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DECEMBER 2016/JANUARY 2017 €3 The official visitors’ guide of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association



Three foodies share their favourite Christmas traditions and recipes


The party season’s top trends


The Best End-of-year Events



Valletta’s rich history and heritage enjoy the limelight

your guide to events | fashion | eating & drinking | shopping


December 2016/January 2017 EDITOR Martina Said PUBLISHERS Content House Group ADVERTISING Head of Advertising Sales Matthew Spiteri Brand Sales Manager Jessica Catania Advertising Sales Coordinators Lindsey Napier Marvic Cutajar PRINTERS Progress Press Ltd Art Direction & Design Antoinette Micallef Box Design – T: +356 7969 1212

page 13 10 Calendar of events

A list of the major events taking place in Malta and Gozo throughout December 2016 and January 2017.

13 Cover story

Photo: Aaron Briffa -

21 Heritage

Beguiling baroque – Ahead of the 2017 Valletta International Baroque Festival, Jo Caruana chats to art and architecture experts to discover some of Valletta’s best kept Baroque secrets.

Christmas island – From cultural activities and shopping hotspots to religious festivities and local traditions, Marie-Claire Grima discusses Christmas time on the islands.

Cover picture:


Content House Group, Mallia Buildings, 3, Level 2, Triq in-Negozju, Mriehel, BKR3000. T: +356 2132 0713 E: W: Guide Me is published every two months in Malta. The magazine is the official visitors’ guide of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association. The publication is distributed free of charge in the individual rooms of three, four and five star hotels. Guide Me is also distributed for free from MTA offices in Malta and Gozo and at the La Valette Club within the Malta International Airport (MIA). It is also sold at leading newsagents in Malta and Gozo, including those at The Valletta Waterfront and at MIA.

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Photo: Chen Weizhong -

Photography Alan Carville, Daniel Cilia, Gregor Hohenberg, Heritage Malta, Malta Film Commission, Malta Tourism Authority, Rene Rossignaud

Simone Kermes and Vivica Genaux perform The Rival Queens, which explores the artistic legacies of the two legendary singers. Wednesday 18 January, 2017 at Teatru Manoel, as part of the Valletta International Baroque Festival. Photo: Gregor Hohenberg/Sony Classical

Editorial opinions expressed in Guide Me are not necessarily those of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association or of Content House Group and both organisations do not accept responsibility for editorial or advertising content. All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publishers is strictly prohibited.


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December 2016/January 2017 59 Cuisine

Photo: Alan Carville

Cooking their way to Christmas – Three foodies with plenty of experience in the culinary world tell Martina Said all about their favourite Christmas recipes, festive meals and family traditions.

71 Eating & Drinking Find the perfect place to wine and dine on the islands with our handy restaurant guide.

75 Nightlife

Let your hair down this festive season – Sarah Micallef guides you through the top parties, shows, events and performances on Malta’s nightlife calendar.

35 News

Malta in the media – Marie-Claire Grima rounds up the top international stories that shed light on the Maltese islands in recent months, from their ranking as a top expat destination to a movie-making haven.

45 Fashion

Paint the town red – The party season is upon us, making for the perfect excuse to splash out on the latest trends. Sarah Micallef singles out the top fashion, shoes and accessories must-haves this season.

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Welcome to the Maltese islands! ISSUE

70 DECEMBER 2016/ JANUARy 2017

Merchants Street, Valletta - Photo: Aaron Briffa -


hristmas celebrations on the Maltese islands are a lively blend of old and new – traditional festivities are complemented by modern day ones, and each generation brings with it a twist of its own to the way festive proceedings are carried out with their nearest and dearest. Change could take the form of a new kind of cultural event, accompanying the many religious happenings on the islands at this time of year, which you can find out all about on page 13. It could also take the form of a new dish for Christmas day lunch, the menu for

which varies between families but is oftentimes handed down through generations, making room for new traditions among the ones long established by our grandparents and their elders before them. Three food lovers tell us all about what they enjoy cooking most during the festive season and how they celebrate the occasion on page 59. The islands’ towns and cities are sights to behold in their own right, and there would be no better time to visit them than now, especially the capital, Valletta which – with its street adornments and endless places of interest – is simply breath-

taking. Come January, it will be hosting the Valletta International Baroque Festival, and ahead of this event, we delved into the Baroque history and heritage of this rich and marvellous city on page 21. From this season’s must-have fashion trends on page 45 to the top events you should be attending to ring in the new year on page 75, we hope you enjoy this edition of Guide Me, and wish you a happy and healthy start to the new year.

Martina Said EDITOR


CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2016/2017 Ongoing

08 December

Valletta 1566 – Melita Renascens – Heritage Malta’s ongoing major exhibition in collaboration with Malta Libraries, which ends in July 2017, commemorates the 450th anniversary since the laying of the first stone of the city of Valletta. The exhibition at Fort St Elmo is open daily from 9am to 6pm, last admissions at 5.30pm. For more information, visit www.

The Nutcracker – The Royal Ballet celebrates Peter Wright’s 90th birthday with his much-loved production of this beautiful ballet, danced to Tchaikovsky’s magnificent score, which will be screened at the Eden Cinemas at 8.15pm. The Royal Ballet’s glorious production of The Nutcracker, created by Peter Wright in 1984, is the production par excellence of an all-time ballet favourite. Visit

02-04 December APS Teatru Unplugged – Established in 1998, this unique event consists of five short acts of diverse musical genres, held within the classical setting of the Manoel Theatre in Valletta. The contrast of pop, jazz, rock, folk and other genres, performed unplugged, creates a unique and fast-moving event. This year’s edition includes acts by KazinSka, Nadine Axisa, Roundhouse Kick, Swing Nuages and Red Electrick. Tickets are available from the Manoel Theatre

03-04 December Malta Comic Con – The 8th edition of the Malta Comic Con will be held on Saturday 3 December (10am-6pm) and Sunday 4 December (11am-7pm) at the south end of the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre (MFCC) in Ta’ Qali. The Malta Comic Con continues to be the most popular pop culture event on the island and the biggest platform for Maltese creators to showcase their skills, sell their creations and interact with their fans.

08-11 December The Gozo International Choir Festival – The first Gozo International Choir Festival will be held as part of the Christmas in Gozo Programme 2016. Various international choirs are expected to participate, as well as renowned choirs from Malta and Gozo.

09 December-03 January Betlehem f’Għajnsielem – Bethlehem f’ Għajnsielem is a nativity village spread on 20,000sqm of land, and offers a naturalistic reproduction of the environment of Bethlehem and the timeless story of the Nativity at ‘Ta Passi’ fields in Għajnsielem, Gozo. The village is also animated on weekends and public holidays. For a more detailed schedule, visit

10-11 December Omid Djalili in Malta – Live in Malta – Award-winning comedian and actor Omid Djalili is back with his new world tour Schmuck for a

Night, at the Intercontinental Arena Conference Centre on 10 and 11 December. Intelligent, sometimes provocative and always entertaining, his stand-up is a hugely energetic and captivating comedy masterclass. His credits range from Hollywood to television and the West End stage. For more information, get in touch on

11 December Richard Clayderman in Malta – Richard Clayderman will be performing live in Malta accompanied by his strong octet ensemble from Hamburg at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, Valletta. The internationally-renowned pianist is known for his instrumental renditions of popular music, ethnic music, easy-listening arrangements of classical music and also the rearrangements of movie soundtracks. He is particularly renowned for his 1976 world-wide success Ballade Pour Adeline, Love Story, Piano Concerto, Arabesque, Warsaw Concerto, Fur Elise and Clair De Lune.

16 December Soprano Miriam Gauci with Pianist Michael Laus – This recital by internationally-renowned Maltese soprano, Miriam Gauci, and pianist Michael Laus, resident conductor of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra, which will be held at Manoel Theatre in Valletta, will start with a selection from Rossini’s Serate Musicali, and finish exuberantly with Manuel de Falla’s Siete Canciones Populares Españolas, seven songs which are based on colourful and traditional Spanish tunes.

For the full online Malta Calendar of Events please go to: 10

18 December Thomas Smith Charity Swim – Thomas Smith Group is organising a charity swim in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund. The event will kick off from the pier in front of the Plough and Anchor Pub, Sliema, with registration starting at 9.30am. H.E. Marie Louise Coleiro Preca, the President of Malta, is expected to launch the Christmas charity swim at 10.30am. For more information, contact Thomas Smith Group on T: 2205 8058.

23 December-08 January Puss in Boots – the Panto – Masquerade Theatre Company returns with another action-packed laughout-loud Christmas pantomime at the Manoel Theatre in Valletta. Following past panto successes like Little Red Riding Hood and The Curse of Snow White, this year’s audiences will be treated to the story of Puss in Boots. Written by Malcolm Galea, who will also be making a return to the role of dame, the show will be directed by Anthony Bezzina with musical direction in the hands of Kris Spiteri and choreography by Elena Zammit.

25 December Christmas Day – Christmas is a highly celebrated festivity in Malta and Gozo, both for its religious significance as well as its social aspect. The season is celebrated to its fullest with the active participation of many, including Nativity scenes, displays of cribs, carol services, Christmas markets and other events organised in each locality.

31 December The Valletta New Year’s Eve Celebration – The capital city of Valletta will be hosting the annual New Year’s Eve celebration with a festive atmosphere spread throughout the city’s streets, complete with high-quality entertainment and a variety of activities. The event is free of charge and open for everyone to attend.

31 December Il-kunċert Tal-President Għas-Sena L-Ġdida – In the style of the famous New Year’s concerts presented in Vienna’s Musikverein, The President’s New Year’s Concert, presented by Arts Council Malta and the Office of the President, is a unique opportunity to celebrate the New Year in glamorous Viennese style, at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta at 8.30pm. Under the direction of dynamic Greek conductor Dionysis Grammenos and featuring the enchanting voice of acclaimed Maltese soprano Nicola Said, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra will present a varied programme of operatic arias, much loved songs and orchestral interludes. Tickets: €10. To buy tickets, visit, and for more information, visit

01 January New Year’s Day – The start of a brand new year is a day of celebration all around the world. It’s also a public holiday in Malta and Gozo, and a day spent with family or friends.

to strength and is now in its fifth year. The festival, which will take place between 12 and 28 January 2017, includes top international Baroque musicians and ensembles performing in 24 different events in nine different venues in Valletta, Malta’s Baroque capital city and a UNESCO world heritage site. For a detailed programme and to book tickets, visit

15 January Feast of St Anthony the Abbot – The annual traditional feast of St Anthony the Abbot will be celebrated on Sunday 15 January 2017 in Xagħra, Gozo. This is the oldest feast of the blessing of animals, which can trace its beginnings to the time of the Order of St John when the Grand Master used to send his animals to be blessed.

27 January Changing of the Guards – The Changing of the Guards ceremony is held every last Friday of the month at St George’s Square, Valletta. The parade commences at 10.30am, with the AFM Band marching down Republic Street onto St George’s Square Valletta. Here, the new guard marches out from the Main Guard in order to replace the old guard which marches out from The Palace, Valletta. Following the exchange of ‘duties’ the AFM Band conducts a marching display in the same square.

12-28 January Valletta International Baroque Festival – Now firmly established on the international Baroque scene, the Valletta International Baroque Festival has gone from strength




Spending your Christmas holidays in Malta and wondering what the islanders get up to when they’re not on the beach? Marie-Claire Grima compiles the insider’s guide to a very Maltese festive season.

We may never see a lick of snow but Christmas spirit is something that’s never in short supply on the Maltese islands. And even though swimming and sunbathing are unlikely (although not impossible) there are plenty of other activities to enjoy as the temperature drops.

PANTO TIME One of Malta’s most beloved Christmas traditions is the panto, which was brought over by the British when Malta was colonised in the 1800s and has remained a family favourite ever since. Each year, two major, equally hilarious and entertaining performances take place throughout December and early January. This year’s pantos are Puss in Boots, produced by the Masquerade Theatre Company at

the Manoel Theatre, with matinee and evening performances from Friday 23 December to Sunday 8 January ( mt) and Unbelieve-It, produced

by the MADC, with evening performances from Thursday 22 December to Sunday 8 January, and two matinees on the last weekend ( ➜

MADC Pantomime


COVER STORY MERCHANTS, MALLS AND MARKETS Starting from November, many shops in Malta start keeping longer business hours than usual and opening on Sundays as well. The main shopping districts are Valletta and Sliema, which have very busy high streets and a number of modern shopping malls including the Embassy in the former and The Point and The Plaza in the latter. However, other malls can be found throughout the island, most notably the newly-opened PAMA Shopping Village in Mosta. If you’re still on the rock by the time the new year rolls around, make sure to check out the January

Handheld guide Download the free iMalta app to help you find your way around the islands by suggesting the best places to visit and sights to see.

Valletta - Photo: Gregory Iron -

sales and snap up a few great deals – price reductions nowadays start as early as Boxing Day. Malta’s numerous open-air markets can also turn up some interesting discoveries if you’re feeling thrifty and adventurous. Valletta’s famous Monti moved this year from Merchants Street to Ordnance Street, whereas Marsaxlokk’s is renowned for its freshly-caught fish but also for locally crafted wares, while Victoria in Gozo has a daily market where souvenirs and accessories can be bought for next to nothing. For antiques and oddities, nothing compares to the Birgu market, which sets up at the crack of

Artisan Market - Photo: Mario Galea -

dawn on Sunday morning. There are also several seasonal markets to enjoy, including the Malta Artisan Christmas Market in Magazino Hall, Valletta, on 3 and 4 December; Lola’s First Market in Villa Lija on 3 and 4 December; and Natalis Notabilis in Rabat, from 7 to 11 December. ➜


Richard Clayderman

ART AND CULTURE The cultural calendar is abuzz throughout the Christmas season, and there’s something on nearly every day. Comedy fans will enjoy the stylings of award-winning funnyman Omid Djalili, who is back in Malta for the second time as part of his Schmuck for a Night tour from 10 to 11 December at the Intercontinental Conference Arena in St Julian's at 8.30pm ( Lovers of classical music mustn’t miss French pianist Richard Clayderman, acclaimed by the Guinness Book of World Records as being ‘the most successful pianist in

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

the world’, who will be performing with his string octet on 11 December at the Mediterranean Conference Centre (MCC) in Valletta at 8.30pm ( The live show of the hugely popular children’s television series Masha and The Bear is also coming to Malta this winter. Follow Masha, the Bear and all her friends as they set off on a musical adventure to fill her treasure chest with happiness. The only problem is she did not know where to find it – so she has to go into the forest to look for it. Tickets are available from Turn to page 10 for an

St John's Co-Cathedral - Photo: Rene Rossignaud

extensive calendar of the events which have been released so far. Nearer to the date, it’s also worth checking out what’s on in some of Malta’s main cultural hubs, including the Manoel Theatre (, the Mediterranean Conference Centre ( and Spazju Kreattiv (

CHURCHES AND CAROLS Malta may gradually be shedding its ‘more Catholic than the Pope’ image and becoming a more secular country, but religious feeling certainly hits a peak during Christmas. The many churches on the island, from the ultra-Baroque (see page 21) to the more modern places of worship are decked out in their finest accoutrements, creating a feast for the senses whether you’re a believer or not. It’s also worth noting that many of the churches in Malta showcase some truly astonishing works of art, from awe-inspiring frescoes to priceless paintings, and Christmas is the perfect opportunity to explore the island’s religious artistic heritage. ➜ 17



A Christmas concert will be held by the Collegium Musicum Choir, Soloists and Orchestra on Friday 16 December, starting at 7.30pm at the stunning St John’s CoCathedral. Besides taking in the spectacular Baroque architecture and artwork, the beautifullysung carols will undoubtedly get you into a festive mood. Most churches and parishes in Malta hold a lively and animated midnight mass on Christmas Eve, and welcome community members and visitors alike. A sweet Maltese tradition worth mentioning is the midnight mass sermon which is typically delivered by one of the parish’s youngest members. They spend weeks ahead of the ceremony learning it by heart, and although you might see a frantic parent prompting them from the sides, it’s still heart-warming to see them pull it off successfully.

Sicily named Benedetto Papale introduced a more humble version of the crib, based on elements of the Sicilian countryside. The common folk ran with this idea, and nowadays, traditional Maltese countryside features, such as farmhouses and flour windmills still make an appearance in most Maltese cribs, which are lovingly and painstakingly made by hand each year. Exhibitions and competitions for the best crib are held all over the island – keep your eyes peeled for these signs in several towns and villages as several private homes and small chapels open their doors to visitors to view their crib displays. Heading to Gozo and want to see a crib with a difference?

PARTIES AND NIGHTLIFE For a thorough list of the parties, events and other nighttime happenings taking place in Malta over December and January, turn to page 75.

Christmas crib - Photo: Aaron Briffa -

CHRISTMAS CRIBS The first ever Nativity crib in Malta was built in the first half of the 17th century, but for many years having a crib was something that was exclusively for the rich. In the 1800s, a Franciscan friar from 18

Make sure you stop by Betlehem f ’Għajnsielem (a few metres away from the Mġarr harbour – the Gozo ferry port of call), open from 6 December to 3 January. The area is transformed into the backdrop for several Biblical scenes with more than 100 actors doing live re-enactments of the Nativity story. Here you can also try some typical Gozitan produce, cross the ‘river’ on a traditional boat and watch the farmers tending to their animals. For the full schedule of the animated village, visit

Betlehem f'Għajnsielem

Auberge de Castille - Photo: Emma Tranter -




The success of the Valletta International Baroque Festival has underlined Malta’s connection to this important era in history. Jo Caruana meets local art and architecture experts to discover how the two are so intrinsically linked.

Whether you’re visiting Malta for a day, a week or longer, no trip would be complete without a morning or afternoon spent wandering the streets of the capital, Valletta. Hectic by day and eclectic by night, it is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered – from dramatic museums featuring unimaginable treasures, to tiny bars and restaurants nestled within the old walls of this historic city. If you’re interested in art or architecture, then you’re in for a treat – for Valletta doesn’t disappoint. That said, it may raise an eyebrow or two as you strive to determine the exact era that matches the unique elements that combine within it. ➜

If you’re interested in art or architecture, then you’re in for a treat – for Valletta doesn’t disappoint.

Music for The Grand Tour performed at the Manoel Theatre - Valletta International Baroque Festival



“The whole city evolved, and it went from a very austere, military town to one that was much more graceful with residential areas, bastions and stores.” Battery Street, Valletta - Photo: Malcolm Debono -

“Some argue that Valletta is a Renaissance town while others argue it’s Baroque,” says leading architect Konrad Buhagiar, a founding partner of one of the island’s top architecture firms Architecture Project. “It was actually built in the 16th century so it’s Renaissance originally, and crafted to be a military town following the Great Siege in 1565. But, if you look a little closer, you’ll see that its evolution certainly didn’t stop there.”

Baroque Architecture It was in the early 17th century when Baroque influences were first introduced to Valletta, possibly by

Bolognese engineer Bontadino de Bontadini during the construction of the Wignacourt Aqueduct. “Before then Valletta was typically Renaissance, with its austere buildings, plain façades and threestorey houses. It was designed by architect Francesco Laparelli da Cortona, in a style that was typical of the era and almost identical to what was being seen in Valletta at the time,” explains Mr Buhagiar. However this was a period when war raged through the region and change came fast. This served to change the face of Valletta too, as the typical Renaissance buildings began to be further embellished and developed. “When the Ottoman Empire was put in check after the Battle of Lepanto in 1571, the slave trade was regulated,” he continues. “This had previously been an important trade in Valletta so, when that ceased, the Knights had to find an alternative way of keeping the city afloat. This is when they had the rather interesting and at-the-time far-sighted vision of turning the city into a freeport. This led to the improvement of infrastructure in the area and stores were created to enable merchants to keep their goods there, en-route to and from Constantinople. Of course, the government of the day taxed any earnings and it was with this money that the Knights could afford to build the Manoel Theatre, pave the streets, beautify the public gardens and so on. ➜

Upper Barrakka Garden - Photo:


“Because of the quality of the patrons, their sophistications and their cosmopolitan intents, Malta found itself at the stylistic forefront of the Baroque language.”

Grand Master's Palace - Photo: Aaron Briffa -

The whole city evolved, and it went from a very austere, military town to one that was much more graceful with residential areas, bastions and stores.” It was St Ursula’s Street, St Paul’s Street and Merchants Street that benefitted most from this development. In fact, they are still home to many of the best examples of Baroque architecture on the island. As you walk through the streets of Valletta you could look out for some of the most common Baroque traits, namely curved balconies, elaborate stone carvings, and theatrical details such as masks and garlands. “Maltese Baroque architecture is closest to Sicilian Baroque architecture in style,” explains

Mr Buhagiar. “This is because there were a number of Sicilian architects working in Malta at the time, including Stefano Ittar, who built the Bibliotheca (the National Library), as well as some key buildings in Syracuse. Frenchman Charles François de Mondion, meanwhile, was responsible for the design of Fort Manoel, much of the reconstruction of Mdina and some buildings on St Paul’s Street, Valletta, following the earthquake in the 17th century; his style is reminiscent of Baroque architecture from the South of France.” So, as you tour Malta and particularly, Valletta, these are all elements to look out for. Mr Buhagiar advises “if you’re keen to see the best of Baroque in Malta, I recommend the Bibliotheca, Castille (the Office of the Prime Minister), the Grand Masters’ Palace and Admiralty House in Valletta, as well as Palazzo Vilhena in Mdina.”

Baroque Art Alongside the architecture of the day, Baroque influences are also very evident in art from the period, and this provides another opportunity for exploration and discovery. “The story of Baroque painting in Malta reflects that of the Italian peninsula and, in many ways, it can be directly integrated within it,” says Professor Keith Sciberras, whose book Baroque Painting in Malta provides plenty of insight into the era. “In terms of quantity, the island was impressively prolific. In terms of quality, works vary tremendously,” he says. “In many ways because of the quality of the patrons, their sophistications and their cosmopolitan intents, Malta found itself at the stylistic forefront of the Baroque language. It attracted some of the major protagonists of Baroque art, ➜

National Library


HERITAGE including Caravaggio, and Mattia Preti, together with works that were sent to the island from mainland Italy. Mention should be made of the Baroque sculptures that were sent over from Rome by artists such as Alessandro Algardi, Ciro Ferri, and Massimiliano Soldani-Benzi, among others.” Professor Sciberras explains that the style was characterised by a triumphant manner and its propagandistic nature was very much akin to the vision of the military order that governed the island at the time. “Mention should be made of major works such as Caravaggio’s Beheading of St John the Baptist, which is found in the Oratory of St John’s Co-Cathedral in Valletta, and Mattia Preti’s extraordinary ceiling decoration representing the life of St John the Baptist in the Valletta Co-Cathedral. To me, Baroque art encapsulates the spirit of the 17th and 18th centuries, which is what makes it so defining,” the professor adds.

The Valletta International Baroque Festival All of this, of course, brings us to the Valletta International Baroque Festival itself, which is now in its fifth edition. Pleasingly, an event that started out as an experiment has gone on to firmly place Malta on the global cultural map. “A Baroque music festival in a quintessentially Baroque city that, after years of neglect, is coming into its own, is logically a great attraction,” says Michael Mangion from Teatru Manoel – Malta’s national theatre, which also produces the festival. “The experience of listening to a Bach religious work in a cathedral that is the undisputed wonder of the Mediterranean is inimitable, as will be the performance of Stradella’s Oratorio about the Life of the Baptist performed in the Oratory of St John’s under the most iconic work of art Caravaggio ever painted.” Mr Mangion explains that

St John's Co-Cathedral interior - Photo: Chen Weizhong -


Caravaggio's beheading of St John the Baptist within the Oratory of St John's Co-Cathedral - Photo:

the fact Malta has a fully-functional Baroque theatre dating back to 1731 (give or take some very sympathetic British interpolations) is a huge asset. “Many theatres in Europe of the Manoel’s size, ambience and vintage are treated as museums; the Manoel on the other hand has a fully developed cultural calendar of relatively epic proportions,” he says. One highlight of the coming festival, to be held between 12 and 28 January 2017, will undoubtedly be the leading French ensemble Correspondances performing Charpentier’s celebrated Te Deum at St John’s Co-Cathedral on 13 January, thus marking the occasion of Malta’s EU Presidency. “The opening bars of the Te Deum happen to be the Eurovision anthem, which we have been familiar with for many decades,” Mr Mangion continues. “The Charpentier is coupled with Henri Du Mont’s Royal Motets for the Chapel at Versailles, the only complete set of which are to be found at the Cathedral Museum in Mdina, proving that Malta was a cultural hub even then.”


Christmas and Birthday rolled into one at Casino Malta this month This month marks the first anniversary of Casino Malta, Malta’s largest and most exciting casino, and they’re celebrating their birthday in style. Throughout the month of December, there will be weekly music events, shows and also many daily draws with different prizes. All participants of the draws will automatically participate in the big, final draw with large cash prizes, which will be given out on their birthday, the 23rd December. The big birthday bash promises lots of surprises and is definitely a date not to miss! Casino Malta, Eden Place, St George’s Bay. For free transport or other information, call T: 2371 0555;

The MTA Quality Assured seal


The Malta Tourism Authority Quality Assured seal is gaining momentum and becoming a recognised brand associated with quality in tourism. Today, we have around 150 tourism operations comprising of restaurants, visitor attractions and destination management companies certified across Malta and Gozo. To view the quality assured establishments or to find out more about this voluntary scheme, visit A printed guide is also available at our tourist information offices, hotels, and visitor attractions. If you are an owner of a restaurant or a visitor attraction and are interested in applying, contact us on T: 2291 5122 or E:


Il-Kunċert tal-President Għas-Sena L-Ġdida

The President’s New Year’s Concert

On 31 December, the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra will ring in the New Year in style with a performance of operatic arias and rousing orchestral music in a very special New Year’s Concert presented by Arts Council Malta and the Office of the President. Modelled on the famous New Year’s Concerts at Vienna’s Musikverein, The President’s New Year’s Concert offers the opportunity to experience this glamorous Viennese event in Malta. Audiences will be greeted upon arrival with a complimentary drink before the

Malta Philharmonic Orchestra’s performance under the direction of charismatic Greek conductor Dionysis Grammenos and featuring the voice of internationally acclaimed Maltese soprano Nicola Said. In true Viennese style, the carefully selected programme will include well-known light orchestral music including The Blue Danube, Radetzky March and von Suppé’s Light Cavalry Overture. In addition, the concert will also include operatic arias from Gounod’s Roméo et Juliette and Bernstein’s Candide, as well as much loved songs from The Wizard of Oz and My Fair Lady.

This concert will take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, beginning at 8.30pm and lasting approximately one hour without interval. Tickets are priced at €10 and are available from For further information, please visit


Valletta 1566 – Melita Renascens: The judiciary and the courthouses

To commemorate the 450th anniversary since the laying of the first stone of Valletta, Heritage Malta in collaboration with Malta Libraries is presenting an exhibition entitled Valletta 1566 – Melita Renascens. The exhibition relies on eleven different themes. The judiciary and the courthouses are one of the topics highlighted in the exhibition through historical interpretation on the law courts and their significance as a site of power inside the capital city. The new tribunal in Valletta was built in 1572 after the Knights of St John moved their headquarters to the capital city from Birgu. This building was demolished in the mid-18th

century as a new Baroque building, Palazzo Castellania, was built. In the mid 1800s, under the British rule, the Castellania was no longer regarded as being adequate to function as a courthouse, and the courts moved to Auberge d’Auvergne. This building was severely damaged by an aerial bombardment in 1941 and was evacuated in 1956, and the site where Auberge d’Avergne once stood, still houses the Courts of Justice built in 1965 and inaugurated in 1971. Valletta 1566 – Melita Renascens will remain open till July of next year. The opening hours at Vendome Bastion, former War Museum, are from 9am till 5pm (last admission at

Chief Justice robes belonging to Sir Michelangelo Refalo the judge - Photo: Daniel Cilia – Heritage Malta

4.30pm) while at the National Library the exhibition opens between 8.15am and 5pm, and on Saturdays till 1pm.

For more information, visit


See clearly without glasses

whatever your age

Guide Me catches up with Saint James Hospital Eye Clinic General Manager Andrei Camenzuli to find out what the newly relocated state-of-the-art clinic has to offer.

What is the recovery time for laser surgery? And what is the success rate? We have recently installed the very latest Zeiss refractive surgery suite which allows us to perform the most advanced procedures such as Femtolasik and SMILE, among others. These procedures are fast, pain-free and provide consistently reliable and predictable outcomes with impressive success rates. The new technology allows the treating doctor to be able to determine the predicted outcome as treatments are customised according to each individual’s presenting condition. Whilst complications are possible as with all medical interventions, these complications can be managed and resolved with satisfactory outcomes.

What services do you offer post-surgery? make up over 20 per cent of our What services do you offer at Patients will be required to have practice. Malta is an ideal destination Saint James Hospital Eye Clinic? their first and second post-operative for combining a refractive treatment The Saint James Hospital Eye Clinic assessment performed at the Saint with a relaxing holiday. Furthermore, specialises in offering the very latest in James Hospital Eye Clinic to ensure such treatments do not require refractive surgery options. We offer a that the outcome and recovery are lengthy recovery periods. For solution for people wanting to do away proceeding as planned. Follow-up example patients undergoing with their spectacles or contact lenses is quite straightforward thereafter laser treatment are able to resume once and for all. Our experienced team with application of external drops normal activities the day following of optometrists, nurses and specialists required in some cases and one to Obtain the surgery whilst being able to provides customised treatment options two routine follow-ups that can be enjoy clear and fully restored vision based on the individual’s lifestyle, crystal clear done by the patient’s optometrist/ age and refractive condition. The vision. without spectacles or contact lenses! eye doctor back home. We also most common refractive treatments maintain contact with our foreign How competitive is Malta Laser in Vision Correction performed include Femtolasik patients in various ways including terms of pricing compared treatment, SMILE treatment, email, other forms of online contact, Saint James Hospital Eye Clinic has now relocated to new to mainland Europe? Refractive Lens Exchange and Cataract and improved premises situated on the Birkirkara Bypass. telephone and Skype as required in Malta is still very competitively Surgery using premium lenses. order to provide our patients with Our state-of-the-art eye clinic specializes in the latest ophthalmic medical technology, providing patients with a new range of priced generally speaking all the reassurance and peace of treatments that provide the very latest in ophthalmic medical care. when compared to mainstream What are the benefits for mind they deserve, at all times. The latest generation excimer laser provides quick, safe, Europe, meaning that in most foreigners to travel to Malta for pain free and innovative treatment options that will allow you to get rid of your spectacles or contact lenses once and for all. Saint James Hospital Eye cases, patients can undergo the treatment at your clinic? And is Call us for more information and our team will be happy to Clinic - Triq Dun Karm, procedure and combine with it feasible for them to combine provide you with the best possible solutionthis for your condition. B’kara Bypass, B’kara. a one-week holiday for the same treatment with a vacation? T: 2247 2630 /1; Free parking available in basement car park under the clinic. price it would cost of having the We already treat several foreign E:; Saint James Hospital Eye Clinic - Triq Dun Karm, B’kara Bypass, B’kara, Malta /1 | E: | in their home country. patients at the eye clinic. In fact they T: 2247 2630surgery 33



From ranking as a top expat destination to cementing its place as a favourite for TV and film directors, Marie-Claire Grima rounds up some of the biggest splashes Malta has made in the press over the past few months.

Photo: Casper Tybjerg -

Kristu tal-Baħħara near the MV Imperial Eagle - Photo:

Spinola Bay, St Julian’s

WISH YOU WERE HERE EXPAT-FRIENDLY Malta got glowing reviews in the recent InterNations’ best places for expats survey, coming in at second place, just behind Taiwan. Respondents said that they found it easy to settle down, get used to the local culture and make new friends. It ranked sixth place in the Quality of Life Index, with exceptional ratings for the climate and weather. Best of all, almost half the expats surveyed (49 per cent) said that they were planning to stay here forever!

SECRET DESTINATION Malta was also recently revealed as the top ‘secret’ destination to visit by the adventure experts at Lonely Planet, beating 24 other destinations to the top spot. Writer Abigail Blasi remarked on the emergence of new architecture, restaurants, bars, hotels and cultural venues over recent years, and said that it was home to some of Europe’s best scuba diving sites. We don’t like bragging but we’re inclined to agree, especially now that…

BEST DIVING SPOT The Maltese islands, with their excellent visibility, rich marine life and submerged wrecks were voted the best diving destinations in the Mediterranean at this year's Sport Diver Awards, and the third-best in the world, just behind the Maldives and Egypt. From the MV Imperial Eagle in Qawra to the Blenheim Bomber off Xrobb l-Għaġin, Malta has diving spots for scuba enthusiasts of all ages and levels. Get in, the water’s great! ➜ 35


Joe Azzopardi in Head Cast of Birds of a Feather

The Invisible Boy by Gabriele Salvatores

CLAIM TO FAME HEADS UP FOR MALTESE TALENT The Maltese short film Head won two top awards at the Best Actors’ Festival in San Francisco – best director and best actor. Written and directed by well-known film producer Winston Azzopardi, who has worked on other films shot in Malta such as Troy and 13 Hours, the 24-minute film features his son, Joe Azzopardi in a solo role of a sailor locked inside the toilet of a boat steaming along the busy Sicily straits to Malta. 36

Filming of Game of Thrones in Malta - Photo:

Director Michael Bay on the set of 13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi (2016) © 2015 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved. Photo by Christian Black Photograph courtesy of the Malta Film Commission

SMALL SCREENS, BIG AUDIENCES The popular British series Birds of a Feather, which first aired in 1989 and is watched by about 8 million viewers, came to film a special Christmas episode in Malta. While it had filmed in other countries when it first started airing, it is the first time the production has left the UK in nearly 20 years. Producer Matthew Mulot praised Malta for its locations and its excellent crews making this shoot possible and a successful one. Earlier in the year, Lana Wachowski, one half of the Hollywood sibling power duo The Wachowskis (directors of The

Matrix) was in Malta to film scenes for the Netflix hit series Sense8, the second season of which will hit the streaming service in December.

MOVIE MAGIC Italian film director Gabriele Salvatores is currently in Malta shooting scenes for his new film, The Invisible Boy 2, a sequel to The Invisible Boy, a fantasy-superhero film released in 2014. Mr Salvatores, whose résumé includes a number of high-profile films including the Oscarwinning Mediterraneo, has reportedly also shown interest in shooting a film in the Maltese islands, with a story focusing on the islands themselves. ➜


Esplora Interactive Science Centre

Fort St Angelo - Photo: Heritage Malta

StrEat Whisky & Bistro, Valletta

LOCAL HAPPENINGS FORT ST ANGELO OPENS TO THE PUBLIC Fort St Angelo in Birgu is now open for visits by the public, following the completion of a €14.5 million restoration project. It is a jewel of Malta’s military heritage and one of the finest fortifications found anywhere in the world. This year the historic fort also hosted events connected to the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The opening hours are from 9am till 5pm, last admission at 4.30pm; entrance tickets are €8 for adults, €5 for seniors and students and €3 for children. Visitors can also buy the Birgu Ticket for entry to the Inquisitor’s Palace, the Malta Maritime Museum and Fort St Angelo, at €13 for adults, €9 for seniors and students, and €7 for children. MALTA LAUNCHES ITS FIRST INTERACTIVE SCIENCE MUSEUM Esplora, Malta’s National Interactive Science Centre, in neighbouring Kalkara, opened its doors to the public at the end of October. It

is a new and unique attraction, designed to make science appealing and relevant to all, and has already become a hit with locals and tourists alike. A full day out can consist of exploring indoor and outdoor exhibitions, attending sciencethemed workshops, enjoying science shows and taking a break in the EsploraCafé. Entrance tickets are €6 for adults and €3 for children; special workshops and exhibitions may require additional fees. Booking in advance is recommended.

A NEW SICILY-MALTA CATAMARAN BY 2018 Planning a quick jaunt to Sicily while you’re in Malta? A new Malta-Sicily catamaran is expected to be delivered to Virtu Ferries by the fourth quarter of 2018. The €75 million vessel will have a capacity of 900 passengers in four luxury lounges on two passenger decks and additional outside seating. It will be the largest RoPax catamaran ever built for operation in the Mediterranean, and the second largest in the world.

Dance and music scenes earn Malta top holiday nomination for 2017 Travel search site Skyscanner has named Malta as its top pick for travel destinations for Britons next year, pointing to the ‘emerging’ dance and music scenes. “Malta’s reinventing itself as a seriously hip weekend break contender, with new boutique hotels and cool bars in Valletta complementing an emerging dance scene centred around clubbing capital, Paceville,” it said. “It’s no longer all about those – admittedly gorgeous – beaches. In fact, the Maltese islands are one of the best new music destinations in the making, with big-name international events lined up for 2017 like Annie Mac's Lost and Found bringing us the unexpected concept of the 'castle rave'.” According to Skyscanner, flight searches to Malta grew by 59 per cent in between January and October 2016.



7,000 years of history brought to life

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 7,000 years of Maltese history. The 45-minute presentation can be listened to in one of 17 languages. In a purposely built auditorium, with a panoramic screen, sensational vision and a gripping commentary, The Malta Experience brings 7,000 years of history back to life. Shows are every hour on the hour as follows: Monday to Friday from 11am to 4pm; Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays from 11am to 2pm. After the show one can also enjoy a tour of the Sacra Infermeria, the old hospital of the Knights of St John. Today, this beautiful building is known as the Mediterranean Conference Centre, but you can still step back in time and visualise its revolutionary past on a guided tour, and visit the

longest ward in Europe measuring 155 metres in length and holding 247 beds. Quote ‘Guide Me’ at the ticketing counter to claim your 15 per cent discount on the entrance fee (not valid with any other offer). Ask for a combined ticket which also includes a guided tour of The Sacra Infermeria – The Old Hospital of the Knights of St John.

The Malta Experience St Elmo Bastions, Mediterranean Street, Valletta. T: 2124 3776;


Win prizes instantly at the

Airport Departures

Fancy taking off with more than luggage and your last-minute gift buys for loved ones? At Malta International Airport, you could be our next lucky passenger! All it takes is a little airport shopping and you can join in the game. The way it works is simple – when spending at least €20 in any one outlet in the Schengen Departures Area, you will be given a scannable card. With this card, passengers can take their turn at playing at our Scan and Win stand. Once the card is scanned, you can instantly win a prize. There are hundreds of prizes to be won every single day, from a Dior perfume bottle to an ICE watch or even a cash voucher, which you can redeem there and then, right before you board the plane. We invite you to enjoy your holiday and leave the shopping for last – you could even earn yourself a gift!


red Paint the town

This period is often a series of parties, functions and events, but what to wear? Sarah Micallef discovers the top trends to hit the party season in style, including fashion, accessories and shoes.

believe me? Check out designer ensembles by Loewe, Dior, Isabel Marant and Lanvin for just the right amount of spice.


Diane Von Furstenburg

Michael Kors

Fashion is set to turn explosive this winter, and nowhere more so than in nightlife. From femme fatale red to glitter lurex, all eyes will be on you as you hit the town this festive season.

Blue velvet A luxe texture that we just can’t help but associate with party season, velvet is back, and this time it’s in the most delicious shade of midnight blue. Season collections at Prada, Ralph Lauren and Vanessa Seward all made use of the covetable textile.

Vanessa Seward

Pleats If you’re looking to take a swing around the dance floor, make sure you do it in pleats – the movement is sensational. Pleats stunned on the runways of Céline, Loewe and Valentino, mainly in beige, nude and blush. Racy Red If there were ever a season to wear red, it would be this one. Whether it’s patent, lacquered, matte or satin, red is on fire this Christmas, with Saint Laurent, Comme des Garçons and Junya Watanabe bringing sex siren to the runway. ➜ Dolce & Gabbana

Vinyl Undoubtedly more of a risqué choice, vinyl, worn well, can equal the height of seductive sophistication. Don’t 45

FASHION Futuristic shine The runways at Balenciaga, Dolce & Gabbana and Michael Kors featured a sea of metallic sequins, paillettes and mosaics of tiny mirrors which are made for the dance floor!


Satin Slinky satin dresses and lingeriestyle tops make for a sexy party look that really highlight the curves of the body. The fabric shone in collections by Calvin Klein, Céline and Alberta Ferretti. Nude Graceful silhouettes in nude and blush are impossibly elegant and reminiscent of the delicate ballerina. This season, channel your inner ballerina and be inspired by the graceful models at Hermès, Valentino and Stella McCartney.


Eager to know what shoes will accompany you to the dance floor this festive season? From buckles and sequins to pointed toes and structured heels, there’s quite a selection!

Pointed toes The chic shoe shape has been around for a while now, and is set to point its way into the new season once more. From the black boots showcased at Emilio

Pucci to the suede beauties over at Alexander Wang, pointed shoes are certainly here to stay.

Buckled straps A sophisticated take on the gladiator shoe, shoes with multiple straps featured in collections by Marc Jacobs and Altuzarra, with the latter making for the daintiest of evening pumps that are perfect for festive events. Velvet Alongside leather and suede, velvet is the texture must-have in footwear this season. Jason Wu’s collection included sling-backs in a beautiful green velvet, while Kate Spade favoured pink velvet for her ballerina-style pumps. Sequins Dance floor-ready sequins found their way on everything this festive season, and shoes are no exception. The Oscar de la Renta runway particularly glittered with sequined stiletto heels and platforms, making us really want to get our dancing shoes on! Structured heels From wooden inserts at Marni and mirrored heels at Proenza Schouler to Oscar de la Renta’s crystal encrusted heels and Rodarte’s cone shapes, structured heels are a definite trend this season, and a fun one at that. ➜

46 Valentino

Christian Louboutin

Lurex 1980s-inspired lurex is making a dazzling comeback this winter, and if it helps us relive the days of Studio 54, there’s a lot to be excited about – just ask the designers at Dolce & Gabbana, Balenciaga and Wanda Nylon.

Alexander McQueen

Hit the shops…

Check out Malta’s top shopping destinations. VALLETTA Our beautiful capital city offers so much more than history and architecture. In and around the beautiful baroque buildings that line the city’s streets lie several high street outlets for a dose of retail therapy amid the culture and history lessons. Don’t miss: Republic Street, Merchants Street and The Embassy Complex SLIEMA Sliema is the undisputed shopping centre of Malta. Look out for the main streets that house a variety of high street and designer brands, as well as the islands’ biggest shopping malls. Don’t miss: Bisazza Street, Tower Road, The Plaza Shopping Centre and The Point Shopping Mall ST JULIAN’S For the more discerning shopper, the area opposite the upmarket complex of Portomaso is home to a selection of designer shops that beckon you to explore what’s on their beautiful rails. A shopping complex just down the road from the nightlife capital of Paceville is also open on Sundays. Don’t miss: Bay Street Shopping Complex and Portomaso



Oversized chokers If you don’t know about the choker trend, where have you been? And now, the must-have accessory of the summer is getting a festive oversized makeover. Chokers stunned at Chanel, Loewe and Balmain, giving a bold, regal look to any outfit.

Christmas time is the undisputed season of accessories, so get ready to sparkle and shine in this year’s must-haves.

Asymmetric earrings Mismatched earrings have been a thing for some time, and this festive season, they’re bolder than ever. Check out the chain ear cuffs at Alexander McQueen, ear cuffs at Saint Laurent and wrap-around ear cuffs at Balenciaga for inspiration.


Raw stones An obsession with raw stones has swept the fashion and bridal worlds, and all manner of crystals have made their way onto accessories this winter – as seen in the collections by Dries Van Noten, Proenza Schouler and Calvin Klein Collection.

Isabel Marant

Pearls It’s been a while since long strings of pearls were in vogue, but if the collections of Maison Margiela, Chanel and Miu Miu are anything to go by, they’re back with a vengeance, harking a return to classic Parisian chic.


Your Shopping

destination of choice

Since its inception in March 2010, The Point – the largest shopping mall in Malta – has succeeded in firmly establishing itself as the shopping destination of choice on the island. The Point has been innovative and bold in its strategy and marketing campaigns, giving customers an unprecedented shopping experience and becoming a popular destination for all the family. The wide variety of top brands, comfortable ambience, ease of access and ample availability of parking spaces are only some of the components that helped The Point to achieve its success. Always customer-centric, the team at The Point manages to put together a vast calendar of events targeting various age groups and tastes. Competitions and offers are also available from various outlets and the mall itself on a regular basis. The Point Shopping Mall offers an experience like no other for customers who are looking for a good mix of outlets within any budget!

For a full calendar of events visit and The Point’s Facebook Page


Armani Jeans

The urban-inspired looks of Armani Jeans are a perfect mix of denim, leather, jackets, faux fur and smart accessories. Explore cool-weather styles and wrap up in warmth for the winter ahead. Discover the menswear and womenswear collection at Armani Jeans Bay Street and The Point. Armani Jeans Bay Street (St Julian’s). Open Monday-Sunday 10am to 10pm. T: 2060 1263. Armani Jeans The Point (Sliema). Open MondaySaturday 9.30am to 7.30pm (Also open on Sunday in December). T: 2060 1193.

Bay Street

Visit Bay Street this Christmas – find over 40 fashion and gift shops, 12 cafés, bars and restaurants all under one roof. One can also find Santa’s Living Room on Level 0 and Bay Street’s Real Ice Rink on Level 4. With all shops open from 10am to 10pm from Monday to Sunday, there is simply no excuse about getting those essential gifts this Christmas. You can even benefit from one hour free parking until end of January 2017. Find us on Facebook Bay Street, St George’s Bay, St Julian’s.


Cycling on the Island of Gozo

Cycling on the island of Gozo has become increasingly popular with locals and visitors alike. The island has a great deal to offer the cyclist, from rough walled alleyways and off-road tracks to long smooth roads where you can really pick up a good rhythm. Gozo is symbolised by the three

hills, and even though the highest point is just 450m, there are a great number of cycling routes offering physical and technical challenges, as well as a brand new cycle route that circumnavigates the island. Mountain biking is at its best in Gozo in the winter months from October to May, when temperatures

are mild and the island is a lush green carpet of wild flowers and scented herbs. If you don’t mind working up a sweat, however, Gozo welcomes cyclists at any time of year. Check out places of interest in Gozo and other information for visitors on 55


A baroque music festival in a baroque city The fifth edition of the Valletta International Baroque Festival is fast approaching (12 to 28 January 2017). Produced and managed by Teatru Manoel, Malta’s national theatre, the festival has placed Malta firmly on the global cultural calendar. Once again, expect a galaxy of Baroque stars which includes the leading French Ensemble Correspondances performing Charpentier’s celebrated Te Deum at St John’s Co-Cathedral; Simone Kermes and Vivica Genaux in a dramatic programme entitled The Rival Queens, the celebrated The Sixteen in deeply spiritual mode, the Centre Musique Baroque de Versailles in a parodie of Lully’s Atys performed by lifesize marionettes, the European Union Baroque Orchestra in a concert of Bach Leipzig Festival 56

Cantatas, Concerto dei Cavalieri from Rome and a host of others playing an eclectic selection of magnificent baroque music. Local musicians include Lucia Micallef who will be joining French virtuoso violinist Nicolas Dautricourt, pianist Charlene Farrugia who will be performing Chorales in Counterpoint with Calabrian pianist Nazareno Ferruggio and the Maltese soprano Claire Debono in a beautiful Purcell programme performing with Ensemble Les Ambassadeurs. The Malta Philharmonic Orchestra

conducted by Michelle Castelletti will play 20th-century baroque-inspired pieces as well as a commissioned work from Maltese composer Reuben Pace. The venues for the forthcoming festival include Teatru Manoel, Malta’s national theatre, a number of historic churches in Valletta, the National Library and the Archaeology Museum. Booking for the festival has been open for a while and seats are going fast. Tickets can be purchased online from www.vallettabaroquefestival. com or


Cooking their way to


Food is a central part of Christmas proceedings on the islands, as is the importance of family gathered around a table in a fun and festive spirit. Martina Said catches up with three Maltese food lovers with plenty of experience in the culinary world who cooked up a feast of flavoursome fare for us, to find out what plans and preparations they’ve got up their sleeves this festive season. Photos: Alan Carville

Marilù's much-loved raclette, including a selection of cheeses, charcuterie and accompaniments

Marilù Vella

As the creator and owner of Pastizzi Gourmet, her name is synonymous with the making of the Maltese delicacy, pastizzi, but Marilù’s healthy, original and mouth-watering versions offer a creative spin on the much-loved local treat. “I grew up in Siġġiewi, where I spent a lot of time with my auntie and paternal grandmother, who both loved cooking. I think this is where my love for the kitchen was born. My father’s side of

the family has always been into farming, preserving their harvest and cooking, so I grew up in a culture where we make the most of what we have, and nothing goes to waste,” says Marilù. ➜ 59


“I grew up in a culture where we make the most of what we have, and nothing goes to waste.”

Her other grandmother, however, helped nurture Marilù’s love for the making of pastizzi. “I was at her house while she was making pastizzi, and I decided to help her out. According to my grandmother, at age four I could already make pastizzi better than my mother, who’s a very good cook herself, but not very patient with pastry!” She’s enjoyed cooking and throwing dinner parties for as long as she can remember, and her latest endeavour – presenting a TV food programme, Gourmet Today with resident chef Michael Diacono – confirms that the kitchen is where she feels most at home. Marilù’s business began a little by accident – in between jobs and bored of doing nothing, she started 60

Pastizzi Gourmet with the intention of doing it as a hobby, but soon gave it her all once she recognised the potential in it. “I wanted to give pastizzi my own twist, and after some thought, decided to make them low-fat, with a vegan pastry, and with many different fillings.” Naturally, Christmas Day in her family revolves a lot around food and last year, Marilù and her husband hosted their first Christmas Day lunch at their new home. “We invited my family and my husband’s family for a big lunch. We like to prepare many dishes and let everyone help themselves, keeping it casual so that everyone can chat and catch up,” she explains. “Last year we made a slow-roasted pork shoulder and lots of sides, but we’re still making up our minds for this year’s menu. I only know for certain that it will be gluten-free – since I’m coeliac, I make sure I can enjoy all food that I prepare with my family.” Traditionally, Marilù and her family would indulge in lasagne followed by beef or rabbit at her parents’ house. “My father makes

the best rabbit sauce and my mother makes the best lasagne, so either way we’d be happy. At home, my husband and I do things a bit differently – one of my favourite items to prepare over the holidays or when lots of people come over is raclette. I buy different cheeses, such as raclette, morbier and some other cheese that melts easily, good charcuterie, and sometimes a piece of meat or salsiccia siciliana to grill.” She goes on to prepare a variety of accompaniments, including braised radishes, olives in garlic, peppered sun-dried tomatoes (the last two recipes stolen from her father), and different pestos, the latest being sun-dried tomato and cilantro pesto made by her husband, and red cabbage pesto, served with home-made gluten-free bread. “I just love sitting around the table with a glass of wine, and chat while we eat. It’s casual enough that we can focus on catching up with one another, but the food is still so good!”

Marilù’s Christmas Must-dos

“I love the atmosphere in Valletta around Christmas time, and definitely recommend a visit to St John’s CoCathedral. It’s always great to find choral singers singing Christmas carols at this time of year too. In Siġġiewi, we also celebrate the feast of St Nicholas (our very own Santa Claus) in December, a couple of weeks before Christmas, which I make sure to attend.”


Sean's delicious sticky pear and pecan toffee cake

Sean Gravina

From starting out in a local snack bar to graduating from Le Cordon Bleu in London, chef Sean Gravina lives and breathes a love for food, which he’s looking to channel into his latest project, a bakery in St Julian’s that will open in 2017. “From my time spent at that snack bar in my teens, I discovered the joy that comes with the freedom of creating and making things yourself. Once I discovered my love for food, I threw myself right into it, and haven’t looked back,” says Sean. He graduated from the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) around 10 years ago, and went on to graduate from the prestigious Le Cordon Bleu in London, work in a number

of Michelin-starred restaurants and reach the quarter finals of popular UK TV show Master Chef hosted by Gordon Ramsay. “And here I am now, preparing to open my very own bakery next year,” he says. “After two years spent looking for the right investors, the right location and cooking up the right concept, we’ve finally worked it out and will be opening in St Julian’s by the middle of 2017.” ➜

“My passion is food, and I love anything to do with it.” 63

CUISINE And why a bakery? “Well, my passion is food, and I love anything to do with it. Malta’s got a healthy restaurant scene so I wanted to do something different and that I’m really passionate about, such as the art of baking and pastry. The bakery will be a cross between a French boulangerie and an Italian salumeria, which is a new concept locally and very exciting.” This year will be Sean’s first year away from home after recently moving out, but speaking of past Christmas lunches spent at his parents’ house, he describes it as bustling and food-packed. “My mum is a fantastic cook and does most of the work, but I’ve always helped out and there were years when I enjoyed doing a lot of the work myself to show off the skills I had learned abroad. I’m not sure what it will be like this year now

that I’m no longer living at home, but I’m quite sure my mother will still prepare most of the food.” A typical Christmas day lunch at his home kicks off with beefshin broth – “it’s always the same but simply delicious” – followed by stuffed turkey, pork leg, occasionally a capon and honey-glazed gammon. “There’d be lots of gravy, roast potatoes and vegetable side dishes as well – the oven doesn’t stop for days. We usually bake something for dessert but this varies from year to year. Typical of Maltese gatherings, everyone brings something with them anyway, so we put everything out on the table for everyone to help themselves to.”

Sean’s Christmas Must-dos

Sean admits that the items he prepares for the Christmas season change from year to year, depending on his mood and appetite. “This year, I’ll probably be focusing on sweet items in order to test different baked goods for the bakery’s opening next year. One item I’ll definitely be baking is a sticky pear and pecan toffee cake. When I lived in London, I remember tasting a cake like this at a café. It was Christmas time and I had been away from home for a couple of months, and the flavours of this cake made me reminisce about my childhood. It made me miss home so much, thank God I was flying in the following week.”

“I love Sliema and St Julian’s during Christmas time – I’d recommend paying a visit on a sunny afternoon, especially since we’re blessed with such good weather, even in December, and sitting by the sea, enjoying the view. I’d also recommend a walk through Valletta’s streets, where you can pick up some goodies along the way, and a visit to Gozo’s live crib, Betlehem f’Għajnsielem.”



Pippa's hearty Maltese honey rings (qagħaq tal-għasel)

Pippa Mattei

A cook, food writer and teacher, Pippa Mattei is a household name in the world of Maltese home cooking. From writing her first book to appearing on television in the US, her journey in the professional culinary world all began with a Christmas pudding. “I first started to cook professionally when an uncle of mine called me to ask if I knew of anybody who would prepare six Christmas puddings for him. I thought about it for a moment and then said, “I will!” I was in possession of an excellent

Pippa’s Christmas Must-dos

“A visit to a charming presepju (crib) is recommended, which may be displayed in private houses, garages or yards, and one can usually notice a sign nearby. You may like to attend a Christmas Eve mass where international carols are sung, and traditionally a young girl or boy gives the homily – usually learnt by heart.”

steamed pudding recipe which had been handed down to me by my Aunt Jane, an excellent cook and teacher of cookery,” says Pippa. After mentioning this to friends, Pippa’s pudding became in demand, which is when she discovered that people like to have food prepared for them, especially when complex, time-consuming recipes are involved. Over the years, Pippa became passionate about cooking and trying out recipes, especially Maltese ones, while always striving to perfect them. Besides cooking for others, she began giving cookery lessons in her kitchen and went on to write her first book in 2003, ‘25 Years in a Maltese Kitchen’, which became

“The king of recipes is timpana, a macaroni pie perfected by my father-in-law Dr Salvino Mattei.” a bestseller by Christmas of the same year, followed by another book a few years later, called ‘Pippa’s Festa: A Celebration of Food in Malta’. The latter won first prize in the entertaining category at the Gourmand competition in Paris, and last year, came third at the book fair in Frankfurt in the same category for the ‘Best of the Best in 20 years’. “Christmas day celebrations have always been special in my family. ➜ 67

CUISINE Both my parents and my in-laws would gather around large tables and produce an excellent and traditional meal that is a mix of Maltese and English dishes,” she says. “The king of recipes is timpana, a macaroni pie perfected by my father-in-law Dr Salvino Mattei. It is a dish made of macaroni tubes, mixed with a rich meat ragù, with local sausages, chicken innards, kidneys and livers included in the mix, which is placed in a pastry-lined pot, with brains, fried aubergines and hard boiled eggs added to the pie.” This would be followed by a deliciously moist roast turkey, prepared by Pippa’s mother and complete with all the trimmings, and a large glazed ham basted in the oven with marmalade, brown sugar and mustard, which is Pippa’s speciality today. “We would then serve traditional English Christmas suet pudding steamed for hours, then set alight at table and served with a rum sauce. Finally, nuts, tangerines from our gardens and marzipanstuffed dates would be served. Our parents have since passed away, but we carry on with the traditional

recipes and recall many of the funny anecdotes and eccentric relatives as we gather around the table each year!” Lots of preparation ensues before the day itself, when Pippa is busy preparing imbuljuta for Christmas Eve, consisting of chestnuts cooked in liquid chocolate together with a mixture of fresh citrus peel (see recipe). “Traditionally, it’s served after midnight mass when something hot and sweet is welcomed. At this time of year, we also prepare the qagħaq tal-għasel, Maltese honey rings, which can be seen in many shop windows. All these Christmas delights need careful planning long beforehand, so I start my preparations mid-November with endless lists and notes for shopping and preparing.” More of Pippa Mattei’s recipes can be found in her award-winning book ‘Pippa’s Festa’ as well as ‘25 Years in a Maltese Kitchen’, both available to buy online and at leading bookstores. Pippa also hosts interested foodies to a Maltese culinary experience of a market visit followed by a cooking lesson with a meal included. For further information, visit

Imbuljuta Ingredients 500g dried chestnuts 20 tbsp bitter cocoa powder (approx. 100g) 1 100g chocolate bar (75 per cent cacao) 15 tbsp sugar (approx. 200g) ½ tsp each ground cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon 2 tsp vanilla extract 6 tbsp rum The pared skins of 1 lemon, 1 orange and 1 tangerine Fresh cream, to serve Method Soak the chestnuts overnight in a bowl of water, enough to cover the chestnuts well and with half of the pared skins of the fruit. The next day, discard the water and fruit skins. Then, with a small knife, scrape off any brown skin that may still be stuck to the white chestnuts. Put the prepared chestnuts into a large pan, cover well with water, and add the cocoa powder, sugar and spices. Add the remaining pared fruit skin. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously until the sugar and cocoa have melted. Lower the heat to simmering point and cook for one hour until the chestnuts are soft. Add the vanilla extract, rum and chocolate bar. Stir well and allow to simmer for another 15 minutes. Serve with lashings of whipped fresh cream.



Ta’ Kris

Restaurant & Maltese Bistro

Right in the heart of Sliema lies Ta’ Kris Restaurant and Maltese Bistro, serving wholesome home cooking at unbeatable prices. Chef patron Chris uses the freshest ingredients to create tasty Maltese dishes like Dad’s Famous Braġjoli, thick beef stew, veal escalopes and rabbit. Patrons are also spoilt for choice with the daily specials ranging from fresh fish to beef fillet and various pasta dishes. All at this price-worthy restaurant is served in the unique setting of a former bakery. Ta’ Kris is one of the best rated restaurants by the Definitive(ly) Good Guide to Restaurants.

80, Fawwara Lane, Sliema. T: 2133 7367; M: 9984 7713; W: Open daily for lunch and dinner. Christmas, New Year's and staff party set menus are now available.


Palazzo Preca Restaurant Palazzo Preca Restaurant is repeatedly awarded highly as one of the best restaurants in Malta and Gozo. It is situated in one of the most well-known historic streets in Valletta, within a beautiful 16th-century palazzo in Strait Street. An extensive and creative menu provides mouthwatering choices of food and fine local and foreign wines – and do not miss out on our delicious home-made desserts! Professional, dedicated and attentive staff will help you to ensure that your visit is a completely enjoyable experience. Wednesday is our special night when the lights are turned off and the restaurant is entirely lit by candles, creating an intimate and romantic ambience. Open Sunday lunch. Mondays closed all day. Bookings are recommended and are to be confirmed by phone. Palazzo Preca, 54, Strait Street, Valletta. T: 2122 6777; M: 9986 6640;

Shakinah – Indian Cuisine Situated on the St Julian’s seafront in Balluta Bay, Shakinah presents Indian tastes, scents and flavours, in an interesting selection of exquisitely prepared, Halal Certified colourful dishes. The fresh ingredients, oriental spices and interesting flavours are carefully handpicked by our native-born Indian chefs. Great emphasis has been placed on the décor, mood and general ambience to ensure a true Shakinah special experience. Allow yourself to be transported on a magic carpet ride to the exotic orient in the heart of St Julian’s. Open Monday to Sunday 6.30-10.30pm and Sunday lunch 12.30-3pm. Shakinah, 5, Ġorġ Borg Olivier Street, St Julian’s. T: 2731 8000; M: 7731 8000; E:;; Fb:

Ta’ Marija Celebrating 50 years of excellence and voted Best Restaurant for Maltese Food, Ta’ Marija restaurant offers the ideal venue for colleagues, friends and family to celebrate any occasion with sumptuous food in welcoming surroundings, complemented by our exceptional service and merriment in the making. Enjoy our all-inclusive carvery buffets on Saturday evenings and Sunday lunches for just €25 per person, or indulge in a Maltese extravaganza on Wednesday and Friday nights with a spectacular traditional folk dancing show and our mandolins and guitars duo! Ta’ Marija Restaurant, Constitution Street, Mosta. T: 2143 4444; E:;

Terrone Terrone is a restaurant in the charming fishing village of Marsaxlokk that combines rustic charm with contemporary regional cuisine. Focusing on southern Italian and local Maltese cuisines, and hand-picking the best local and organic produce, we aim to recreate a healthy and enjoyable way of dining. We are open for coffee, lunch and dinner, as well as late-night drinks and sharing plates on the Marsaxlokk seafront. Open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10am till late. Terrone, 1, Wilġa Street, Marsaxlokk. T: 2704 2656; E:;




BANKS AND CURRENCY EXCHANGE Banks are normally open between 8.30am and 1.30pm Mon-Thur, between 8.30am and 3.30pm on Fri, and up to noon on Sat. Some banks open for longer hours. International bank cards are accepted and foreign currency is easily exchanged. Banks, Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) and exchange bureaux can be found all over the islands.

26 ta’ Mejju 1990. T: 2152 4666 Sliema Info Desk Plaza Commercial Centre. T: 2136 3691 St Paul’s Bay Misraħ il-Bajja (Buġibba). T: 2141 9176 Valletta Waterfront Pinto Wharf. T: 2122 0633 Vittoriosa (Birgu) Inquisitor’s Palace, Main Gate Street. T: 2180 0145

USEFUL AND EMERGENCY TELEPHONE NOS 00356 International Code 112 Emergency Services 1182 Directory Enquiries 1152 Overseas Operator 195 Time Check 2124 9600 Flight Enquiries

Public hospital in Malta Mater Dei Hospital, B’Kara By-pass, B’Kara. T: 2545 0000; E:

TOURIST INFORMATION OFFICES IN MALTA Malta Tourism Authority-run offices may be found at: Valletta 28, Melita Street. T: 2291 5440/1/2 Malta International Airport Arrivals Lounge, Luqa. T: 2369 6073/4 Gozo, Mġarr Gozo Channel Ferry Terminal. T: 2155 4538 Gozo, Rabat 17, Independence Square. T: 2291 5452/3 Marsaxlokk Xatt is-Sajjieda. T: 2165 1151 Mdina St Publius Square. T: 2145 4480 Mellieħa Misraħ iż-żjara tal-Papa Gwanni Pawlu II-

SMOKING No smoking is allowed in any entertainment establishment, including bars and restaurants, unless there is a designated smoking area.

Public hospital in Gozo Gozo General Hospital, Rabat. T: 2156 1600

Getting Around Malta is about 27 kilometres long and 14.5 kilometres wide. Short distances make it possible to make the most of your stay at a relaxed pace. The network of buses within the public transport system covers nearly all the islands. Car hire rates in Malta are good value. You may also enjoy a relaxing trip on the calm, blue Mediterranean Sea by taking an island or harbour cruise or cross between Valletta and Sliema by ferry at half hourly intervals.

BUSES The public transport services offered in the Maltese islands operate on a network offering multiple connections and main termini in Malta’s capital, Valletta, and Gozo’s capital, Rabat. A total of 80 different routes link the different localities in Malta to either major hubs such as Valletta, Mater Dei Hospital and the airport or to other destinations, while 15 routes operate in Gozo. The public transport service runs daily between 5.30am and 11pm, with express routes (designated with an ‘X’) having limited stops and operating to and from the airport from different localities. Three digit routes link different localities together and, in most cases, do not serve Valletta. A journey planner, timetable information and details on bus fares are available at More details on T: 2122 2000 and on page 81. TRAVELLING TO GOZO A regular ro-ro ferry service carries passengers and cars between Malta and Gozo. The trip takes about 30 minutes. For information and time-tables contact The Gozo Channel Company on T: 2210 9000. CAR HIRE Most international car hire companies have a branch in Malta. Local companies too offer this service, with or without a chauffeur. Car hire rates are very reasonable compared to those in other European countries. TAXIS All taxis are fitted with meters and should charge government-controlled prices. Any complaints should be addressed to the Public Transport Authority, T: 2143 8475. Over recent months, a number of private companies have also been set up to offer competitive chauffeur-driven services.



Letthis your hair down festive season Stuck on what to do when the night falls this festive season? Let Sarah Micallef be your guide, with her pick of the top shows, parties and events.

APS Teatru Unplugged 19 2-4 December at 8pm; Teatru Manoel, Valletta The Manoel Theatre’s longestrunning annual event is back and better than ever before! An eclectic mix of talented artists and bands from home and abroad take to the stage once again to deliver seamless, back-to-back entertainment against a magnificent, awe-inspiring backdrop. Follow the Facebook page for a string of exciting updates in the lead-up to opening night. Tickets available online from https:// APS Teatru Unplugged

WORSHIP THE BASS feat. Boston168 live 7 December at 11pm; Liquid Club, San Ġwann WORSHIP THE BASS are back

Boston 168

for their final event of this year, this time featuring the mighty Italian duo Boston 168 from Turin, a duo that, through sound production, aims to redefine a peculiar field of the electronic sound – Acid Techno. Supported by Hystericmaniak, Manthrax and 4ace. For more information, contact

BAAL Live + ANDY BROS 7 December at 10pm; Mansion, Sky Club, St Julian’s Hosted by Yakuza Malta, this promises to be a great night out for fans of electronic music. Headliners are ANDY BROS, (Diynamic Music/Italy), BAAL

Live (Konta/Germany) and DANIEL BLADE (Yakuza/Malta). Tickets available at the door.

Magical Christmas Concert 8-9 December at 7.30pm; 10 December at 7pm, City Theatre, Valletta This Christmas, your children’s favourite characters will turn the City Theatre into a winter wonderland in an energetic concert by the National Children’s Choir. The Magical Christmas Concert will feature an array of Disney’s best scores, along with the most amazing Christmas songs. Using spectacular visuals, synchronised lights and ➜ 75

NIGHTLIFE continuous animation, the concert will be creatively produced and choreographed so as to turn the theatre into an amazing party for all youngsters. Tickets available online from

Oddball & Cubik w/ Sunil Sharpe 10 December at 11pm; Liquid Club, San Ġwann Oddball Malta and Cubik Events are teaming up for their final bout of the year, this time featuring vinyl enthusiast Sunil Sharpe. Supported by 4Ace & Luca CST, Darren Faddy & Tina and Muski. Tickets available at the door. Monkey Dub 10 December at 8pm; the Funky Monkey, Manoel Island, Gżira Heavy bass and good vibes will be taking over The Funky Monkey on 10 December. Taking to the stage will be Lion Black, Earthrocker, Mist (FDM Crew) and Bass Culture Crew. Entrance is €5 at the door. National Theatre Live in Cinema: No Man’s Land 15 December at 8pm; Spazju Kreattiv, St James Cavalier, Valletta Following their hit run on Broadway, Ian McKellen and Patrick Stewart return to the West End alongside Owen Teale and Damien Molony in Sean Mathias’ acclaimed production

No Man's Land

of No Man’s Land, one of the most brilliantly entertaining plays by Nobel Prize laureate Harold Pinter. This live broadcast from London’s Wyndham’s Theatre will also feature an exclusive Q&A with the cast and director, Sean Mathias. Tickets available online on

Xmas Eve at The Villa 24 December at 9pm; The Villa Malta, St Julian’s This Christmas eve, GET it welcome you to The Villa Malta for a reindeerthemed event spread over three main areas: live music on the terrace, where you can crack open a couple of fire-roasted chestnuts and warm up with a glass of mulled wine; House Sesh, where you can expect groovy, uplifting and soulful house from Slim & Squeak followed by Simon Sauter; and Get Down, where you can enjoy a bit of good old Hip Hop featuring Bowgli, Alex Thomson and Comedy Knights - Photo: Francesca Rizzo

Jay Rilez. For more information call 7941 7034 or email info@getitevents. com. Tickets available online from

A Critical Classmas 24 December at 9pm; Razzett L-Aħmar, Mosta How do you make the most out of a Christmas Eve party? Take the cream of alternative and synthpop music from the 80s, throw in an enormous helping of gorgeous 90s hits, and mix well together. Pump out the musical blend through a solid sound system in a welcoming venue and let the feet do the talking. Tickets available online from The Comedy Knights: Just 4 Laughs 26-30 December, 2-8 January at 8pm; Salesian Theatre, Sliema Following the massive success of last year’s show The Comedy Knights Three Times Funnier, the Lords and Ladies are coming back with this year’s festive season special: The Comedy Knights’ Just 4 Laughs. All members of this hilarious cast are returning for more manic mayhem giving us a rundown of 2016 in a way only the Comedy Knights know how! Join Chris Dingli, Marc Cabourdin, Jo Caruana, Pia Zammit, Colin Fitz, ➜

NIGHTLIFE Thomas Camilleri, and Steve Hili as they bring to life a whole host of characters to brand new characters who are guaranteed to make you laugh your socks off! Tickets available online from

The Valletta New Year’s Eve Celebration 31 December at 8.30pm; Valletta The annual free New Year’s Eve event that’s held in the capital city is back. This national celebration, which attracts people in droves, consists of a series of high-quality entertainment activities organised at various strategic spots around the capital. For more information call 7976 7630 or email or visit ALT NYE 31 December at 9pm; the Warehouse Club, Żurrieq Trackage Scheme, Sick of Ants, No Sweat Productions and Hedon Crew go toe to toe to deliver the craziest NYE celebration ever! Live bands, electronic artists and DJs will be spread over two areas in one spectacular venue. Headliners include Lucy’s Last, BILA and Kill the Action on the ALT stage, and Danjeli, Kerg, Sean Rickett and Acidulant in the Electronic area. Tickets available online from MOkSHA New Year’s Eve by Duncan F 31 December at 9pm; Fortizza, Sliema A New Year’s Eve party by Duncan F in collaboration with GET it, taking place over four areas at the Fortizza in the heart of Sliema, followed by an after-party at Stardust. DJs on the night will be Duncan F, Alex Thomson, 78

Airport Impressions

Tiffany, Julian Drury, Twain, Danny Vibe, Claytonsane, Dom and Bobz. Tickets available online from

NYE Impressions 2017 31 December at 9pm; Villa Blanche, Safi This New Year’s Eve party will feature one of Malta's top bands, Airport Impressions, followed by a duo DJ set by El Gringo and DJ Mykill till 3am. To complement the night, a full international open bar with all major brands and finger food by James Caterers will be served throughout the event. Dress code: Black Tie. Strictly 18+. For tickets, call 9920 7960/7960 9920 or email The Fortress Subzero NYE 2017 31 December at 9pm; Fortress, Xemxija Subzero NYE 2017 promises to bring you a quality event hosting a live performance by Mae, followed by house and commercial music guest DJ Jez and DJ Glen, with an

awesome countdown followed by a great celebratory vibe throughout the night. Featuring an all-inclusive all-night open bar service, a large selection of finger food, an appetising cheese and wine table, as well as a grand buffet table. Late night miniburgers and hot dogs, coffee and sweets will be served again at 2.30am. For more information, contact

100% Underground – NYE 2017 Special Featuring D-Deck 31 December at 10pm; Clique, St Julian’s 100% Underground will host this year’s NYE at Clique, bringing you the remarkable Italian DJ and producer D-Deck. Fascinated by all kinds of electronic club music and continuously oriented to the trends, D-Deck’s productions mix the search of new sounds with a techno DJ’s instinct. The line-up features D-Deck, Terrence Cachia, Lenny, DJ Ruby, Graham, Dismental and Mauro C. Tickets available online from




52 56 181



3 km









Ħ´ Attard


Blue Grotto


71 73 74



Iż-Żurrieq 73

Ħal Safi




1 124 213

L-Isla (Senglea)

88 226






Ħal Far

210 82


88, 22



, 303





6 21 0






2 32




301 309 311 308 310 301 302 303 302 305 313 308 307 306 309 301 305

302 303 323 306

322 330

312 322 303 322 323 303 322

302 303 305 306 307 308 310 311 312 313 323 330

1 2 3 4 13 14 15 16 21 22 24 25 31 32 35 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 56 58 61 62 63 64 71 72 73 74 80 81 82 83 84 85 88 91 92 93 94 122 130 131 133 238 250 260 X4 Malta International Airport 117 119 135 201 X1 X2 X3 X4 2 3 4 124 213 Il-Birgu 80 81 119 210 X4 Birżebbuġa 71 201 Blue Grotto 31 45 48 186 203 212 221 223 Buġibba / Qawra 280 X3 221 222 250 X1 X1A 41 42 101 201 Ċirkewwa Ferry 56 186 202 201 Ta’ Qali 52 56 181 201 Ħad-Dingli 223 225 44 101 201 Golden Bay 1 124 213 L-Isla 213 N3 3 201 Il-Kalkara 91 92 93 119 124 135 201 204 N91 Marsaskala 81 85 119 210 Marsaxlokk 22 31 32 109 110 117 120 121 Mater Dei Hospital 122 135 181 182 204 206 201 201 209 233 238 213 218 226 201 201 210 201 50 51 52 53 56 109 181 182 Mdina 186 201 202 250 X3 221 222 250 41 42 49 101 201 Il-Mellieħa X1 X1A 201 44 101 213 L-Imġarr 14 120 Paceville 50 51 52 53 56 109 181 182 Ir-Rabat 186 201 202 250 X3 13 14 15 16 21 201 202 204 Tas-Sliema 201 201 222 225 201 233 X3 212 81 82 201 206 Ħal-Tarxien 71 73 74 117 201 218 Iż-Żurrieq


MALTA - Index of places served

L-Għarb Marsalforn L-Mġarr In-Nadur Il-Qala Ir-Ramla Ta’ Sannat Santa Luċija / Kerċem Ta’ Pinu Church / L-Għasri Ix-Xagħra Ix-Xlendi Żebbuġ Ix-Xewkija Il-Munxar


KEMMUNA GOZO - Index of places served (COMINO)


Kemmunett Id-Dwejra (Cominotto)


322 323 301 303



St.Thomas Bay

91 92 93 119 124 135 204






Marsaxlokk Market


5 13 9, 11

Pretty Bay


81 85


84, 20

206 Iż-Żejtun Marsaskala 84

91, 12 92 ,93 20 4





Ġgantija Temples



94 120 121


Fort Rinella

3 Il-Kalkara





Ramla Bay

Ta’ Kola Windmill



Tarxien Temples Ħal Tarxien

Ħal Għaxaq


Il Gudja


Santa Luċija

, 8 0 ,83




213 1 Il-Fgura 90,91 92,93,94

Raħal Ġdid (Paola)




Il-Belt VALLETTA Il-Birgu (Vittoriosa)





30 1,3 03

Ir-Rabat (Victoria) 30 2 32 3


310 322

Marsalforn Bay


309 Marsalforn

Il-Munxar Ta´Sannat



X1A Bormla







15 21 202 203 212 222 225

Ta´ Xbiex

Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum








, 11



, 19











Mnajdra Ħaġar Qim Temples Temples






119 201 X1 X1B X2 X3 117 Malta Int. Airport 218 72





22 21



San Ġiljan (St. Julians)


St.George´s Bay

306 330





30 31





Santa Luċija

Ix-Xlendi Xlendi Bay

San Ġwann



IsSwieqi 120


University Mater Dei Hospital


Ħal Qormi

58 51,5





62 209


233 16 25 35 2 2 16


14 103 110 120 121 14









Ħal Balzan Birkirkara

41-49 203, 25 0,260 280 54


202, 203

46 260


Ħal Għargħur

,182 181

9 10

1 20


,5 50,52,5 3


106 54


Baħar iċ-Ċagħaq

5 17,13

Għar Lapsi



Buskett Gardens


53 186 201 202





In-Naxxar Mosta Dome Il-Mosta


25 0




Ta' Qali National Stadium






21 2 , 22 2, 2 25 X 1, X1A

San Lawrenz





80,82 , 85






44, 2






106 117 122 135 181 182 204 206 209 210 213 218 226 233 238 260 280

Azure Window

Ta´Pinu Church L-Għarb 309






San Pawl il-Baħar (St. Paul‘s Bay)


X3 31 45 48 186 203 212 221 223 280

St. Paul‘s Islands





Skorba Temples

Dingli Cliffs


Ta’ Ħaġrat

101 238

Bus routes Bus routes only summer Number of bus route Place of departure/arrival Key bus stop Sales and information office Bus interchange Tourist information Heritage site Place of interest Airport Hospital Ferry Beach






Ġnejna Bay



223, 2


Mellieha Bay

44, 10



Għajn Tuffieħa

Golden Bay







44 223 225

Popeye Village

22 1








Paradise Bay

181, 56




2 20 1, 6,18 52,5



Ċirkewwa Ferry


25, 35

311 71


X1 X1A X1B 41 42 Armier Bay 101 221 222 250









73, 1








2, 5












5,48,186, X3 ,42,4 ,41 31 203,250,280





0 ,25




2 22 103 31



1A , 260



ġa Im L-

,X 16 124



41,42 X1

B, ,X1

ew Ferr y to Ċirk


rr y Fe


32 303



11 X4





Guide Me Dec2016/Jan2017  

The Official Visitors' Guide of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association

Guide Me Dec2016/Jan2017  

The Official Visitors' Guide of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association