest in WWII, and it was this, coupled

Caroline Smailes, Vicki Hopkins – daughter of Eastern European and

with many visits to the island that produced the Malta saga – a trio

English parents, says on her website that she “blames my ancestors

of books all linked to wartime Malta. Nicola tells us that when she

for the lethal combination in my genes that influences my stories.

began to research Malta in WWII she “fell in love with the island

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LOCAL

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I NSERT L OTCEA XLT H E R E

Whether the Malta you know is in the pages of a book, a scrapbook of holiday memories, or maybe in future travel plans, we hope these book recommendations will remind you of all that is special about Malta, its history, and its people.

and its people. The story of what they went

under threat from enemy invasion. He is

“I love and adore Malta. I was brought up

through in WWII I felt deserved to be told”.

also sent, under orders from the Queen, to

there as an army kid and when I wrote

search for something that threatens her

Summer On A Sunny Island I gave my

Nicola’s trio of novels, Under A Maltese

reign. If you’re looking for some light relief

characters something I'd dearly love to

Sky, The Azure Window, and All The

after immersing yourself in one of the most

have again - a summer in Malta. The

Seas Between begins with the outbreak

fiercely contested sieges in history, then we

apartments they occupy in Ta' Xbiex are

of war, and ends generations later in

are ending on a more positive note.

a stone's throw from where we once lived

modern day Malta. Meet Italian, Irish, and

and nearby Gżira Gardens and the yacht

Maltese characters and their comrades

Share the love for Malta, and indulge in

marina were my childhood playgrounds.

through the generations as they find love,

some pure escapism with Sue Moorcroft’s

The story of Rosa and Zach standing at

heartbreak, and intrigue. Plot twists

2020 release Summer On A Sunny Island.

life's crossroads is played out now in the

and revelations are promised throughout

The story follows Rosa, who heads off

present day, but there's a definite echo of

this saga.

to spend the summer in Malta after her

the Malta I knew.”

relationship ends. Although there to work, The drama continues in best-selling author

she meets the handsome Zach, who

Whether the Malta you know is in the pages

Simon Scarrow’s take on the Great Seige of

seems to attract trouble, along with Rosa’s

of a book, a scrapbook of holiday memories,

Malta, titled The Sword and The Scimitar.

attention. Will they find love? That’s for you

or maybe in future travel plans, we hope

Disgraced army veteran Sir Thomas Barret

to find out, but we can testify to Sue’s love

these book recommendations will remind

arrives on the island to assist The Knights

of Malta and the joy writing this book

you of all that is special about Malta, its

Of The Order Of St John, as Malta comes

gave her.

history, and its people.

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T R AV E L

E XPLORE A MORE CURIOUS SIDE OF ROME A N D A L E S S W E L L-T R AV E L L E D O N E TO O

WORDS DAVID BAKER / AIR MALTA

BEFORE THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC, ROME WAS ONE OF AIR MALTA’S BUSIEST ROUTES WITH DAILY FLIGHTS, CARRYING THOUSANDS OF BUSINESSMEN AND TOURISTS ALIKE EACH MONTH. AND IT’S UNDERSTANDABLE. ROME WILL CERTAINLY BE POPULAR AS EVER ONCE WE AGAIN RETURN TO NORMALITY. Amongst other things, this is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities.

result, created a cityscape unlike any other in Rome. Construction

The Eternal City. Sweeping views of ancient ruins, countless

halted during the war, but was resumed during the 50s and 60s,

frescoed churches and imposing monuments all come to mind. It is

producing office and government buildings, parks and gardens, all

also an important commercial centre, hence its attraction for both

with thoroughly contemporary architecture.

leisure and business travel. EUR has undergone significant redevelopment, with corporate However, there are lot of other reasons to visit, with one

headquarters like Fendi moving in, as well as the addition of a

attraction that has put it on the radar. This is the EUR - not the

boundary-pushing new convention centre called ‘The Cloud.’

Euro currency, but the Esposizione Universale Roma, which has

Designed by Studio Fuksas, it’s brought a revitalised food and

long been one of Rome's most curious neighbourhoods.

shopping scene along with it. Very recently the first upscale hotel opened for business travellers and leisure tourists alike: the Hilton

In the midst of Rome’s rich history lies the modern and

Rome EUR, called La Lama, or ‘the blade.’

geometric EUR district. Located just south of the city centre, the EUR was chosen as the location for the 1942 World’s Fair,

EUR’s aesthetic design is essentially a modernised version of ancient

conceptualised by Mussolini to celebrate 20 years of Fascism,

Rome, with its most iconic building, the Palazzo della Civiltà

a destiny that was never fulfilled, due to the breakout of World

Italiana (also called the Palazzo del Lavoro), a square version of the

War II.

Colosseum. However, the district is constantly transforming.

The neighbourhood’s bizarre fascist-neoclassical buildings and

Don’t miss the artificial lake surrounded by a park boasting

monuments have starred in many masterpieces of Italian cinema.

thousands of cherry trees donated by the city of Tokyo. Pack a

Today, EUR is celebrated for its Rationalist style of architecture and

picnic and dine al fresco or rent a canoe and take a jaunt around

is an ideal destination for anyone seeking a different side of the city,

the lake. Make sure to look for the water's reflection sparkling in the

especially architecture buffs.

glass exterior of the nearby ENI building.

The architects of EUR designed every aspect of the neighbourhood

Another must-see is the austere Palazzo dei Congressi. This palace

to project an image of imperialism, growth and excess and as a

is now used for conferences and exhibitions, and is also open to

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T R AV E L

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T R AV E L

20th-century art lovers hoping to get a peek

park, and grab a healthy brunch at Vivi

underground rivers are just some of the

at Gino Severini’s marvellous 1953 mural.

Bistrot in the heart of the park, then take

things you can see on a subterranean tour

a stroll to the nearby Belvedere Lake. If

of the city.

Then find time stop by the Palazzo dello

you prefer walking to jogging, take an

Sport, the Grattacielo d’Italia - literally

organised tour on foot, around the Old

Not quite underground, but equally captivating,

translates to ‘skyscraper of Italy’ - the

Quadraro neighbourhood. Here you will

is the Passetto di Borgo, or simply Passetto

Palazzo delle Scienze and its two science

experience the ‘graff-side’ of Rome, through

,meaning small passage. This is an elevated

museums, as well as the Palazzo delle Arti e

the medium of an outdoor museum and its

passage that links the Vatican City with Castel

Tradizioni Popolari, a museum dedicated to

collection of murals by well-known Italian

Sant’Angelo. This corridor, located in the

local folklore and traditional handicrafts.

and international street artists such as Ron

district of Borgo, was erected in 1277 by Pope

English, Jim Avignon, Alice, Mr Thoms and

Nicholas III and extends for approximately 800

Beau Stanton.

metres (2,600 ft.). On several occasions, it

EUR is also filled with cultural surprises such as Palazzo degli Uffici, Mussolini’s

served as an escape route for Popes in danger.

bunker, Palazzo della Civiltà Italiana,

There is also a bike version of the tour,

Palazzo delle Poste, the Church of Saints

covering a broader area stretching as

In 1494, Pope Alexander VI crossed it when

Peter and Paul.

far as the Torpignattara district, another

Charles VIII invaded the city. Then in 1527

interesting destination in its own right

during the Sack of Rome, Clement VII

EUR used to be just a favourite location

specialising in street art exhibitions and

escaped to safety through this passage

for fashion magazine photo shoots. Now

public art for the neighbourhood. Here you

when troops of the Holy Roman Emperor

its bold renaissance, offers amazing

can also find old-style restaurants serving

massacred almost the entire Swiss Guard on

sightseeing, impressive architecture and

the most authentic Roman cuisine and an

the steps of St Peter’s Basilica.

also a few stylish addresses.

urban landscape of nice, small villas mostly from 1920s. The district, still not gentrified,

By walking in the footsteps of Popes who

This curious district can be included as part

is characterized by a village-like atmosphere

sought safety when Rome was under

of a wider off-beat excursion of Rome.

and a melting-pot community of families

threat, you get a sense of how they must’ve

from all corners of the world.

felt as they fled along this passageway.

For example, Palazzo Colonna is one of

Unfortunately, Il Passetto is only open in

the oldest and largest private palaces in

From still art to the moving kind. Why not

the summer for guided tours during the

Rome. Home to the Colonna family (whose

catch a movie on Tiber Island? From mid-

event ‘Notti d’Estate a Castel Sant’Angelo’

impressive 31-generation history is well

June to September, a charming outdoor

(Summer Nights at Castel Sant’Angelo).

worth delving into itself), the 14th Century

cinema pops up on the Isola Taberina

Finally, unknown to most tourists and even

palace is a sprawling stately residence filled

showing both international and Italian

the locals, is Quartiere Coppedè, which gets

with grand marble staircases, colourful

films. L’Isola del Cinema attracts both

its name from Gino Coppedè, a Florentine

salons, impressive hallways and a beautiful

locals and tourists alike, where a movie

architect who designed and built the

open courtyard at its centre.

showing becomes the focal point of a

quarter between 1913 and 1926.

night spent browsing the craft stands While the palace remains a private home

and food stalls of the nearby riverside

Entering this tiny neighbourhood from Via

for the Colonnas, it opens its doors to the

summer market.

Tagliamento and Via Dora, you’ll see Tuscan

public on Saturday mornings. Tickets are

turrets, Liberty sculptures, Moorish arches,

inexpensive and include a guided tour at

If you don’t fancy a movie, how about

Gothic gargoyles, frescoed façades, and

specific times.

some live entertainment? The spectacular

palm-fringed gardens.

Caracalla Baths – ruins of a vast Roman When it comes to off-beat parks find your

bath complex – play host to a variety of

Rome is a city that has to be on everyone’s

way to Villa Pamphili on the east side of

special live concerts, gigs, operas and plays

bucket list and after your first visit, you’ll

the River Tiber. Well known to local joggers

throughout summer and if you manage to

realise it is a place that will draw you

for its natural trails, (its perimeter extends

catch one while you’re in the area – you’re

back, time and time again. By all means,

about 10km) – it takes in some of the city’s

in for a real treat! From balmy summer

go ahead and see the main attractions

impressive landmarks, should you wish to do

nights under the stars, discover a world of

that Rome is famous for, but make sure

some sightseeing while on the move!

secrets lurking underneath the streets of

you allow enough time – or make that

the Eternal city. Christian crypts decorated

return visit - to go off the beaten track (or

Alternatively, enjoy its relative calm

with the bones of Capuchin monks, Roman

underground) to make your experience even

compared to the very popular Borghese

catacombs, ancient Mythraic temples and

more memorable.

Air Malta operates regular flights to Rome. More information on www.airmalta.com

18


ORDER KINNIE FROM AMAZON.CO.UK AND ENJOY MALTA’S OWN FAVOURITE BITTERSWEET SOFT DRINK WITH ORANGE FLAVOURING & AROMATIC HERBS FROM THE COMFORT OF YOUR HOME .

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AVAILABLE ON


LIFESTYLE

WORDS VERONICA STIVALA

T H E A RT OF PU BLIC SPEA K I NG IN AN AGE WHERE WE FEEL PRESSURED TO BE INSTA-WORTHY, ACTRESS AND PUBLIC SPEAKING COACH NICOLE BUĠEJA ADVISES THAT YOU NEED ONLY EXPRESS YOURSELF WHEN YOU HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY. VERONICA STIVALA LISTENS INTENTLY TO THIS LOCAL CREATIVE. Expressing oneself with clarity need not be so difficult if our

even before attempting to perform a character or to start creating

intentions are clear. What a relief to hear this from public speaking

a performance for the public. Years were spent practising how to

and performance coach Nicole Buġeja. In a society that pushes

enter a space and capture the attention of the audience just by

us to “put ourselves out there”, to promote ourselves as some

standing there.

ideal product on social media, so many of us feel under enormous pressure to present ourselves “filtered to perfection.” This delivers

“This seems like a simple exercise, but it was really the toughest of

the message that one need not dig very deep to express oneself

them all. You are working with a very subtle energy, with your posture

with clarity.

and use of the eyes. You are aware of every inch of your body and of how you are using your breathing,” she explains. And this is just

Yet authentic expression entails preparation, actually having

what she does with her clients: working on nurturing this kind of

something to say, processing our thoughts and translating them

presence with the people she coaches – studying one’s thoughts,

into a coherent message, notes Buġeja. Beyond all the social media

one’s body and one’s voice. When we establish this ‘presence’, which

hype, this can be a very worthy act of sharing for the sake of one’s

is a process that can take time depending on the specific needs of

wellbeing and that of others. “You really do not need to express

the person, she adds, we go on to honing the message and onto

yourself in public unless you have something to say. Get to know

catering it specifically for the particular audience in mind.

yourself better first, study and develop your opinions, know your message, then speak!”

Speaking of audiences, Nicole offers some insight on why so many of us run a mile at the thought of having to speak in front of one.

Buġeja’s sage words are equally consoling and encouraging. In

“Public speaking is very much an act of vulnerability – we are

addition to being a coach, Nicole is also a theatre performer and

placing ourselves in front of others with their attention focused

artistic director. This background helped provide a modus operandi

on us,” she observes. At the very core we want, together with our

for her.

message, to be accepted, appreciated, maybe even validated. This often leads to us getting scared that we are going to make a fool of

In her professional training in European contemporary theatre, one

ourselves in front of that same community by whom we potentially

core aspect transmitted was the development of ‘stage presence’,

want to be valued. So it is often a matter of wanting to be judged

20


I N S ELRI T F ETSETXYTL E HERE

well by the community we belong to. “If we focus on our message

happen, she stresses, “we need more than to simply teach them

and on the benefits it holds for our audience, this vulnerable act

skills for presentation”. What we need to do is “to be there with

of public speaking will empower us. If we focus on what can go

our full presence to transmit to them critical thinking skills, guide

wrong, we are misguiding our attention and jeopardising our in-the-

them to sift through their thoughts and through their emotions,

moment performance,” she points out.

invite them to shape an opinion, let them know that one can communicate and disagree calmly and without necessarily using

In addition to being a coach, performer and director, Nicole is also

harmful means”.

an academic researcher and tutor. All these are linked through the love for the art of performance, though she does admit she

We need to inform them, she goes on, that not everything they

gravitates more towards performance training – she researches it,

absorb from the media is true, and of core importance, to let them

creates new ways of training and transmits them to others. She also

know that communicating and speaking up might very well be one

still performs and of late has found herself attracted to improvising

of the most powerful tools for a sustainable society. Certainly this is

in quiet places, which gives her a feeling of respite from the noisy,

a message that holds true for all of us.

hectic, traffic and construction laden environment out there. Nicole is particularly passionate about young people being encouraged to speak in public. “I would like to see more children expressing themselves and speaking in public,” and for this to

www.nicolebugeja.com

21


LOCAL

WORDS SIMONE MIZZI

OFF THE BEATEN

TRACK

DISCOVERING A HIDDEN GEM T H E C H A P EL O F T H E A N N U N C I AT I O N ĦAL MILLIERI, ŻURRIEQ

DURING MARCH, MALTA USUALLY CELEBRATES THE FEAST OF THE ANNUNCIATION OF THE VIRGIN MARY AND WERE IT NOT FOR THE PANDEMIC, DIN L-ART ĦELWA, (NATIONAL TRUST OF MALTA), WOULD NORMALLY OPEN A RARE RELIGIOUS SITE TO THE PUBLIC THAT MAY BE ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT LEGACIES OF ART AND ARCHITECTURE DATING FROM MEDIEVAL TIMES. SUCH EXAMPLES ARE VERY SCARCE ON THE ISLAND AND WE ARE THEREFORE HAPPY TO GIVE READERS THE OPPORTUNITY TO DISCOVER IT HERE IN IL-BIZZILLA. When trekking through the rural outskirts of Żurrieq, one sees a

which in later times, could be said to have actually saved them.

copse of tall conifers, typical of churchyards, in the fields across

Some thirteen truck loads of undergrowth, rubble, cactus, old

to Mqabba. In their midst, lies hidden the tiny, humble Chapel of

rags had to be removed, and what came to light was perhaps

the Annuncation of Ħal Millieri, or, as it was known on old maps,

one of the most important discoveries for Malta as this unique

Casal Millier, once a thriving village at its peak before the larger

chapel, dedicated to the Annunciation of the Virgin Mary, and its

parish of Żurrieq was built. The chapel lies behind a gate, at the

extraordinary hidden artistic treasures were revealed.

end of a narrow pathway between high rubble walls, where its early baroque portal had been saved from the old parish church at

The discovery gave rise to opportunity for research into Malta’s

Żurrieq in 1640. Its twin portal can be seen on the nearby Chapel of

obscure medieval legacy. Din l-Art Ħelwa commissioned experts

St John Evangelist.

to study and restore the hidden paintings. What emerged are a rare cycle of byzantine saints, an archaic group of paintings in

Shortly after Din l-Art Ħelwa was founded in 1965 to safeguard

partly stylized form, which were purposely designed by its artist

Malta’s heritage, it was alerted that a small chapel existed that

to decorate every single arched vault. This indicated that Malta

was being used to store farm implements. On closer examination,

was still revering cults that had been abandoned several centuries

it appeared that its walls were decorated with wall paintings. The

previously in Europe.

youth organization of Din l-Art Ħelwa was given the task of clearing the abandoned implements and overgrowth that had accumulated

The colourful cycle of saints painted between each arch in the

in the precincts in order to permit professional examination of

chapel are a rare example of 15th Century Maltese art of which very

the chapel and its contents. It was in a derelict state and its wall

little exists in Malta. Twelve life sized saints, gaze at you serenely

paintings had been covered by some fourteen layers of whitewash,

with their big almond shaped eyes, their stereotyped gestures, and

22


I NSERT L OTCEAXLT H E R E

elaborate voluminous drapes reveal elements of Byzantine and

the condition of the art remains stable. Thanks to the devoted care

Romanesque art. The inscriptions of the names of the saints are in

of its Custodian, Dr Anthony Manġion and volunteers, it remains

angular Gothic letters typical of the late medieval era. So we find

beautifully preserved.

delightful representations of Saints Anthony the Abbott, Blaise, Augustine of Hippo, Andrew with his cross, Agatha, Lawrence,

The chapel is open to the public on the first Sunday of every month

Vincent, James, a youthful John and, St Nicholas and St Leonard.

between 0930 and 1200 and on request. It is breathtakingly

Then there are two soldier saints, both portraying St George riding

beautiful in its simplicity, and is one of the few countryside chapels

his white charger carrying his white and red pennant, maybe a

still standing in the original environment in which it was built.

result of extra devotion to this saint by the owners of the chapel.

Ħal Millieri can be found by taking the second turning right down

A name, maybe that of the artist, was found scrawled in red

Diamond Jubilee Avenue, and then the third rural lane till you

sinopia below the panel of Saints Agatha and Blaise. ‘Garinu’ the

come to the newly pedestrianized area that permits comfortable

mysterious ‘Master of Millieri’ as he was named in the book, ‘Ħal

enjoyment of this rural area.

Millieri, A Maltese Casale’, by Dr Anthony Luttrell, a historian who devoted many years to the study of this place and its art. Din l-Art Ħelwa is a voluntary heritage organisation that has saved Saving these amazing frescos was paramount for Din l-Art Ħelwa

numerous historic sites round Malta and Gozo. If you want to become

and challenging at a time when the conservation of wall paintings

a Heritage Guardian, you can assist Din l-Art Ħelwa by joining as a

was perhaps, still in its infancy. Din l-Art Ħelwa continues to consult

volunteer or simply by leaving a donation through the website on

with experts, such as those at the Courtauld Institute of Art, and

www//dinlarthelwa.org. For more information please email

at the University of Malta’s Department of Built Heritage to ensure

admin@dinlarthelwa.org.

23


LOCAL

WITH SO MANY CITIES, TOWNS AND VILLAGES ON OUR LITTLE ISLANDS, IT’S HARD TO DECIDE WHAT TO SEE AND WHERE TO GO. THROUGHOUT THE YEAR WE’LL BE HIGHLIGHTING OUR TOP LOCATIONS FOR THE SEASON. THIS MONTH WE VISIT MELLIEĦA.

SIX TOP SIGHTS

POPEYE'S VILLAGE

MELLIEHA SANCTUARY

RED TOWER

Popeye's Village has grown from its roots as a film set of the 1980 Musical Production 'Popeye' into one of the major tourist attractions within the Maltese islands. Nowadays the film set has been converted into a small attraction fun park, consisting of a collection of rustic and ramshackle wooden buildings. It is located just outside of Mellieħa, at Anchor Bay, 3km (2 miles) from the village core of Mellieħa Sanctuary.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady situated at the edge of a hill, in the heart of Mellieħa. Built-in the late 19th century, this church is famous both for pilgrimages and for the stunning views across the surrounding bay. The building on top of the Sanctuary is the parish priest's residence. The oldest part of the building was presumably once a small monastery traditionally attributed to the Augustinian Friars.

St Agatha's tower, more commonly known as the Red Tower, is a sizeable bastioned watchtower in Mellieħa. It was built between 1647 and 1649, as the sixth of the Lascaris towers. It is said that the Red Tower is dedicated to Saint Agatha as her strength and faith would protect the tower and its keepers from natural disasters.

MELLIEHA STUNNING VIEWS

GHADIRA BAY

ARMIER BAY

This well-loved beach is also known as Għadira (pron. a-deerah) Bay. It's roughly 800m long and was awarded Blue Flag status (which is a recognition of quality based on water quality, environmental management, safety and services, among other indicators). The long sandy beach is one of the islands most popular, not to mention the turquoise waters framing the shoreline.

The Armier Bay consists of two beaches, the most prominent beach is known as Armier and the other one as Little Armier. The sea of this bay is bright iridescent turquoise, akin to the picturesque sea of the nearby Blue Lagoon.

Outside the main Parish Church sits a quaint terrace. Here offers a spectacular vantage point for endless coastal views across the bay, and the pretty village itself. Be sure to put this on your selfie-stop list!

24


T O P L O C AT I ON S

DESPITE ITS DIMINUTIVE SIZE, THE MALTESE ARCHIPELAGO IS BURSTING WITH HISTORIC SITES, IDYLLIC SPOTS, CULTURE AND TRADITION. THE MALTESE ISLANDS ARE LIKE NOWHERE ELSE. HERE YOU’LL FIND FOSSIL-STUDDED GEO FORMATIONS, PREHISTORIC TEMPLES, INTRIGUING DIVING OPPORTUNITIES, AND A RICHLY WOVEN HISTORY OF REMARKABLE INTENSITY. HERE’S A HANDY GUIDE ON WHAT TO LOOK OUT FOR DURING YOUR STAY.

I SL A N D H IG H L IG H T S

MDINA, MALTA Interested in taking a journey through time? Mdina has it all - a long history, medieval and baroque architecture, and prestigious treasures that are part of our cultural heritage.

NADUR BELVEDERE, NADUR, GOZO One of the best spots in Nadur to experience the sun rising from the east.

XWEJNI SALT PANS, MARSALFORN, GOZO The distinct Xwejni Salt Pans are truly a must-see. Sea-salt production is one of the oldest Gozitan traditions that has been passed down from one generation to another.

TA’ PINU SANCTUARY, GHARB, GOZO An architectural masterpiece that must be seen to believe. Dedicated to Our Lady of Ta’ Pinu, the sanctuary is visited by both locals and travellers, who wish to pray or simply admire the art, architecture and magnificent designs. 25


01

ESPLORA, Interactive Science Centre, Villa Bighi, Kalkara, KKR 1320, Malta. Contact us on (+356) 2360 2300 www.esplora.org.mt

Illustrations are the artist’s impressions only and cannot be regarded as representations of facts or accurate locations.


01


Welcome on board. Joining you today is Malta’s best-loved beer, Cisk: an award-winning beer inspired by the amazing Maltese people and a symbol of national pride. Why not start your Maltese experience a little early - order yourself a Cisk on this flight and discover why it’s known as Malta’s finest.


NEDXDTRHI N KE IFNOSO ED R TA T ER

SOME GO OD

FO OD FOR THOUGHT

29


FOOD A ND DRINK

WORDS LAURA BONNICI

A M A LT ESE M A ST ERCH EF

FOODIES VISITING MALTA SHOULD GET READY FOR A CULINARY ADVENTURE UNLIKE ANY OTHER IN THE WORLD, SAYS STEFAN HOGAN, EXECUTIVE HEAD CHEF AT CORINTHIA PALACE. LAURA BONNICI CHATS WITH HIM ABOUT THE UNMISSABLE FOOD OF THE MALTESE ISLANDS. According to top chef Stefan Hogan, the three words that best

the thrill of making a finished product unlike any other. I still do!” he

describe Maltese food are “honest, vibrant and hearty.” And seeing as

beams with another of his characteristic ear-to-ear grins.

you are what you eat, these words could also describe the man himself. The pursuit of food perfection has since taken Stefan to competitions Full of heart and passion, Stefan Hogan quite literally lives for

and high-end dining establishments in the UK, the rest of Europe and

excellent food. As Executive Head Chef at Corinthia Palace in Attard,

Africa, winning a wealth of awards along the way. But it was back in

he is known as much for his disciplined yet boundless energy and

Malta that he has forged his own food haven over nearly a decade, at

enthusiasm in the kitchen, as he is for creating some of Malta’s most

Corinthia Palace.

exquisitely mouth-watering dishes. “I love our culture, our history, our heritage, our uniqueness, with Indeed, the heady mix of discipline and passion are in Stefan’s blood.

all the imprints these have left on our food identity,” Stefan fondly

Born in the UK before returning to Malta a few years later, he grew

shares about the Maltese islands. “When eating traditional Maltese

up dreaming of following his father’s footsteps into the military.

food, you can clearly taste the influences of the various cultures we

But it was the culinary profession that called to him – for much the

as a nation have mingled with in past eras, which have all pollenated

same reason.

our food traditions.”

“I was drawn to the kitchen as it is a world where discipline and

And, according to Stefan, there’s plenty to wow the palate of even the

excellence are equally important. I loved the process of cooking and

most seasoned foodie in Malta. “If you want to try Maltese food, just

30


IF NOSO ED R TA T NEDXD TRHI E NRKE

follow your nose and get ready to dive in for a sensory adventure,” he

help other young, enterprising chefs to grow and develop along their

continues. “I love the clean taste of fresh ġbejniet (Maltese cheeselet

culinary journey, while sharing with guests at the dining offerings

made from sheep or goat’s milk) with Bidni olive oil, honey and some

within the hotel the amazing food that we can create with local

sea salt – it’s a dish that can both surprise and delight in its simplicity.

produce,” he explains, clearly ready to get back into the kitchen to do

Visitors shouldn’t miss the chance to try rabbit stew, octopus stew,

exactly this.

stewed or steamed snails served with lots of sauce and Maltese bread, Maltese cheese or pea pastizzi (pastries) and the cakes we eat

“We enjoy incorporating traditional Maltese fare into the menu that

during festivities, like figolli at Easter or prinjolata over Carnival week.

uses techniques and a plating style that is closer to our interpretation.

And a crunchy ftira with really good tomatoes, mint, basil and olive

Food is all about evolution and moving forward with vision, so long as you

oil, is to me, the taste of Malta. That’s even on UNESCO’s Intangible

stay true to the taste profile of the dish and maintain the integrity of the

Cultural Heritage List now. So, my advice is – arrive hungry!”

star ingredient. This is traditional Maltese food, reinterpreted to create a modern, luxury – and completely unforgettable – dining experience.”

As a fitting champion of Maltese products and produce, Stefan also makes sure to pass on his expertise and passion for local food to the next generation of chefs he guides both internationally and from

The Corinthia Palace is open for all-day dining with brunch, lunch,

inside his kitchen at the Corinthia Palace.

afternoon tea and dinner. More information about Stefan Hogan and his award-winning team of chefs can be found online at

“I love that, as part of the Corinthia team, I have the opportunity to

www.corinthia.com/palace-hotel-and-spa/.

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FOOD A ND DRINK

WE BRING YOU THE BEST THAT THE MALTESE KITCHEN HAS TO OFFER WITH RECIPES INSPIRED BY MEDITERRANEAN AND EUROPEAN CUISINE.

YOUR DELICIOUS

MONTHLY RECIPE

Stefan Hogan first discovered his love of cooking at the tender age of nine, when he began experimenting with recipes at home. He studied cooking and service at the Malta Catering College, before embarking on a long and award-winning career with the Corinthia Group, during which he worked in many of the Group’s international properties. Today Stefan is Executive Chef at Corinthia Palace, Malta, where he continues to execute and share his culinary vision. 32


FOOD A ND DRINK

This Mediterranean plate fits in perfectly with the Maltese cuisine. You should prepare this dish only if you have plenty of time on your hands, since it requires long and slow simmering. The end result will be a very tender octopus or as it is known locally- "qarnit". Enjoy Chef Stefan's sumptuous version here.

C H A R R ED OC TOPUS, JERUSA LEM A RTIC HOK ES A N D OLI V E OIL INGREDIENTS 1 octopus, weighing approx. 3-4kg 1 preserved lemon, skin only (chopped) Some parsley stalks “Bidni” Maltese olive oil Sea salt 1/2 garlic clove 15gr rose harissa

METHOD Preheat a water bath to 70°C. Place the octopus in a vacuum bag along with the preserved lemon peel, parsley stalks, salt, pepper, olive oil and the rose harissa. Seal and cook for four-and-a-half hours. Once the octopus is cooked, remove from the vacuum bag and pat dry. Place a non-stick pan over a high heat until smoking hot. Separate the eight tentacles – two for each plate – and pan-fry for a few minutes until crisp and coloured all over. Serve the grilled octopus with a Jerusalem artichoke purée infused with olive oil, charred Jerusalem artichokes, some fresh herb and salad leaves tossed in olive oil and pomegranate molasses.

33


FOOD A ND DRINK

A GUIDE TO

DINING ON THE MALTE SE ISL ANDS

34


IF NOSO ED R TA T NEDXD TRHI E NRKE

WATERBISCUIT InterContinental Malta, Saint Julian’s Waterbiscuit offers a gastronomic experience to delight all with a charming and contemporary atmosphere and enthusiastically accomplished cuisine, using the freshest Mediterranean ingredients. Meanwhile, at the Waterbiscuit Bar dining may be enjoyed throughout the day, though ultimately the cocktails enjoy the limelight and each creation seeks to exceed the wildest expectations.

+356 2376 2225 malta.fnb@ihg.com malta.intercontinental.com/gastronomy/waterbiscuit

GRANA Bouverie Street, Gżira Perfectly baked pizza, juicy tender meat and tasty pasta. That's what Grana is all about! Bring the family, gather your friends and join Grana for delicious dishes, specially crafted by experienced chefs. Open daily for dinner between 18:00hrs and 22:30hrs and for lunch on Saturday and Sunday, between 12:30hrs and 15:00hrs.

+356 2016 5109 www.facebook.com/granamalta www.granamalta.com

SINGITA MIRACLE BEACH MALTA Triq Għajn Tuffieħa, Mġarr Nestled in completely natural surroundings, Singita Miracle Beach philosophy is all about positivity and wellness. Mediterranean pasta, fresh salads, local and exotic fruits, seasonal vegetables, Italian pizza, evening barbecues, and a lot more can be experienced in our sea view terrace. Waiting for the sun to set straight into the sea sipping our fresh fruit cocktails, it is now considered as one of Malta’s top experiences.

+356 2157 8586 www.singita.it/en/malta/ singitamalta

35


A I R M A LTA N E W S A I R M A LTA N E W S

EVENTS & NEWS THE FOLLOWING PAGES WILL GIVE YOU AN INSIGHT ON WHAT’S GOING ON AT AIR MALTA. THE BEHINDTHE-SCENES AND HIGHLIGHTS OF PAST MONTHS AND FORTHCOMING ONES. MALTA’S NATIONAL AIRLINE TELLS IT LIKE IT IS, ENSURING ALL AIR MALTA CUSTOMERS ARE WELL-INFORMED WHILE SOARING HIGH IN THE SKY.

AIR MALTA CARRIES ASTRAZENECA VACCINE TO THE ISLANDS

Last month Air Malta flight KM423 from Brussels to Malta transported

which has caused so much suffering to the world’s population.

the first shipment of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine to the Islands.

COVID-19 has thrown the air transport industry into a deep crisis, but

This is the second COVID-19 vaccine that Air Malta transported

the industry will ultimately be one of the main drivers to help end this

to the Islands after carrying the Moderna jab last January. More

pandemic. Air Malta will continue being of strategic importance to the

consignments are expected in the coming weeks. This vaccine is the

Islands by stepping up and offering support when the need arises.

third vaccine authorized for use in the European Union. Over the past months and considering the unprecedented Over the last few months Air Malta has been preparing to carry such

circumstances, Air Malta proudly carried more than 2,600 tonnes of

consignments by getting the necessary certifications and updating

cargo between import, export and transit shipments which included

its operational processes and procedures. Such changes have also

medicine, vaccines, personal protective equipment, microelectronics,

enabled the Airline to use the passengers’ cabin to carry humanitarian

mail and perishables. The Airline, through its cargo section, also

and medical equipment and supplies in an expedited but safe manner

organised special freighter charters for the Maltese Government to

thus maximising the capacity of the Airline’s fleet.

carry hundreds of tons of additional medical supplies, radioactive material required for several treatments at Mater Dei Hospital, and

Air Malta is pleased to be part of this global effort to transport these

other lifesaving medication. This year Air Malta was also entrusted to

vaccines and help the Islands achieve immunity against this disease

carry the seasonal influenza vaccine to the Islands.

36


A I R M A LTA N E W S

AIR MALTA IS KEEPING THE ISLANDS CONNECTED THROUGH ITS ‘LIFELINE SCHEDULE’

Air Malta is operating a ‘lifeline schedule’ intended to ensure

Mon

Tue

Wed

Thu

Fri

Sat

Sun

essential passenger and cargo connectivity to and from the Maltese Islands to key international airports. The schedule is intended to

Amsterdam

guarantee peace of mind and stability for the Islands during these

Brussels

uncertain and testing times.

Catania Frankfurt

The National Airline has been at the forefront of efforts to ensure

London LHR

essential connectivity for passenger as well as cargo, mail and

Paris CDG

essential medical supplies including COVID-19 vaccines and other

Rome

resources that are critical to the Islands’ supply chain.

Zurich

Air Malta is currently operating 19 weekly return flights to eight destinations: Amsterdam, Brussels, Catania, Frankfurt, London Heathrow, Paris Charles De Gaulle, Rome and Zurich with the

The Airline will continue making changes to its flight schedule to

following schedule:

maximise capacity whilst ensuring connectivity.

For more information about this flight schedule and other news once can visit www.airmalta.com call the Airline’s call centre on +356 21662211 or visit the sales office at Malta International Airport.

37


MUFFIN DEAL

BAR MEAL DEAL

Buy a Muffin and any Hot Beverage for

Buy any Main Meal with any Alcoholic Beverage for

only €10

only €6

+

+

SAVE €1.00

SAVE UP TO €2.50

38


MEAL DEAL Choose Any Main Meal, Snack and Non-Alcoholic Beverage for ONLY €10

SAVE UP TO €5.00 Pick one

Vegan or Beef Lasagne

Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice

Pick one

Pick one

OR

Allergen information: ingredients and allergens may vary depending on country of origin. Please refer to product labels before consuming. Images may differ from actual products. Some products may be unavailable on certain flights, please ask your cabin crew member for more information.

39

ANY HOT BEVERAGE


MAIN MEALS Beef Lasagne

A Mediterranean classic, served hot! €7.00

SAVOURY SNACKS

Vegan Lasagne Lactose free, gluten free, vegan and served hot! €7.00

Twistees 50g €1.50

Sweet & Sour Chicken with Rice A taste of Asia and a worldwide favourite, served hot! €7.00

Salysol Roasted Almonds 60g €2.50

Pringles Sour Cream 40g €2.50

Maretti Bruschette Chips 85g €3.50 Salamini & Taralli 60g €4.50

SWEET SNACKS Bauli Chocolate Croissant 50g €2.00 Nestle KitKat 40g €2.00 Aunt Mabel's Blueberry Muffin 105g €3.50 Haribo Goldbears 200g €4.00 40


BEVERAGES

€2.50

Coca Cola 330ml

€2.50

Coca Cola Zero 330ml

€2.50

Kinnie 330ml

€2.50

Diet Kinnie 330ml

San Benedetto Still Water 500ml

€2.50

Cappy Orange Juice 200ml

€2.50

San Pellegrino Limonata 330ml

€3.00

FuzeTea Peach Hibiscus 500ml

€3.00

HOT BEVERAGES Lavazza Black Coffee €3.50

Nescafe Cappucino €3.50

Pukka English Breakfast Tea €3.50

Options Hot Chocolate €3.50

Allergen information: ingredients and allergens may vary depending on country of origin. Please refer to product labels before consuming. Images may differ from actual products. Some products may be unavailable on certain flights, please ask your cabin crew member for more information.

41


WINES & BEERS SPIRITS & MIXERS

€4.00

Schweppes Tonic Water 150ml

€2.00

Bombay Sapphire Gin 50ml

€5.50

Absolut Vodka 50ml

€5.50

Bacardi Rum 50ml

€5.50

Ballantines Whiskey 50ml

€5.50

Whitley Neill Rhubarb & Ginger Gin 50ml

€6.00

Hendrick's Gin 50ml

€6.50

Cisk Lager Beer 330ml

€5.50

Verdala Rose Wine 187ml

€5.50

Caravaggio Merlot Red Wine 187ml

€5.50

Caravaggio Chardonnay White Wine 187ml

Allergen information: ingredients and allergens may vary depending on country of origin. Please refer to product labels before consuming. Images may differ from actual products. Some products may be unavailable on certain flights, please ask your cabin crew member for more information.

PLEASE TELL US WHAT YOU THINK: Customer satisfaction is of utmost importance at Air Malta and we are always looking for ways to improve your experience. Visit our website to answer a few short questions and enter our monthly draw to win a free flight. www.airmalta.com/wearelistening. PAYMENT OPTIONS: You can pay by credit and debit card. We accept VISA and Mastercard for purchases up to €200. If you spend more than €50 you may be asked for identification. PRODUCTS: Items from this catalogue are offered to our guests in the name and on behalf of Versilia Solutions and its affiliates, who are the solo responsible contractual partners for the service. All prices are correct at time of printing. They may change during the length of magazine. All products are subject to availability. www.versiliasolutions.com

42


A I R M A LTA N E W S

IL-BIZZILLA TALKS TO KEVIN BRINC AT ANCILL ARY RE VENUE MANAGER

HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN WORKING WITH AIR MALTA AND WHAT ROLES HAVE YOU SERVED? I started working in the Finance Department and then moved to Ground Handling where I got the real feel of airline operations working my way up from a check-in agent to a ground dispatcher. After 13 years I moved to the Commercial Department working on flight schedules and routes. My current role is as an Ancillary Revenue Manager, a newish role within Air Malta which I have been doing for over two years. Having worked with Air Malta for 28 years, I am happy to have been given the opportunity to change roles yet still work for the same airline. WHAT WAS THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF YOUR JOB? The airline industry is currently facing its toughest challenge yet, however, it is my job to think of innovative ideas to generate new revenue whilst monitoring data of current ancillaries to ensure they are performing according to plan. WHAT DO YOU LIKE TO DO IN YOUR SPARE TIME? I am fond of contemporary art, antiques, and interior design. I enjoy going to auctions and art galleries. One of my passions is cooking and I strive to impress my partner and friends with new dishes. I also find time to jog and keep fit. WHAT IS YOUR PREFERRED MALTESE DISH? I love to eat, but my all-time favourite is “Imqarrun il-Forn” - a pasta dish with a minced beef tomato sauce, cooked in the oven and topped up with cheese. WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE MOVIE OF ALL TIME? Definitely Life is Beautiful (La vita è bella) as from something as horrific as war, the director, Roberto Benigni, managed to make it something pleasant and cheerful. WHAT KIND OF MUSIC DO YOU LIKE TO FOLLOW? I like all kinds of music from opera to soft rock; it just depends on the mood I am in. WHICH IS YOUR FAVOURITE DESTINATION AND WHY? Although I’m an avid traveller, my all-time favourite city is London. One can find it all, museums, musicals, opera, shopping, nice restaurants, antique fairs, and auctions. One can never be bored of this vibrant city full of life - be it day or night. WHAT ARE YOUR FAVOURITE SPOTS AND TIPS FOR ANYONE VISITING THE MALTESE ISLANDS? The Maltese Islands have a lot to offer, and if you are a history lover, Malta is an outdoor museum. I suggest visiting villages such as Haż-Żebbug and Żejtun. One can admire the church, chapels, and the 18th/19th Century houses and palaces. Don’t be afraid to get lost, you will always find help. Just keep in mind that the church is always in the main square of the village.

43


A I R M A LTA N E W S

IMPORTANT INFORMATION As part of our stated commitment to Health and Safety, we have made a few changes to your travel experience. During these unprecedented times we have reviewed our processes and upgraded cleaning measures to protect you and your loved ones. We have been working with industry partners and are following best practice guidance to ensure the highest standards of health and safety, not only onboard but throughout the customer journey. Following is a list of changes and recommendations to keep you safe from the time you enter the airport, whilst onboard and upon arrival at your destination.

44


A I R M A LTA N E W S

A I R M A LTA D I R E C T F L I G H T S The flight schedule is subject to change without notice. For further information, kindly visit airmalta.com for the latest updates.

DIRECT FLIGHTS AIRPORT

WEEKLY FLIGHTS

Amsterdam 2 Brussels 2 Catania 2 Frankfurt 3 London Heathrow 3 Paris Charles de Gaulle 2 Rome 3 Zurich 2

45


FLIGH T I N FO

F L I G H T & CO M PA N Y I N FO R M AT I O N

SURVEY

NEWSLETTER

Customer satisfaction is of the utmost importance at Air Malta and we are always looking for ways to improve your experience. Visit our website to answer a few short questions.

Subscribe to our newsletter or like our Facebook page to learn about our promotions, with fares starting from as low as €44 including taxes. www.airmalta.com for more information.

www.airmalta.com/wearelistening

A I R M A LTA F L E E T

AIRBUS 320CEO

AIRBUS 320NEO

QUANTITY: 4 IN FLEET NUMBER OF SEATS: 168/180 ENGINES: CFM56-5B4/P MAXIMUM TAKE OFF WEIGHT: 75.5 / 77 METRIC TONS OVERALL LENGTH: 37.57M WINGSPAN: 34.1M CRUISING SPEED: MACH 0.78 (450KNOTS, 833 KM/HR) RANGE: 5,200 KM, 2,800 NMI, 3,250 SMI

QUANTITY: 4 IN FLEET NUMBER OF SEATS: 180 ENGINES: CFM LEAP-1A MAXIMUM TAKE OFF WEIGHT: 77 METRIC TONS OVERALL LENGTH: 37.57M WINGSPAN: 35.8M CRUISING SPEED: MACH 0.78 (450KNOTS, 833 KM/HR) RANGE: 6,500 KM, 3,500 NMI, 4,025 SMI

ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION

SMOKING

Alcohol consumed at high altitude can have a stronger effect than usual. Cabin crew are legally empowered to refuse to serve any alcohol to an intoxicated passenger and anyone under the age of 18. In extreme cases, crew may also temporarily confiscate the passenger‘s own drinks so that the passenger does not become a nuisance to the other passengers and crew. Furthermore, Air Malta is bound by international regulations which prohibit the embarkation or the carriage of drunken passengers. However, since 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 inflight goes against Air Malta policy.

Smoking is prohibited from when you leave the departure terminal building until you reach the arrival 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. 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 not allowed on board Air Malta flights. Similarly, the use of naked flames on and around the aircraft is also prohibited.

FACE MASKS The Airline requires all passengers to wear an approved medical or cloth face mask at all times, starting from boarding, for the duration of the flight, through to disembarkation. Passengers will not be allowed to board without a facemask. Masks should also be worn within the airport building, before and during check-in, upon arrival, when collecting baggage, and up to the point that a passenger leaves the airport building. As per the Government of Malta Legal Notice 402 of 2020, children under three (3) years of age and persons with severe cognitive, physical, mental, or respiratory impairments who have difficulties tolerating a mask as certified by a licensed medical practitioner are exempted from wearing masks. Certified individuals shall always carry the relevant medical certificate exempting them from wearing a mask. Passengers risk fines if they fail to comply.

46


FLIGH T I N FO

E N H A N C E YO U R T R AV E L E X P E R I E N C E

JOIN OUR BUSINESS CLASS Upgrade to Air Malta’s Business Class for priority service. Members can make use of the special check-in counters for more leisurely and efficient boarding, enjoy access to the La Valette Lounge at Malta International Airport, and get more privacy with a separate inflight cabin area.

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. Visit www.airmalta.com/excess-baggage-en-gb

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. Visit www.airmalta.com/information/services-by-air-malta/seat-selection

GET SPORTY Are you passionate about a sport? We make it easy to travel and take your specialised equipment with you at a very minimal cost. Visit www.airmalta.com/excess-baggage-en-gb

GROUPS We also cater for large groups who want to travel together. If your group is larger than 10 adults, contact our Group Bookings team for special rates that you can’t get anywhere else. Email groups@airmalta.com

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 one hour before your flight. Visit www.airmalta.com/information/check-in

47


ELEC T RON IC DEV IC ES

U S E O F P O RTA B L E E L E C T RO N I C D E V I C E S O N B OA R D

TRANSMITTING PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES (PEDS)

NON-TRANSMITTING PORTABLE ELECTRONIC DEVICES (PEDS)

Devices that can send or receive data by wireless means, such as mobile-phones and tablets, may be used during all phases of the flight provided their transmit/receive capabilities such as GSM & Wi-fi are switched off. Devices working on Bluetooth wireless connectivity are allowed. If the device has ‘Flight Mode’ capability, this must be enabled. Such devices shall be safely secured in the customers’ hand (handheld) or a pocket during taxi, take-off and landing. Larger devices (e.g. laptops) shall be switched off and stowed away safely during taxi, takeoff and landing. Accessories, such as headphones, must not obstruct access to the aisle. If the data transmission capability cannot be switched off (whilst the device is operating), the device itself must be switched off for the duration of the flight.

These could include, but are not limited to, items such as DVD players, electronic games, music players and personal cameras. Such devices shall be safely secured in the customers’ hand (handheld) or a pocket during taxi, take-off and landing. Larger devices shall be stowed away safely during taxi, take-off and landing.

LAPTOPS AND NOTEBOOKS Such devices may be used during boarding and during flight but not during taxi, take-off and landing. Any built-in data connectivity such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi must be disabled. These devices must be stowed away safely during taxi, take-off and landing since they could hinder an emergency evacuation.

ARE THERE TIMES WHEN I CANNOT USE MY ELECTRONIC DEVICES?

CAN I USE HEADPHONES? Personal headphones can be used during all phases of the flight. However, we ask you to remove your headphones during the safety briefing. For safety reasons, customers sitting in an emergency exit row must refrain from using headphones during taxi, take-off and landing.

Under certain circumstances, your Flight Crew or Cabin Crew may ask you to switch off all Personal Electronic Devices. This may happen during automatic landings, low visibility takeoff or landing, or during emergency situations.

I SHOULD INFORM THE CABIN CREW WHEN … Your portable electronic device is damaged, becomes hot, produces smoke, is lost, or falls into the seat structure. If safe to do so, the device must be switched off immediately.

If you require more information, please refer to the table below which includes a list of Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) which can be used onboard Air Malta flights by phase of flight. Please do not hesitate to contact any member of our cabin crew if you have any further questions.

PHASE

Boarding

HAND HELD PEDS

(e.g. smart phones and tablets)

LARGER PEDS

(e.g. laptops and notebooks)

HEADPHONES

WI-FI, TEXT & PHONE CALL FUNCTIONS

YES

YES

YES

YES

(when instructed by Flight Crew or Cabin Crew)

YES

YES

YES

YES

Taxi-out for Take-Off

YES

NO

YES

NO

During Safety Briefing Demonstration

YES

NO

NO

NO

Take-Off

YES

NO

YES

NO

Cruise

YES

YES

YES

NO

(Cabin Crew PA)

YES

NO

YES

NO

Landing

YES

NO

YES

NO

Taxi to Stand

YES

NO

YES

YES

Extended Ground Delay

Circa 10 minutes to landing

Safety Notice: The carriage of damaged, defective or recalled lithium batteries or devices is prohibited on-board Air Malta aircraft. 48


GOZOds W W d n o y e B

www.visitgozo.com


Profile for Air Malta

Il-Bizzilla, March 2021  

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot, and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”...

Il-Bizzilla, March 2021  

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot, and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”...

Profile for bizzilla

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