December 2019/January 2020 €3 MALTA'S LEADING INDEPENDENT visitors’ guide
Restoring national treasures Tuck into festive fare
The Maltese islands at Christmas time your guide to events | fashion | eating & drinking | shopping
December 2019/January 2020 page 15
EDITOR Martina Said PUBLISHERS Content House Group ADVERTISING Director of Sales & Business Development Matthew Spiteri Senior Brand Sales Executives Jean Mark Meli, Matthew Sciriha Corporate Sales & Business Development Executive Lara Gail Dougall Operations & Client Relationship Manager Elena Dimech Art Direction & Design Antoinette Micallef Box Design – T: +356 7969 1212
Christmas street decorations - Photo: Alan Carville
14 Calendar of events
The major events taking place in Malta and Gozo throughout December and January.
17 Cover story
Photography Alan Carville, Inigo Taylor, Justin Mamo, Malta Tourism Authority, Richard Muscat Azzopardi, Sebio Aquilina
The intimacy of glorious restoration – Rebecca Anastasi speaks to three of the island’s foremost art restorers about the role they play in upholding the island’s vast and valuable heritage.
8 fabulous things to do in Malta over the festive season – From a stroll through the capital’s many highlights to a mandatory visit to Gozo, Sarah Micallef highlights the islands’ festive must-dos.
Content House Group, Mallia Buildings, 3, Level 2, Triq in-Negozju, Zone 3, Central Business District, Birkirkara CBD3010 T: +356 2132 0713 E: firstname.lastname@example.org W: www.contenthouse.com.mt Published since 2005, Guide Me Malta is the largest and the leading independent guide for visitors in Malta and Gozo. The publication is published every two months. This issue covers the period December 2019 to January 2020. Guide Me Malta is distributed free of charge through leading hotels around Malta and Gozo. The publication is also distributed for free from MTA offices in Malta and Gozo. It is also sold at leading newsagents in Malta and Gozo, including those at the MIA and Gozo Channel ferries.
Editorial opinions expressed in Guide Me Malta are not necessarily those of Content House Group and the company does not accept responsibility for advertising content.
Cover picture: Valletta’s streets lit up for Christmas 2019. Photo: Inigo Taylor
All rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission of the publishers is strictly prohibited.
Pudina tal-ħobż - Photo: www.tasteatlas.com
December 2019/January 2020 43 Investing in Malta
Investing in Malta guide – Helena Grech takes an indepth look at what it takes to set up a business in Malta and the corporate services available that you’ll need to get started.
Maltese delicacies to try throughout the Christmas season – Food and drink play a central role in the festive season on the islands. Caroline Curmi highlights the festive treats that are too good to pass.
Party season in full swing – If you’re visiting the islands for fun and entertainment rather than tradition, then take heed of Martina Said’s guide to the local nightlife scene.
Prep for party season with these 8 fabulous fashion trends – Put your best foot forward this season with Martina Said’s pick of the top fashion trends perfect for the festive season.
Grand Harbour fireworks - Photo: viewingmalta.com
Welcome to the Maltese islands! ISSUE
88 December 2019/ January 2020
Christmas street decorations - Photo: Gregory Iron - viewingmalta.com
inter is with us, and so is the start of the festive season, which we couldn’t possibly be more excited about now that the countdown has well and truly begun. Christmas time in Malta and Gozo transform the islands from a sun and sea paradise into a cheerful, festive attraction, which is felt and seen in many cities, villages and streets across the islands. If you’re visiting at any point throughout December, expect an immersive festive experience, with atmospheric lights and street decorations, activities and events on an almost daily basis that include live musical performances, live cribs, Christmas markets and much more. In the cover story on page 17, we take our
pick of the top things to do at this time of year which you shouldn’t miss out on. But there is much more to the Maltese islands than festive fun. Turn to page 29 for a fascinating look at what goes into restoring priceless pieces of artistic heritage, many of which adorn the walls of Malta’s churches, galleries and aristocratic homes. Three prolific art restorers let us into their studios, and the intricacies of their profession. In our guide to investing in Malta on page 43, we delve into the ins and outs of setting up a business in Malta and the many corporate services available and necessary for getting started. With all this and more, we hope you enjoy the issue.
Martina Said EDITOR 13
CALENDAR OF EVENTS 2019/ 2020 UNTIL 6 DECEMBER
Malta International Organ Festival – This festival is a must for art and classical music enthusiasts. Held every year, the Malta International Organ Festival comprises numerous concerts by world-renowned musicians held in several beautiful cathedrals, basilicas and churches across the Maltese islands, who perform some of the greatest music written for the organ. www. maltainternationalorganfestival.com
The Malta International Christmas Choir Festival 2019 – Get ready to sing along to your favourite Christmas tunes at The Malta International Christmas Choir Festival. This festival will be held in various locations around Malta and Gozo and will include the participation of a number of choirs, ranging from female, male and youth choirs to gospel and folk choirs. www.euroartproduction.it
7 DECEMBER UNTIL 20 DECEMBER Vitori by Cirque du Soleil – For the first time ever, Cirque du Soleil is coming to the Maltese islands with an original performance in celebration of the 40th anniversary of the Mediterranean Conference Centre (MCC) in Valletta. The world-class performers will be putting on a fantastic show that will have you sitting at the edge of your seat, and is perfect for the whole family. Venue: MCC, Valletta. www.cirquedusoleil.com/vitori
1, 8, 15 DECEMBER In Guardia Parade – The In Guardia Parade is a re-enactment that portrays an authentic event that took place regularly inside Malta’s major fortifications built by the Knights of the Order of St John. During this event, the fort’s garrison performs its military drill to demonstrate to the Grand Bailiff its state of readiness. The show begins at 11am and lasts 40 minutes. Venue: Fort St Elmo, Valletta. www.heritagemalta.com
Disney: The Lion King in Concert Live to Film – Watch The Lion King movie come to life for one night only against a musical backdrop performed by the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra. The live action film, released last July, was defined as “a roaring success”, making this a fun and memorable outing for the whole family. Venue: Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre (MFCC), Ta’ Qali. www.maltaorchestra.com
7 DECEMBER Reflex 80s Party – A staple in Malta’s nightlife calendar, the Reflex 80s Party returns to Gianpula with a bang for the 15th consecutive year. Following a warm-up by guest DJ Alberto Palmieri from Rome, DJ and radio presenter Alex Grech will rock the crowd with a six-hour set on the main stage. Venue: Gianpula, l/o Rabat. www.reflexmalta.com
8 DECEMBER Feast of the Immaculate Conception – Although a national holiday, this feast is particularly popular in the city of Bormla – one of the Three
Cities – where it is celebrated with liturgical and social festivities, making it a fun-filled family event.
11-15 DECEMBER Natalis Notabilis 2019 – Get into the Christmas spirit with this annual seasonal event in the heart of the historic town of Rabat. For the 4th edition, Rabat’s village core will be transformed into a Winter Wonderland featuring several stalls selling festive goods, while historic buildings in the town will be open to the public and hosting various Christmas events, including the Nativity Trail in the gorgeous Franciscan Friary’s Secret Garden and the Natalis Notabilis Crib Exhibition. Venue: Rabat.
13 DECEMBER Guard of Honour – Republic Day – This event marks the last Changing of the Guard of the year and is a ceremony held outside the Grand Master’s Palace in Valletta. The Armed Forces of Malta will also be present to entertain viewers with a musical display to celebrate this important event in Maltese history: acquiring our Republic status. Venue: St George’s Square, Valletta.
13-15, 18, 21, 22, 25, 26, 28, 29 DECEMBER, 1, 5, JANUARY Bethleħem f’Għajnsielem – Head over to Gozo for the islands’ most beautifully animated live crib, set up every year in Għajnsielem. The Ta’ Passi fields come to life with the timeless Nativity story as you’ve never seen it before. Activities at this Gozitan town’s event include live re-enactments of various
For the full online Malta Calendar of Events please go to: www.visitmalta.com/events-calendar
parts of the Biblical story and, if you’re lucky, a tasting of delicious mulled wine. Venue: Għajnsielem, Gozo.
18-22 DECEMBER 2019 Euromed International Championship – Now in its 20th year, the Euromed International Regatta is Malta’s annual optimist dinghy regatta which attracts scores of international young sailors for a competitive winter sailing adventure in the Med. The sight of scores of sailing boats floating out of Mellieħa Bay on a warm winter’s day makes it a true spectacle. Venue: Mellieħa Bay. www.euromed.maltayoungsailors.com
20-30 DECEMBER Comedy Knights Juniors: Holly & the Dreamcatcher – Get ready to laugh out loud with Comedy Knights’ Junior edition for all the family to enjoy. The interactive and hilarious Christmas adventure will have kids and parents highly entertained. Venue: Teatru Salesjan, Sliema. www.comedyknights.com
21-22 DECEMBER Eco Christmas by Eco Market Malta – Looking to give something different this year for Christmas? You’ll find it at Eco Christmas market! Expect to find a range of innovative and sustainable Christmas gifts for family, friends and secret Santa recipients. Venue: Magazino Hall, Valletta Waterfront. www.ecomarketmalta.com
22 DECEMBER Urban Jungle Mdina 2 Spinola XMAS Road Race – Ready to race and burn some Christmas calories? The Urban Jungle Mdina 2 Spinola XMAS Road Race
is the oldest marathon in Malta that has kept to the same route since around 1979. Participants are chip timed and everyone who completes the race is given a commemorative medal to add to their collection. Venue: Mdina.
22 DECEMBER-5 JANUARY The Little Mermaid – The Panto Under the Sea – From the producers who brought this year’s successful We Will Rock You, FM Theatre Productions is back with the annual panto at the historic Teatru Manoel in Valletta. Join the Little Mermaid characters on an adventure like never seen before at this must-watch Christmas panto. Venue: Teatru Manoel, Valletta. www.teatrumanoel.com.mt
23 DECEMBER-4 JANUARY Aladdin – The Original Panto – This year, theatre company MADC will transport its audience on a magic carpet ride to the Orient to re-live the well-known Disney classic but with local twists, turns and comical characters. Written by legendary Maltese actor, Alan Montanaro, who returns to play the much-loved Dame, this panto is definitely one to watch! Venue: MFCC, Ta’ Qali. www.madc.com.mt
26-30 DECEMBER, 2-5, 7-12 JANUARY Comedy Knights 007: Licence to Laugh – Back for another year, Comedy Knights is a guaranteed night of laughter. The cast returns with a show full of sketches, songs and local satire that will leave you in stitches. Oldie but goldie characters will be hitting the stage alongside new ones performed by the team of talented Maltese comedians. Venue: Teatru Salesjan, Sliema. www.comedyknights.com
31 DECEMBER Valletta NYE Celebrations – For the past 10 years on New Year’s Eve, Valletta has been transformed into a massive stage for a large-scale street party, and this year is no different. Crowds gather all over the city to ring in the new year with live performances, entertainment, and a loud and cheerful countdown to 2020. Venue: Valletta.
31 DECEMBER New Year’s Eve at Valletta Waterfront – Ring in the new year with celebrations at the Valletta Waterfront. Live bands and children’s animation will keep guests of all ages entertained, and at the stroke of midnight, a fireworks display will light up the night sky over the Grand Harbour and historic fortifications to celebrate the arrival of 2020. Venue: Valletta Waterfront. www.vallettacruiseport.com
10-25 JANUARY Valletta Baroque Festival 2020 – The 8th edition of this highly-anticipated festival is back in January with a line-up of performances by acclaimed Maltese and international artists that will impress baroque music enthusiasts. From Monteverdi to Bach and beyond, it will be music to your ears. Venue: Teatru Manoel, Valletta. www.vallettabaroquefestival.mt
Christmas street decorations - Photo: Alan Carville
fabulous things to do in Malta over the festive season
As the Christmas lights are switched on and seasonal songs dominate our playlists, the Maltese islands transform, decked out in their festive best. Everything looks a little more magical at this time of year, and with as much going on as ever, there’s plenty to see and do. Sarah Micallef lists what you shouldn’t miss in Malta and Gozo this festive season.
Visit the capital If we had to pick one place on the islands that experiences the full brunt of festive season magic, it would have to be the capital city. As Christmas songs play from speakers mounted along the main streets and specially designed lights twinkle overhead, elaborate decorations
make a visit to Valletta a true sensory experience. Mingle with the shoppers on the hunt for gifts along Republic Street before heading for a warming drink or celebratory tipple at one of the trendy bars. The churches of the capital city are also a sight to behold, with façades, walls and altars decked out in their
festive best, making a visit particularly worth your while. The magnificent St John’s Co-Cathedral, meanwhile, needs no additional decoration. Leaving its opulent baroque gilded walls bare, the stunning riches it offers only serve to gleam brighter this season, with the treasured works of art within retaining a starring role. ➜ 17
St Johns Co-Cathedral - Photo: Chen Weizhong - viewingmalta.com
Attend midnight mass Speaking of churches, it’s worth checking their calendars of events for festive season happenings like processions and carol singing, which make for a fun Christmas outing the whole family will enjoy. If you’re on the islands on Christmas eve, most churches organise midnight mass, which is a tradition observed each year by many locals. This lively celebration of the birth of Jesus isn’t your regular mass – it usually involves plenty of singing and clapping, with a genuine sense of community and camaraderie shining through. But perhaps the most renowned tradition of all associated with 18
the midnight mass is the priedka tat-tifel (sermon of the child), which sees a little boy or girl from
the parish delivering the sermon, which they would have spent weeks learning by heart. ➜
Christmas crib - Photo: Aaron Briffa - viewingmalta.com
COVER STORY coffee, tea and prosecco from 1am, in anticipation of another food-filled day just hours later.
Enjoy a Christmas breakfast Because no real Maltese tradition can be called so without some element of food attached to it, midnight mass is often swiftly followed by a (very) early Christmas breakfast at one of the island’s eateries. Originating many years ago, the Christmas breakfast would traditionally consist of a humble snack, but over the years it’s gotten somewhat more luxurious. Forming a much-loved part of local Christmas celebrations in its own right, you don’t actually have to attended mass to partake in it (but don’t tell the churchgoers!). Several hotels, restaurants and resorts organise a breakfast buffet which starts early on Christmas morning, where one
can enjoy a sumptuous breakfast after a night of celebrations. The favourite option usually consists of a full-English breakfast and array of pastries, served with
Experience a live crib As you travel around the islands, you’re bound to notice multiple signs advertising nearby presepji (cribs). These are enormously popular throughout the festive season in Malta, with many towns and villages boasting their own large, life-sized cribs and figures depicting the nativity story. You can find them everywhere, from private homes to small chapels – just look out for the signs. The king of all cribs is found in Gozo and features real life actors playing the roles of the characters in the nativity. Every year, Betlehem f ’Għajnsielem features nearly 150 actors re-enacting and bringing to life the 2,000-year-old village where Jesus was born. Live performances are held on various dates throughout December and January – for the full list of dates and times, visit www.facebook. com/bethlehem.ghajnsielem ➜
Betlehem f’Għajnsielem - Photo: Clive Vella - viewingmalta.com
COVER STORY Stop over at the sister isle The incredible live crib isn’t the only draw Gozo has to offer during the festive season, and any trip to the islands isn’t complete without a jaunt to the sister isle. Enjoy the Christmas spirit on the laid-back island, where the capital, Rabat (also known as Victoria) and the island’s main town squares are ablaze with Christmas lights, and traditional processions take place in every village. A top spot to visit while you’re there is the ancient and recently restored medieval Cittadella, where you can also purchase delicate handmade Gozitan lace or filigree jewellery – great stocking stuffers for loved ones back home. Go gift-shopping at a Christmas market Nothing beats strolling around a Christmas market, mulled wine in hand, shopping for festive treats for you or your loved ones.
Teatru Manoel - Photo: viewingmalta.com
There’s quite a few to choose from over the month of December, including Souvenirs that Don’t Suck’s Pop-Up Christmas Market at their shop in Sliema (7th-8th and 14th-15th December); Malta Artisan Markets’ Grand Christmas
Aladdin panto - Photo: Sebio Aquilina
Market at Palazzo Parisio (7th-8th December) and an interesting Eco Christmas Market at Magazino Hall, Valletta Waterfront (21st22nd December). The biggest one of all is Natalis Notabilis (11th-15th December), a fullblown Christmas village which takes over the streets of Rabat in Malta for a week, featuring stalls selling festive goods and various Christmas events, including a Nativity Trail in the gorgeous Franciscan Friary’s Secret Garden.
Join the panto tradition You haven’t experienced a proper Christmas in Malta if you don’t attend a panto. A well-loved tradition dating back to Malta’s past as a British colony, the Christmas pantomime is an annual appointment for many local families. This year, you can choose to take a magical trip to the Orient with Aladdin at the MFCC complex in Ta’ Qali, or ➜
COVER STORY head over to the stunning Teatru Manoel in Valletta for some underwater action with The Little Mermaid. The productions are performed in English and run from late December to early January. True to tradition, you can expect raunchy or political jokes aimed at the adults in the audience, which thankfully go right over the heads of the children, who will be too enchanted by the magical happenings on stage to notice.
Sample the seasonal fare Nothing beats dinner and a show after all, and if you love your food as much as the Maltese, why not make a night of it and visit one of the many incredible dining options the capital has to offer post-panto? Other main hubs for dining on the island include
Qagħaq tal-għasel - Photo: Mario Galea - viewingmalta.com
St Julian’s, Mellieħa and Rabat in the north – each boasting its own unique character and charm, apart from some excellent dining options. Over Christmas, you’d also do well to look out for traditional Christmas sweets on
dessert menus or in confectioneries. Among these you’ll find imbuljuta tal-qastan (a hot drink made with cinnamon, chocolate, cocoa, chestnuts and orange rinds), and qagħaq tal-għasel – sweet pastry rings filled with treacle.
St John's Co-Cathedral Outer Facade
A temple that transcends time St John’s Co-Cathedral, Valletta St John’s Co-Cathedral was built in the 16th century by the Order of the Knights Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta, to serve as their Conventual Church. The Grand Masters and the Knights donated gifts of high artistic value and made enormous contributions to enrich the church with only the best works of art by leading artists of the time. The large number of artefacts by artists, including the renowned Caravaggio and Mattia Preti, that embellish the church are representative of an artistic and religious heritage of hundreds of years of glorious history, that is both Maltese and European. For this reason, it is a unique monument of international importance and a gem of baroque art. St John’s Co-Cathedral is still an active sanctuary and holy place of veneration. It hosts some of the most important church celebrations
and state events. The religious and cultural objects in the church represent some of the finest artistic expressions that Europe has ever seen. St John’s has become the pride of the Maltese nation and the main attraction for visitors to the island, including very important church and state personalities on official visits to Malta. The knights were noblemen that came from some of the more
St Jerome Writing by Caravaggio
distinguished families of Europe. After the unprecedented attack on Malta, known as the Great Siege, in 1565, the knights vowed to turn Malta into a fortress that befitted a military order with a capital city worthy of an illustrious order of noblemen. Pride of place in the centre of the new city was reserved for their Conventual Church. The building was completed in 1577 and dedicated to St John the
HERITAGE Baptist, the patron saint of the Order. The Order was organised into eight langues representing the different regions of Europe, and each of the eight langues was eventually provided with a chapel within the church for its particular devotion, together with an auberge which each langue inhabited within the city of Valletta. The simple mannerist architecture of St John’s Co-Cathedral is one of military austerity reflecting the sober mood of the Order after the Great Siege. It is an outstanding contrast to its gradual transformation into a glorious baroque interior of rich marbles, monuments, exuberant tapestries, paintings and lavish decorative ensembles that overwhelm the visitor with an impressive but harmonious vision. The interior, which consists of a wide nave with a barrel vault and two aisles divided into side chapels, was originally equally simple like the exterior. The dawn of the 17th century had ushered in the new baroque art era and its demonstrative character provided ample decorative
material. Grand Master Nicolas Cotoner, who wanted the church to reflect the munificence of his reign, ordered the walls to be carved and gilded with 22 carat gold leaf. The Italian artist Mattia Preti, who was commissioned with the embellishment work, transformed the interior into a celebration of baroque art. Starting with the vault, he depicted episodes from the life of St John the Baptist. With his perfect draughtsmanship and skilful use of colour, Preti produced a masterpiece of dramatic scenes and illusionistic architectural effects. On designs mostly prepared also by Preti, the plain walls of the nave and the chapels were carved with elaborate motifs characteristic of baroque ornamentation, transforming the walls into a harmonised though very varied riot of gilded foliage, flowers, angels and other symbols. The festive mood of the interior is the feature that makes St John’s such a unique monument. St John’s Co-Cathedral houses one of the most exceptional marble
inlaid floors in the world. This outstanding floor decoration consists of a splendid collection of tombstones that commemorate high ranking knights. The imaginative designs and the extensive use of symbols and heraldic devices make this floor a unique treasure. Several Latin inscriptions reveal the individual stories of important knights, their acts of chivalry and religious ardour for which they wished to be remembered. From the past that capture our imagination, The Acropolis, Pompeii and Hagia Sophia are among the few that immediately spring to mind – and St John’s Co-Cathedral is up there with them. The Conventual Church provides one of the most complex snapshots of a unique phenomenon. The Order of St John projected this church as a special place that captures all the values that the knights represented. Embedded deeply in the artistic splendour of St John’s is a remarkable history of latter-day crusaders who were aware that the age to which they belonged would come to an end. The splendour at St John’s Co-Cathedral is a celebration of its remarkable artistic importance and its special place in history. It is one of those unique places where the arts, religion, science and thought collide with such spectacular effect, and in a way that transcends generations. By Cynthia de Giorgio, Curator www.stjohnscocathedral.com Opening Hours: Monday to Friday 9.30am to 4.30pm (ticket office closes at 4pm); Saturday 9.30am to 12.30pm (ticket office closes at noon) Closed on Sundays and public holidays.
The Main Nave from the balcony
The Baptism of Christ – A detail from the Main Vault by Mattia Preti
intimacy of glorious restoration
Photos: Alan Carville
Behind the, sometimes, austere exteriors of Malta’s closeted palazzos, golden churches and veteran museums, treasures abound in the form of priceless works of art from some of Europe’s most renowned painters, sculptors and even weavers. Rebecca Anastasi speaks to three of the island’s foremost art restorers about the role they play in upholding the island’s considerable heritage.
Atelier Del Restauro
With Maltese churches, museums and private collections chock-full with works of art stemming from the baroque period, and even earlier, it is no wonder that art restoration is experiencing a renaissance as collectors and owners become more conscientious. Among the most stunning works are the ceilings inside St John’s Co-Cathedral, with their frescoes by Mattia Preti; revered
baroque statues by local and foreign artists who sought inspiration in the stories of the bible; as well as the ornate tapestries of the Grand Master’s Palace which have astounded visitors from far and wide. Yet, to ensure that these relics of Malta’s art history continue to live through the ages – and to instil awe – is no mean feat, requiring thousands of hours of painstaking work by expert conservators. ➜ 29
Prestigious commissions, secrets revealed
Pierre Bugeja, an art conservator and the founder of Prevarti, knows the slow-burn dedication needed to restore a precious piece and has dedicated his life and career to this endeavour. “I always wanted to work with art,” he says. “And, I was very determined. I had an uncle who was a well-known restorer, but I had actually started working in industrial electronics.” Yet, a fortuitous discovery by his then-girlfriend (whom he would later marry) upended his entire life plans: Bighi Centre for Restoration had issued a call for applications for students interested in studying for a Bachelor’s in Conservation. He started the course in 2001, graduating in 2005, and specialising in paintings and polychrome sculpture. Then, in February 2006, he opened Prevarti, and moved operations to a garage in Mosta. Today, after just 13 years, the firm employs 15 restorers. Over the past few years, Pierre’s outfits have been responsible for the restoration of over 5,000 paintings, as well as statues and even manuscripts. “We currently have five restorers working on the notarial archives, consisting of 608 documents, and this will take us two years. Some books even take up to 4,000 hours
HERITAGE of precise work, needing a lot of attention to detail. A good art restorer needs to be calm and prioritise the artwork. That has to come first, since every decision you take has a consequence,” he explains. That sense of obligation has stood Pierre and his team in good stead over the years, as they have been entrusted with much-loved pieces. “We restored some of Mattia Preti’s work in the Oratory of St John’s Co-Cathedral, so that was quite prestigious for us, and we are also, currently, involved with the restoration of the piano nobile at the Grand Master’s Palace, restoring the oil on canvas paintings, and the lunettes, as well as the wall paintings which remained on site. But, for us, it doesn’t make a difference if the painter is Mattia Preti, or whoever it is. Our approach is the same.” But which was the most memorable commission? “We were called in to restore the wooden statue of St Isidore the Labourer, which dates back to 1680, at the Church of St Francis in Rabat, Gozo. It was all painted in black – to hide it from the French during the Occupation – but the face of the statue had not been painted over.
Pierre Bugeja’s favourite artwork in Malta: The works within St John's Co-Cathedral. “It's like another world inside, no matter in which direction you look, you are surrounded by beauty everywhere. The paintings and sculptural work that adorn the interior walls of the Co-Cathedral are by some of the best artists of the baroque era found in Malta. The Co-Cathedral is truly a gem and what can be referred to as a complete work of art.”
We removed all this black paint and the gilding started to shine through. But, when we conducted our scientific tests, including a CT scan, we realised the statue had an empty chamber inside, which is very unusual. So, we made a small hole and looked inside with a 3mm camera and we saw a document stuck on the back of the saint!” The message from the past, a letter dated 10th May 1665, came
from Carlo Carnazza, a sculptor from Catania, who had asked for a mass to be offered for him by whoever found the note. “So, on my way back to Gozo, after the discovery, I texted the parish priest and asked him to say a mass for ‘my friend Carlo Carnazza’ and it was only after the mass was over that I told him who he was. This was just one of many surprises we sometimes find,” Pierre laughs. ➜
The tactile beauty of conservation Atelier Del Restauro, set up by Valentina Lupo, Maria Grazia Zenzani and Simon Dimech in 2012, has firmly established its reputation for meticulous restoration, conducted with an exacting eye and an attention to the emotive pull of the artworks. “People get very emotionally attached to some artworks, so there’s sometimes a lot of expectation,” Valentina explains. This has frequently presented a challenge, she says, since “aesthetics change” and “people may be used to a particular work of art, and experience a sense of shock if it changes, even if for the better.” To
mitigate any issues – especially when it comes to church commissions, in which parishioners may be intensely attached to a specific piece – Valentina, her colleagues and team have conducted work in cantiere aperto, meaning in an open site so others can take a look at the progress. “This is what we had done when we restored the statue of Christ the Redeemer – irRedentur – in Senglea. ➜
ATELIER DEL RESTAURO
Valentina Lupo’s favourite artwork in Malta: Valletta, in its entirety. “Valletta, as a whole, is spectacular, with its vast range of cultural sites, beautiful architecture and the number of churches adding up to more than 25!”
HERITAGE It is one of the most important pieces of artwork in Malta and there was quite a lot to do, so we conducted a number of scientific tests,” she states. The restoration took approximately one year, with nine months for the full restoration, and it was done in the church. “People used to come and stay behind the door praying. They wanted to see what was going on inside, so we opened it up to them and, later, we even organised an open day. It was very emotional and impressive,” she recalls. However, this fastidiousness in approach is extended to all the pieces the atelier takes on, Valentina stresses, and not only the more high-profile projects. “Everything is done through research. We take samples and we ensure there is meaning behind every action. We don’t take shortcuts and that’s why we have a good reputation with our clients, including the church, since they know the work we do, and they trust us,” she explains. ➜
Ethical restoration takes priority The success of a restoration project depends on the unified collaboration of several members of a team, pulling the same rope to reveal the past underneath the trauma inscribed on the canvas. “We are the doctors of the arts,” says Paul Bugeja, one of the directors of art conservation cooperative, Recoop. “It’s a delicate job. So, we need to understand exactly what our patient has: its problems, the source of its deterioration and so on. Unfortunately, though, our patients speak to us in another language, so we have to interpret what these works of art are trying to say to us,” he smiles. ➜
Paul Bugeja’s favourite artwork in Malta: St John’s Co-Cathedral in its entirety. “The exterior of St John’s Co-Cathedral is plain and subdued, a reflection of the period in which it was built. However, once you step inside it takes you by surprise, and you find yourself in one of the most magnificent cathedrals in Europe. Its interiors were designed by one person, Mattia Preti, and hence everything is in harmony.”
HERITAGE Paul, together with Roderick Abela and Connie Formosa – the other two directors of the cooperative, which was founded in 2003 by a group of new graduates – aims to provide services across all disciplines of restoration and architectural conservation. “We engage people who specialise in different sectors, so we can go from restoring a building, to the smallest ceramic work or painting. In these cases, the approaches would be different, since the particular needs of the job would be different.” Indeed, the entity’s architectural arm has been involved in the recovery of a slate of large-scale, visible projects, such as the recreation of Couvre Porte in Birgu; the stabilisation of Mdina – a town “which has a clay substrate and, as a consequence, is always slipping” – and it has also
participated in the restoration of the Cittadella in Gozo. On the fine arts front, Recoop boasts a history of high-profile and sensitive commissions. “At St John’s Co-Cathedral, for example, we worked on the 1572 painting, The Flagellation of Christ by Stefano Pieri, as well as a few of the chapels in the Co-Cathedral itself. We are also proud of our work restoring the ceiling at the Mdina Cathedral, as well as some of Mattia Preti’s work housed there,” he states. Yet, the entity has also tended to pieces with a longer history. “In Malta, though we tend to focus a lot of attention on the baroque, we also have plenty of artworks from earlier traditions. Art didn’t start when the Knights of St John came to Malta 38
and we’ve also worked on some renaissance artworks, for instance, as well as paintings in Ta’ Ġieżu in Rabat, dating back from 1515.” Whatever the commission, Paul makes it clear that the priority is to maintain a thorough, exacting, approach. “We have refused work if we cannot work to the standard we expect. For us, ethical restoration is essential and it’s important to do each job properly, and in a certain way,” he affirms. And, as more art owners become invested in the past and future of their pieces, the stories behind some of the island’s paintings, sculptures, documents and textiles can be restored through the conscientious work of Malta’s conservators.
The Inquisitor’s Porcelain in 18th Century Malta
The Inquisitor is often seen as a religious legal figure, blindly enforcing Canon law and suppressing heresy. However, inquisitors were also learned and cultured dignitaries, living a public life. This exhibition is an unprecedented attempt at presenting archaeological materials recovered during the 1998 excavation of a cess-pit and from later recoveries in the prison area. The exhibition highlights a group of early porcelain artefacts from a privileged group, which allows us to explore the culturally refined habitus characteristic of the Inquisitor’s establishment in 18th century Malta. The Inquisitor’s Palace is open from 9am to 5pm (last admission 4.30pm). Admission to this exhibition is included in the museum’s regular ticket price. The exhibition will remain open until 30th December 2019.
For more information, visit www.heritagemalta.org
Discover Malta Located in Malta’s capital city, Valletta, 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. 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, and after each show, one can also enjoy a tour of the Sacra Infermeria. 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 hospital ward in Europe, measuring 155 metres in length and holding 247 beds.
The Malta Experience, St Elmo Bastions, Mediterranean Street, Valletta. www.themaltaexperience.com
INVESTING IN MALTA GUIDE
WELCOME TO MALTA – YOUR NEW HOME
FINDING A JOB Unemployment in Malta is extraordinarily low, and most large companies have vacancies begging to be filled. iGaming, hospitality and financial services are among the industries with the largest number of job opportunities across different skill levels. You’ll need a job contract before you get a residence card and set up a bank account. If you’re a non-EU citizen, you’ll need to apply for a residence/work permit at the Citizenship Office within Identity Malta.
For centuries, Malta has welcomed people from all four corners of the globe and all walks of life, who have made this tiny country in the Mediterranean their new home. In the 21st century, it is a trans-continental hub for trade, a popular tourism destination and an overperformer when it comes to hi-tech industries such as iGaming and FinTech. Over the past two decades, an influx of expats has made the social and economic landscape truly exciting, diverse and cosmopolitan – could you be the next to join? Whether you’re searching for a fresh start in life or simply looking to grow your business, Malta could be the stepping-stone you’ve been waiting for. But before you pack up your bags and head to the airport, here are some things you need to know.
SOCIAL SECURITY AND ID NUMBER Applying for a Maltese social security number is an essential part of becoming a working resident in Malta and brings you one step closer to applying for a residence card. The resident ID card is extremely important and simplifies a lot of your day-to-day life in Malta. To apply for a residence card, you’ll first need to have your employment status confirmed by Jobsplus.
Over the past two decades, an influx of expats has made the social and economic landscape truly exciting.
INVESTING IN MALTA GUIDE
Next you will need to visit Evans Building in Valletta where you can apply for your residence card. To apply for it, you will need Form A and Form ID1A, as well as an original and copy of your passport, your work contract, your Jobsplus employment certificate, and your Maltese tenancy agreement.
Malta can be a very attractive place for a foreigner to set up a business.
SETTING UP A BANK ACCOUNT Setting up a bank account becomes a lot easier once youâ€™ve received your residence card. Most banks will require your ID, a letter of reference from a bank or your employer, and a minimum deposit into your account to set it up.
1. Deciding between self-employment and setting up a limited liability company A limited liability company gives your business a more trusted face and protects you as a shareholder in case of defective products or lawsuits. On the other hand, there are more bureaucratic steps in creating such a company (as opposed to starting a business as a selfemployed person), such as having an annual audit, so make sure your business is viable before registering it as LTD. You need to be at least two shareholders to register a company.
Middle Eastern countries. Interested to start a business in Malta? Here are seven stages to keep in mind:
HEALTHCARE Healthcare in Malta is free to all citizens and registered working residents so once you have your Social Security Number and your residence card you can visit healthcare centres free of charge. If you prefer private healthcare services, health insurance in Malta is relatively inexpensive.
2. Preparing for registration If you are going to proceed with a limited liability company, then you need to draft the memorandum and articles of association. These documents are important for registration, but they also detail what the company, its shareholders and its directors can and cannot do. Itâ€™s very important to identify the right legal firm, accountancy and audit firms, as well as business consultants to guide you during this stage.
ALL ABOUT SETTING UP A BUSINESS IN MALTA
With a well-established regulatory environment based on EU law, a favourable tax regime, attractive government incentives, and a well-educated and highly-motivated workforce, Malta can be a very attractive place for a foreigner to set up a business. Additionally, Malta has developed several business relationships with not just European countries and fellow EU member states, but also with African and
3. Depositing the minimum share capital Every company needs some capital to start off, however small. As a new business owner, you need to open a bank account in the companyâ€™s name and inform the bank teller that you are depositing your share capital. The money will go into a holding account until the company is properly registered. The receipt issued will need to be presented in the next stage.
ABOUT MALTA Population 493,559 Area 316 sq km
4. Presenting documentation to the Malta Business Registry The filled-in company registration form, together with the memorandum and articles of association and the share capital deposit slip need to be presented to the Malta Business Registry. Registration is done within two to three days and the registration fee depends on the size of the company.
Currency Euro Real GDP Growth 6.6 per cent Unemployment rate 3.8 per cent
INVESTING IN MALTA GUIDE
7. Registering with Jobsplus Jobsplus is responsible for all employment registration in Malta. You need to fill in a form for each employee upon registration and again upon termination of each employee. The process is quick and free of charge. Government department Business First can help you with all of these steps, and can be easily reached through their website â€“ www.businessfirst.com.mt or over email.
5. Obtaining licences and a tax identification number Once the trade name is approved and the memorandum and articles of association are filed with the Registry, the company is almost ready to start operating. However, before that one must also check if any special licences are required. Furthermore, each business in Malta has to have a tax identification number. While this is free, once a year you will need to fill in a tax return form. This is another step where the assistance of a trusted accountant, audit or legal firm is invaluable. 6. Getting a VAT number and PE number You also need to register with the VAT Department in order to obtain a VAT number. Furthermore, if you have a limited liability company and you intend on hiring personnel, you also need to register as an employer and obtain a PE number. Both of these steps are free of charge and can be done online.
Malta has developed several business relationships with not just European countries and fellow EU member states, but also with African and Middle Eastern countries.
INVESTING IN MALTA GUIDE
ESSENTIAL CORPORATE SERVICES
Legal services Maltese law allows for several forms of corporate entities, the most common of which is the limited liability company, which may have the status of a public or private company. Private companies may be either exempt or non-exempt from providing audit reports. Companies may have multiple activities including those of a ‘holding’ and ‘trading’ nature. Engaging a professional to assist in legal obligations based on company structure could be the most efficient way to ensure compliance with the law from the outset. There are several law firms in Malta specialised in corporate law with years of experience in the field that will guide you in the best interests of your business.
Company incorporation As outlined above, a company is set up through the drafting and registration of its memorandum and articles of association. All shareholder/s must subscribe to it and a certificate of registration is issued. Depending on the type of company being formed, various documents must be gathered, and forms filled out. A corporate services provider can help you get organised and speed up the process.
Advice on property Unless your business is based online, you will need to rent out or acquire commercial property. While many corporate services providers do not offer advice on property, Malta’s major real estate agents can impart invaluable advice on how to get the most bang for your buck.
After identifying the kind of business you would like to set up in Malta, you will most likely need to engage a corporate services provider for crucial and sound advice on company formation, as well as for solutions to the requirements of your business in line with local laws. A corporate services provider can help with the incorporation of Maltese companies, taxation, ship and yacht registration, re-domiciliation of companies to Malta, company directorship and management services in Malta, back-office support and administration, payroll services and the opening of bank accounts. Being primarily a services-based economy, Malta has a wealth of corporate services providers to choose from.
FINDING THE RIGHT PROPERTY
Once you’ve decided to move to Malta, you’ll set about finding the perfect property for you and your family, or the new headquarters for your business. But what will that involve? The cost of living in Malta remains lower than most European countries, but rent has become more expensive in recent years. You can expect to pay at least €800 for a flat in a central part of the island, and far more if it’s in one of the more in-demand locations such as Sliema or St Julian’s. Office or commercial spaces have seen less of a spike in prices, but as with homes, this is largely dependent on location. Most people start their search through a property agency, such as Dhalia Real Estate, which is one of Malta’s leading estate agencies. Here you can sort through different kinds of properties, locations and price ranges, and get in touch with the agency to arrange for a visit. However, it’s worth noting that many properties are listed with several estate agents, so you may end up viewing the same property several times if you’re not careful. Once you’ve viewed a few different properties, settled on one that you want to buy, and your offer has been
Taxation A corporate services provider should be able to administer tax advice that is informed by the nature of the company structure. Malta attracts many foreign companies to its shores to register their business here due to the island’s highly favourable tax rates.
INVESTING IN MALTA GUIDE
accepted, you will be asked to sign a promise of sale, known in Maltese as a konvenju. This is a legally binding agreement between you and the seller, and will involve a notary public. At this point you are obliged to pay 1 per cent of the 5 per cent provisional stamp duty. The total sum is payable upon completion of the sale. You will also need to pay a deposit which is usually around 10 per cent of the agreed sale price. You don’t need a permit to buy a house here unless it’s a secondary residence. But if you are not a citizen of an EU country then you will need an Acquisition of Immovable Property in Malta by Non-Residents Permit (AIP). You must also obtain a permit if you are considering renting your property as a holiday home and any earnings must be declared to the authorities for tax purposes.
in summer with the influx of tourists but are extremely quiet throughout the rest of the year. Southern areas such as Marsaxlokk, Marsascala and the Three Cities The southern part of the island is worth considering if you’d like to be close to the sea, live in a charming traditional village or town, and don’t want to pay through the nose. However, fewer expats tend to live here, so if you’re in search of a community of fellow emigres, this may not be for you. Having your own transport becomes essential in this case and learning at least a few words and phrases in Maltese will endear you to the local community.
WHERE SHOULD I LIVE?
Malta is a tiny island so it’s easy to believe that it doesn’t matter where you live, since everything is so easily within reach. But slow-moving traffic during peak hours, reliance on private cars, and differences between one area of the island and another make it necessary to think deeply about what you want from your new hometown. Here’s a guideline of what to expect from different parts of Malta. Sliema and St Julian’s The natural choice for most expats. These two towns have a large expat community, an exciting social life, and close proximity to many businesses and places of work. However, they’re the most expensive addresses in Malta, and if you’re looking for a quiet place to settle down, they’re probably not it.
Gozo Quiet, peaceful and with plenty of green spaces which Malta is sorely missing, the island of Gozo is accessible via a ferry that leaves Ċirkewwa every 45 minutes. Since the commute may be off-putting, it’s perfect for retirees as well as people who are planning to work from home. A permanent link, via a tunnel for passenger cars is, however, in the pipeline, so if you are planning on a long-term stay and wish for a quieter and more rural setting, Gozo could be the right choice.
Central towns such as Birkirkara, Attard and Mosta These areas are located in the middle of the island and have good transport links to most other towns and villages. While being mostly residential, the central towns of Malta are well served by amenities and are perfect for raising a family.
Sliema and St Julian’s have a large expat community, an exciting social life, and close proximity to many businesses and places of work.
Buġibba and Mellieħa Plenty of expats – particularly from the UK – live in these towns. Since both of them can be considered resort towns, it’s worth noting that they get particularly hectic
INVESTING IN MALTA GUIDE
THE RIGHT RECRUITMENT STRATEGY
the process of recruitment, you might want to consider outsourcing to a recruitment agency, of which Malta also has several to choose from with a proven track record for making great matches.
Now that you’ve set up your business in Malta and found the right property, the next stage is hiring people. With unemployment being so low, and a comparatively small talent pool to select from, finding the right people can be a challenge. Here are a few things to keep in mind during the quest for your star candidates.
4. Conducting interviews At the interview stage, the most important points to cover include CV or application highlights, and of course, key requisites for the role.
1. Knowing what you need You need to fully understand the role you are hiring for, allowing you to quickly determine who has the experience required to successfully fulfil the role.
5. Checking references, drawing up a contract and offering the job Once you have shortlisted your top candidates it’s time to check their references. It’s essential to check your candidate’s background – hiring the wrong person can be extremely damaging to the company, as well as a huge waste of money.
2. Preparing the job description and person specification They will be one of the first things potential candidates read when they find your job vacancy. Include the key responsibilities that the role will involve and try to give candidates a feel of who they’d be working with and what is expected of them.
6. Welcome the newest member of the team It’s never fun being the new person, but as long as your company is friendly, welcoming and patient, you’ll make a good impression early on, and quickly gain your new employee’s loyalty.
3. Seeking specialist support If you are already struggling to fit everything in during
INVESTING IN MALTA GUIDE
THE High-Net Worth Individuals SCHEME EXPLAINED It is important to note that no person other than the beneficiary and his/her family members reside in the Qualifying Property Holding, and such property may not be leased or sub-leased. Where the applicant has already acquired a Qualifying Property Holding by the application date, an authenticated copy of the contract providing evidence of such ownership or lease needs to be attached to the application. b) The applicant is in receipt of stable and regular resources that are sufficient to maintain himself and his dependents without recourse to the social assistance system in Malta. The Authorised Registered Mandatory needs to make a declaration on the applicant’s behalf in Part 6 of the Application form in relation to this requirement. c) The applicant is in possession of a valid travel document. The applicant needs to provide a copy of his/her main passport page or national official identity card with the application.
The Maltese Government has for some time recognised the fact that high-net worth individuals have found Malta to be a suitable destination for residency and for their business affairs. Therefore, it was only natural that a scheme be devised in order to attract these individuals to Malta and take advantage of the fiscal conditions that exist. Under this scheme, any EU national or any person who is a citizen of Switzerland, Iceland, Norway or Liechtenstein may apply for a special tax rate, described below, if he/she adheres to the following conditions: a) The applicant holds a Qualifying Property Holding. An applicant holds a Qualifying Property Holding if: i. he/she owns an immovable property in Malta purchased after 14th September 2011 for a consideration of not less than €400,000; or ii. the said applicant, having already filed an application under the Residents Scheme Regulations, which application has been duly received and acknowledged by the Commissioner of Inland Revenue, either: owns an immovable property in Malta which was purchased before 14th September 2011 for a consideration of not less than €116,000, or has entered into a contractual commitment before 14th September 2011 to purchase an immovable property for a consideration of not less than €116,000 and actually purchases the property to which the contractual commitment refers by not later than 31st March 2012; or iii. rents an immovable property in Malta for not less than €20,000 annually as a lessee. In all cases, the applicant and his family members have their habitual residence in such property as their principal place of residence.
The Maltese Government has recognised the fact that high-net worth individuals have found Malta to be a suitable destination for residency and for their business affairs.
INVESTING IN MALTA GUIDE
d) The applicant is in possession of sickness insurance which covers himself and his dependents in respect of all risks across the whole of the EU normally covered for Maltese nationals. The health insurance cover must be procured by a company licensed in Malta or by an international reputable health insurance company. The applicant needs to provide a copy of such insurance policy. e) The applicant is not domiciled in Malta and does not intend to establish his domicile in Malta within five years from the date of the application for special tax status. The applicant needs to provide a declaration wherein it is declared that he/she is not domiciled in Malta and has no intention to establish his domicile in Malta so as to prove this condition in Part 6 of the Application form. f ) The applicant is not a long-term resident. The individual therefore needs to provide a declaration stating that he/she is not a long-term resident of Malta. g) The applicant is a fit and proper person. Where the applicant is aware of any circumstance that affects this condition, the applicant needs to identify such circumstances in Part 6 of the Application form.
Once the special tax status has been acquired the relevant person would be taxed at the rate of 15 per cent on any income that is received in Malta from foreign sources. A claim for double taxation would also be available under Articles 74 (a) and (b) of the Income Tax Act provided that the minimum amount of tax payable is €20,000 for any year of assessment and if such person has any dependents €2,500 have to be paid for each dependent. Other chargeable income would be charged at the rate of 35 per cent. It is important to note that the 15 per cent tax would only apply to income arising outside Malta. An individual who benefits from special tax status must submit the Annual Tax Return. Any material changes that affect the person’s special tax status must also be indicated in the said Return.
Malcolm Mifsud, Partner at Mifsud & Mifsud
Mandatory. The applicant needs to authorise such mandatory to carry out these services by completing Part 5 of the Application form. The latter must then submit the application to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue. A non-refundable fee of €6,000 must be paid for every application submitted. The said fee needs to be paid by bank draft payable to the Commissioner of Inland Revenue and attached to the Application form. Mifsud & Mifsud Advocates is an Approved Agent. The firm offers highly competitive fees for its services and has extensive experience in this field. They may be contacted at 123, Melita Street, Valletta. T: 2123 7172; E: email@example.com; www.mifsudadvocates.com.mt
Procedure for Application
An application for special tax status under the HighNet Worth Individuals rules may only be submitted by a person that qualifies as an Authorised Registered
Maltese delicacies to try throughout the
Christmas is one of Malta’s most highly anticipated holidays. Whether for its spiritual significance, a deep nostalgia for childhood indulgences or the prospect of being spoilt, few can deny the magical aura brought on by hanging around loved ones surrounded with heaps of food and overflowing drinks. Caroline Curmi highlights some of the items you must try to fully immerse yourself in the Maltese Christmas spirit.
Imbuljuta tal-qastan We would share your sentiments for hot chocolate on any other wintery day, but the festive season demands this sweet chestnut soup replace all other warm beverages – even coffee and tea. A mixture of cocoa powder, orange peel, festive spices and of course chestnuts, the brew is traditionally consumed on Christmas morning straight after midnight mass. Also sampled on New Year’s Eve, its sweet, holiday-infused flavour and serving temperature work together to transform a humble drink into a warming yet non-alcoholic alternative to more common seasonal drinks. Calling it the chocolatey, Christmas version of our national soft drink, Kinnie, would not be wholly inaccurate.
Christmas log Despite being derived from the French bûche de Noël, or as it is locally referred to, a chocolatey rolypoly, the Maltese Christmas log differs from the original recipe. While the French version features sponge cake and sinful amounts of chocolate and cream, the Maltese version is comparatively puritan, but a treat nonetheless. Opinions are divided on the standard components of the local recipe and several variations exist to suit different family tastes. Generally comprising condensed milk, cocoa powder, nuts and the occasional addition of dried fruit, the latter ingredient is sometimes replaced, or enhanced, ➜ 57
CUISINE with ground tea biscuits to provide a more familiar treat to the younger family members. Rich and satisfying, the local variation of the Christmas log is aimed to be shared in good company and accompanied by a comforting, warm drink.
Qagħaq tal-għasel and imqaret Although they cannot be exclusively classified as seasonal treats, both delicacies feature heavily as part of the Maltese culinary repertoire at this time of year. Qagħaq talgħasel literally translates to honey rings, yet honey is not even a component of the recipe, though very few people are aware of this little piece of trivia. Its dark core is a treacle mixture infused with citrus, cinnamon, cocoa, sugar and anisette, and partially covered by a layer of sweet dough. Delicate yet substantial, honey rings come in various sizes and textures. On the other hand, imqaret are smaller in size but pack an equally tasty punch. The name of this sweet – maqrut in the singular form – is
Qagħaq tal-għasel - Photo: Alan Carville
Christmas log - Photo: A Maltese Mouthful
derived from its distinct diamond shape, although it is often shaped into rectangles. Filled with dates then deep-fried and occasionally coated in powdered sugar, this traditional dessert is an all-time Maltese favourite and like the honey rings, is available all year round.
Pudina tal-ħobż Pronouncing the name may be hard, but visualising this dessert is much easier for its components are not entirely dissimilar to some variations of the Maltese Christmas log. This bread pudding builds on the typical British recipe but with an eccentric Maltese twist.
It substitutes fresh bread with a stale leftover and includes chopped mixed peel, cinnamon, nutmeg, cocoa and copious amounts of sultanas which, when combined, result in a moist yet solid texture. For the unaccustomed palate, this dessert may prove to be an acquired taste, yet for many elderly Maltese, the pudina tal-ħobż is reminiscent of a time when lack of economic prosperity resulted in a heavy reliance on bread. The traditional preparation method for this pudding involved direct physical contact, with the bread mashed with bare hands and every household following a specific recipe handed down through generations. ➜
Imbuljuta - Photo: Eatmania.com
Pudina tal-ħobż - Photo: www.tasteatlas.com
A typical Maltese Christmas lunch We’ve talked about sweets and snacks at length, but what does a Maltese Christmas gathering involve? Like the items mentioned before, taste and quality are equally important yet their priority pales in comparison to the overall social experience. Consuming good food while surrounded by loved ones is a typically Mediterranean trait and Christmas is one of those times that Maltese people fully exploit. In terms of recipes, a Maltese Christmas lunch is not drastically different to a regular Sunday family lunch at the grandparents’, but what certainly sets it apart is the vastness and volume of food prepared on the day, done with added gusto and enthusiasm, making it one of
the grandest family lunches of the year. While more ambitious cooks would start off with a delicate soup, the Maltese starter classic remains the home-made chicken broth. Baked and roasted items feature extensively from this point onwards, with timpana – or rather baked pasta topped with a layer of pastry – considered a staple. While more Northern European festivities allow the turkey to take the centre of the culinary stage, Malta gives equal importance to carbs and poultry, and turkey is often placed alongside other roasted meats on the table, together with the best roasted potatoes. In fact, the main course is generally referred to as patata l-forn, which aptly translates to oven-baked potatoes. A generous amount of Imqaret - Photo: Richard Muscat Azzopardi
them is used to cover most roasts, be it chicken, turkey, pork or beef, usually combined with onions and garlic, as well as a fat of choice – butter, oil, lard or a mix of these – to achieve that desirable crunch factor. Although gravy tends to be optional, the thick brown liquid along with Yorkshire puddings are becoming increasingly popular. Choice of dessert varies from family to family. Some choose pudina tal-ħobż or a slice of homemade Christmas log, while others go for more mainstream options such as cheesecake. There are also those who replace dessert with early teatime – which involves copious amounts of tea, coffee and sugary treats, such as boxes of chocolates bought for the occasion or brought over by guests, as well as a selection of popular almond-based sweets, such as pastini tal-lewż (almond biscuits) and torta tal-lewż (almond cake). This is usually the time where the hubbub of the day tones down into a more mellow conversation, with younger family members (and the occasional elderly one) falling asleep at the table with overly satisfied stomachs and a partial food coma. 61
EATING & DRINKING
Dingli’s Little Charm
Ħad-Dingli is a pretty little village on the rural west coast of the island of Malta. It rests on the periphery of Diar Il-Bniet valley, creating a natural canvas of undulating hills and fertile terraced fields. It’s from these fields that Diar Il-Bniet, a charming and quaint restaurant which uses the valley’s namesake together with a farm-to-table concept, creates a unique dining experience.
The Diar Il-Bniet valley area has a rich cultural history that dates back to the 1350s, when the culture of fiefs gave rise to Maltese nobility and the acquisition of a fiefdom. A fief is an estate of land, especially one held on condition of feudal service or a fee. Over the centuries, the fiefs were passed on to local farmers who were asked to work the land not to allow it to fall to wreck and ruin, hence creating a village community that exists to this day. Rumour has it that way back in 62
EATING & DRINKING the 13th century, three sisters lived in the Diar Il-Bniet house situated on the periphery of the Mifsud Estates. The estate’s title translates to ‘House for the Girls’, referring to its former female inhabitants who reportedly vanished into thin air one night. The meaning behind this has been lost to the ravages of time; however, some villagers still claim you can see three mysterious girls crossing the road on moonlit nights. The Mifsud family is part of this historic fiefdom and has for the past century nurtured the land, from the family’s great grandfather to the present day. Nowadays, Mario Mifsud, a 3rd generation farmer together with his children – seven of them in all – tills the land, constantly sowing the glorious Mediterranean vegetables that grace the tables at Diar Il-Bniet. They all pull together to support the farm-to-table concept. The four growing seasons yield some wonderful vegetables like globe marrows, which we stuff with minced beef and bake, glossy aubergines which we roast, Jerusalem artichokes which we use as a ravioli
filling, sensational olives which we cure for our table and also turn into superb tapenades, outstanding jams made from our fruit trees – these can all be tasted or purchased from our wonderful organic farm shop. The recipes we use are completely traditional and go way back to grandmother Manan, who cooked traditional Maltese food for her family, the likes of frejjeġ tal-pastard (cauliflower omelettes), aljotta (a delicious Maltese bouillabaisse), summien bil-bejken (roasted smoked ham-wrapped quail), faqqieħ selvaġġ Malti bit-tewm (pan fried wild Maltese mushrooms in garlic), and the list goes on. The fresh produce arrives in our kitchen straight from our fields and countryside. Our team of chefs, Andrew, Chris and Monica, under the watchful eye of our head chef Robert, check the produce to make sure nothing but the best reaches your plate. Each recipe has been carefully created by our head chef who goes into great detail to marry herbs and flavours with our local produce. Delicious creations Farmer Mario
Nanna Manan, daughter and son Mario
based on our inherited recipes are proudly displayed on our menus and all that remains is to come to our restaurant and try them out. The wonderful Mediterranean climate gives us seasons that have nurtured our land in a way that makes it a joy to wander through the country lanes in Ħad-Dingli and see vegetables and trees growing robustly. The people are a friendly lot and will happily greet you albeit shyly as you pass by them. The village itself is steeped in history, influenced by the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans and the Arabs, who have all left their legacy in the village in some way or other, such as the remains of the Ta’ Baldu Roman baths. There are of course many other charming nooks and crannies to be discovered, and a jaunt through our village will reveal many hidden gems. A short trek to our estates will also reveal a beautiful 800-yearold olive grove, stupendous lemon groves and a beautiful vineyard boasting the Nero D’avola grape. The latter are offered as part of separate tours available from our website. www.diarilbniet.com 63
EATING & DRINKING
La Sorpresa La Sorpresa is a family-run restaurant and pizzeria where customers are welcomed like friends and family. Colin and Doreen pride themselves on making consistent, high-quality food and service a priority. La Sorpresa restaurant offers both a Mediterranean-based à la carte menu, as well as a variety of set menus designed to suit every guest’s preferences. Our à la carte menu includes pasta dishes, mouth-watering steaks and other carvery dishes, fresh local fish, homemade pizzas, traditional Maltese dishes and other special dishes which change frequently. Our little guests have their own kids menu and gluten-free options are also available. Open Monday to Saturday 6-11pm; Sunday 11.30am-3pm, 6-11pm. La Sorpresa, Tourists Street, Buġibba. Contact Nicholas Farrugia on T: 2157 7301; M: 7925 4324.
Luna – The Restaurant at Palazzo Parisio The Luna Restaurant combines a variety of culinary concepts set in one of Malta’s finest privately-owned stately homes. Every corner assures you luxury, grace, elegance and a taste of history by the mouthful, offering breakfast, snacks, lunch, traditional English afternoon tea or dinner. Choose between the sublime interiors and the beautifully shaded tables on the garden terrace basking beside fragrant orange blossom and flamboyant bougainvillea. Luna, in all its forms, offers relaxation and understated luxury in an incredible and refined ambience. Open Sunday lunch from the end of September and Sunday evenings. 29, Victory Square, Naxxar. Book your table on T: 2141 2461 Ext 2; E: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.palazzoparisio.com
Palazzo Preca Restaurant Palazzo Preca Restaurant is repeatedly awarded as one of the best restaurants in Malta and Gozo. It is situated in one of the best-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 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 Tuesday to Saturday 12.30-3pm; 6.30-10.30pm. Open Sunday lunch and closed Sunday evenings. Bookings are recommended and are to be confirmed by phone. Palazzo Preca, 54, Strait Street, Valletta. T: 2122 6777; M: 9986 6640; E: email@example.com; www.palazzoprecavalletta.com
Ta’ Marija Celebrating more than five decades of excellence, 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 merrymaking. Enjoy our all-inclusive carvery buffets on Saturday evenings and Sunday lunches for just €30 per person, or indulge in a Maltese extravaganza every Wednesday and Friday evening with a spectacular traditional folk dancing show and our mandolin and guitar duo! You may also choose to dine al fresco, enjoying views of the Mosta Dome, whilst savouring one of our signature cocktails and exquisite degustation menus. Ta’ Marija Restaurant, Constitution Street, Mosta. T: 2143 4444; E: firstname.lastname@example.org; www.tamarija.com.mt
EATING & DRINKING
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 every day for lunch and dinner, as well as breakfast on weekends (8-10.45am). The restaurant is situated on the Marsaxlokk seafront. Open Monday to Friday noon-11pm; Saturday 8am-11pm; Sunday 8am-10pm. Terrone, 1, WilÄĄa Street, Marsaxlokk. T: 2704 2656; E: email@example.com; www.terrone.com.mt
The Pub The Pub is one of the only British-style pubs in Valletta, and the renowned last stop for legendary actor Oliver Reed.Â A popular watering hole for locals and visitors alike, The Pub is open daily from 11am till midnight with some of the lowest prices and greatest beverage ranges available. With its welcoming atmosphere and cosy capacity, The Pub is a place where you can walk in as a stranger and leave as a friend. 136, Archbishop Street, Valletta. M: 7905 2522.
WHERE TO SPEND IT
SOMETHING COLOURFUL, SOMETHING NEW, SOMETHING LOCAL
JUST FOR YOU
We travel for different reasons. Making new memories in new places is certainly one of them; memories we try to hold on to for as long as we can. A swipe through the photo gallery on our phones usually does the trick in putting a wide smile on our faces as we recall precious moments and recount our adventures to friends.
But not everything can be captured in photos and, at times, our memory becomes somewhat hazy and needs a gentle jog. This is where a little souvenir can come in handy. The departures outlets at Malta International Airport offer an array of artisanal items and products, for visitors to take back home some of the best tastes, colours and scents of the island. 68
TASTES OF MALTA Familiarising oneself with a countryâ€™s cuisine is undoubtedly an important part of the whole travel and discovering-a-new-place experience. Did the hearty stew sampled at a traditional Maltese restaurant warm the cockles of your heart and have you wonder what secret ingredient took the dish to the next level? WHSmith at departures stocks a selection of
cookbooks featuring staple Maltese recipes, which are often hard to come by online, and a section of the duty-free outlet is lined with shelves packed with local delights. From miniature jars of indigenous herbs and bottles of homegrown olive oil, to pots of tomato paste and tubes of locally harvested salt, you can practically find all the ingredients needed to recreate your favourite snacks and dishes in your kitchen.
WHERE TO SPEND IT COLOURS AND PATTERNS OF MALTA Malta may be a small country of just around half a million inhabitants, but it is big on talented people. One of these individuals who is making waves with her collections of vibrant scarves and bags in sumptuous silks is Saz Mifsud. Her showstopping accessory collection for the season has just landed at the Saltwater outlet at departures, with each item having the almost-magical power of transforming ordinary outfits into head-turning ones. If fashion is not quite your cup of tea, you might want to check out Stephanie Borg’s delightful patterns and colours transferred on mugs, espresso cups, placemats, aprons, and a handful of other items. The self-taught artist is mostly known for her traditional tiles and doors of Malta collections, which are available at the Spirit of Malta corner within the airport’s duty-free outlet.
The departures outlets at Malta International Airport offer an array of artisanal items and products.
SCENTS OF MALTA Hailing from the smaller and more laid-back island of Gozo, aromatherapist Stephen Cordina dedicates his time to creating scents that evoke the atmosphere of different spots around the archipelago. Many Stephen Cordina candles and diffusers, which are also available from the Spirit of Malta outlet at departures, are named after the places that would have served as the inspiration for a particular scent. The Mdina candle, for instance, was born following the creator’s research of the plants, herbs and oils used in the olden days when the city was the island’s capital, and the Gozo range of products was, unsurprisingly, the result of the aromatherapist’s love for the flora of the island where he was born. www.maltairport.com 69
Stunning winter style with
Charles & Ron
Fabulous fashion and great gift ideas this winter season at Maltese designer brand Charles & Ron.
Mediterranean identity “Malta has always been of enormous inspiration to our work, and throughout the years, we have enjoyed designing with the Mediterranean in mind. For us, it’s important to incorporate certain aspects of culture, architecture and tradition, and show them in a different and unexpected way through our designs. We incorporated these references in our collections since the beginning and they define us as a brand – it’s important to embrace and appreciate your heritage.” Celebrities and feminine shapes “Over the years, we’ve had the pleasure of dressing many
international celebrities, including Paula Abdul, Lauryn Hill, En Vogue, Jessie J, Kelly Rowland, Nathalie Emmanuel (Game of Thrones), singer Ashanti, Ally Brooke (Fifth Harmony) and Michelle Williams (Destiny’s Child). These are very satisfying moments for a designer, however, we take pride in designing for all kinds of women. The Charles & Ron woman does love statement pieces with a feminine silhouette and is never afraid to stand out in a crowd.”
The importance of accessories “Key items in our range are our Malta-inspired luxury scarves and leather bags. Our
handbags are made from the finest Italian leather and are hand-crafted in Malta. By taking home one of our bags and/or scarves, you will truly take home the spirit and beauty of the Maltese islands.”
Menswear Charles & Ron has also introduced menswear to its range at the stand-alone shop at Minus3, The Point Shopping Mall, Sliema.
Charles & Ron, 58D, Republic Street, Valletta. T: 2124 0184. Minus3, The Point Shopping Mall, Sliema. T: 2015 1706. Corinthia Palace Hotel & Spa, Attard. www.charlesandron.com
party season with these
8 fabulous fashion trends 1. Black satin If it’s black and made of satin, you’re onto a home run for festive season dressing. Truth be told, anything in black is a perfect canvas for dressing an outfit up or down, so grab it and go!
Brian Atw ood
Black, gold, red and glam could only bring one thing to mind: festive fashion! Martina Said picks her favourite trends for the most wonderful time of the year.
2. Wild things It’s practically impossible to avoid animal print this season, and why would you? No matter your spirit animal, make a statement with a fabulous dress, stand-out coat or daring accessories in any animal print that catches your eye.
3. Anything that shines Metallic fabrics are the undisputed rulers of party season – sequins, beading, shimmery fringe and embellished silk and satin are a perfect choice for hitting the dancefloor. You’ll find no shortage of glittery accessories either – it’s Christmas time, so more is more! ➜
Roberto Cavalli 2
< Forward by Elyse Walker Diane von Furstenberg
6. Feathers This trend took autumn/winter 2019 runways by storm, and we’d say the timing was perfect. High street shops have taken a page out of couture designers’ books with collections that include feather details, feather trims and allout feather outfits. ➜ www.enuze.com
4. Puffy sleeves Nothing says drama like puffy sleeves reminiscent of the 1980s, when bigger was definitely better. Bring it back with a slinky dress that skims your frame and leaves ample volume around the shoulders for an on-trend party look. 74
5. More bling Chunky jewellery, glam hair slides and glitzy handbags and clutches will be hard to avoid if you’re hitting the shops over the coming weeks. Whether you’re the kind to like a little or a lot of shine and shimmer, you’re bound to find something up your street.
7. Go for gold What better way to stand out on a dancefloor or black-tie event than with a dress, jacket or trouser suit that appears as if itâ€™s been dipped in 24K gold? This is the colour of the season, so wear it loud and proud.
8. Tiny bags Admittedly not the most practical size of bag for a night out (does a smartphone even fit in any of these?), the micro mini bag is a stylish accessory. Though we love its cute size, it would help if youâ€™ve got plenty of pockets to store the essentials.
WHERE TO SPEND IT
The Point Shopping Mall Celebrating NINE years of growth and success
Since opening its doors in 2010, The Point Shopping Mall has become Malta’s favourite shopping destination, attracting 2.5 million local and overseas visitors every year. Exuding a stunning five-star ambience, it offers a wide variety of shops in the latest range of fashion, beauty, health, lifestyle, and food outlets for convenience and shopping pleasure. The Point hosts family retailers such as flagship store Debenhams, Marks & Spencer and Costa, alongside designer boutique stores like Armani Exchange, Lacoste, Guess, CK Jeans, Tommy Hilfiger, Massimo Dutti, Ted Baker, Polo Ralph Lauren and Tru Trussardi. More affordable, trendy and fast fashion brands like New Look, River Island and Bershka are also available, together with sportswear retailers such as Adidas and Nike. The Point’s extensive array of food outlets has also
been handpicked to appeal to a cross-section of tastes and budgets. Ample parking with 24-hour security completes a package that is the last word in comfort, service and convenience for The Point’s visitors.
The Point Shopping Mall, Tigné Point, Sliema. www.thepointmalta.com
Party season in full swing
This season isn’t just for food and family gatherings – there’s also a good dose of fun to be had, and the island’s night-time calendar doesn’t disappoint. Martina Said rounds up the evening events you need to know about over the coming months.
Arts & Culture
Malta International Organ Festival Until 6 December World-renowned local and international musicians gather in Malta’s stunning cathedrals, basilicas and churches to perform some of the greatest music written for the organ. This year’s 6th edition boasts an eclectic programme featuring the organ as a solo instrument, as an accompaniment for voice and other instruments, and as part of an ensemble. Venue: Various. www. maltainternationalorganfestival.com Vitori by Cirque Du Soleil Until 20 December The incredible artists of Cirque Du Soleil will leave you dumbfounded by their exclusive and original live performance of Vitori, produced Valletta Baroque Festival
to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Mediterranean Conference Centre (MCC) in Valletta. Inspired by the game of chess, the show is a first for Malta and everything you’d expect, and more, from the internationally famed cast. Venue: MCC, Valletta. www.cirquedusoleil.com/vitori
Jesters’ Wedding Ice show 13 December Nothing screams ‘winter’ like an ice show does, and this year, we’re in luck. The Ilya Averbukh Production Company, an internationally known Russian company that creates unique, grand ice shows featuring world-class skating stars, is performing Jesters’ Wedding Ice Show. The show is an adaptation of the Crystal Palace ballet to the music by contemporary
American-Maltese composer, Alexey Shor. Venue: Independence Arena Parade Ground, Floriana. www.showshappening.com
Valletta Baroque Festival 2020 10-25 January The Valletta Baroque Festival is a highly anticipated two-week long celebration of baroque music held every January, which centres around the island’s capital, Valletta, and its fascinating baroque past. For this 8th edition, 31 concerts will be held in 16 different venues, featuring stellar Maltese and international artists performing delightful music from Monteverdi to Bach and beyond. Venue: Various. www. vallettabaroquefestival.mt Chinese New Year Celebrations 22 January Presented by the Chinese Cultural Centre in Malta, the Chinese New Year Concert is one of several Chinese New Year events taking place in more than 100 countries in January 2020. The event presents an ideal opportunity for audiences to appreciate Chinese music and culture through typical traditional instruments and music by Chinese composers. Venue: MCC, Valletta. www.maltaorchestra.com ➜ 81
FatFunk Presents a house party with Ryan Elliott 12 December Away from the theatres and into the party scene, FatFunk will be hosting an exclusive party limited to 300 people, with a celebrated dance DJ at the forefront of it all: Ryan Elliott. The Club House at Gianpula will set the scene, bringing together festive cheer and a whole lot of funk in one buzzing party. Venue: Gianpula Village, l/o Rabat.
The Little Mermaid – The Panto Under the Sea 22-23, 26-30 December, 2-5 January Held within the stunning Teatru Manoel in Valletta, FM Theatre Productions’ The Little Mermaid – The Panto Under the Sea, tells the tale of Ariel, King Triton’s feisty mermaid daughter, her best friend, her nanny, and several other characters who get up to no good but a lot of fun! The stellar cast is led by veteran actor Edward Mercieca, who stars as the hilarious Crustacean Dame. Venue: Teatru Manoel, Valletta. www.teatrumanoel.com.mt
The Little Mermaid - Photo: Justin Mamo
Aladdin - Photo: Sebio Aquilina
Aladdin – The Original Panto 23, 26-30 December, 3-4 January Christmas time in Malta wouldn’t be the same without its pantomimes, held every year without fail to the delight of the young and old alike. MADC is hosting Aladdin, which takes the audience on a magical trip to the Orient and tells the story of a poor, young man’s journey to get his wild wishes fulfilled, and the many colourful characters and experiences he encounters along the way. Venue: Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre (MFCC), Ta’ Qali. www.madc.com.mt ➜
NIGHTLIFE Comedy Knights 007: Licence to Laugh 26-30 December, 2-12 January Malta’s very own lords and ladies of comedy are back with a brandnew show packed with witty, tongue-in-cheek comedy that will stick with you long after you’ve left your seat. Comedy Knights 007: Licence to Laugh revives old, much-loved characters and presents new ones through the cast of eight comedians who’ll have you in fits of laughter with their sketches, songs and local, original satire. Venue: Teatru Salesjan, Sliema. www.comedyknights.com The Whisky Festival 2020 25 January The festive season may be over by this point, but The Whisky Festival brings the party back with one night of whisky tasting in a distinct location. Hosted at the Limestone Heritage in Siġġiewi, the 4th edition of the festival offers patrons a wide selection of blended and single malt whiskies paired with the right food, as well as top-notch entertainment. Venue: Limestone Heritage, Siġġiewi.
Valletta Waterfront - Photo: Rene Rossignaud - viewingmalta.com
New Year’s Eve
Valletta NYE Celebrations 31 December In the past, Malta lacked a national New Year’s Eve party like those held in all major cities around the world, but that all changed 10 years ago, when the capital city hosted its first national celebration, gathering locals and visitors in one, massive street party. This year, the Valletta NYE Celebrations will once again play host to scores of visitors to ring in the new year with live performances, entertainment, and that everimportant countdown to 2020.
New Year’s Eve at Valletta Waterfront 31 December The Valletta Waterfront provides the ideal backdrop for families, couples and partygoers to ring in the new year in style. Entertainment for all ages will be provided on the night, including children’s animation and live bands, and a spectacular firework display over Valletta’s stunning port and forts will mark the start of a new year. Venue: Valletta Waterfront. www. vallettawaterfront.com From Grease to Black Eyed Peas NYE 2020 31 December This pumping dance party boasts a line-up of top DJs on one of the biggest nights of the year, including DJs Alex (Reflex) Grech and Pierre Cordina. Held at Gianpula’s Main Room, early bird tickets can be bought for €10, while VIP tickets, which include finger food and access to an exclusive area, cost €15. Venue: Gianpula Main Room, l/o Rabat. ➜
NIGHTLIFE with a unique ability to energise a crowd and take a party through the roof. So if you’re looking for a fun night filled with good music this New Year’s Eve, you may have just found it. Venue: InterContinental Arena, St Julian’s.
Grand Harbour Fireworks - Photo: viewingmalta.com
SUPERSTARS – New Year's Eve 2019 – The Golden Affair 31 December Hosted by party organisers SUPERSTARS, this New Year’s Eve party is kicking things up a notch with a premium branded open bar, black tie dress code, and a versatile line-up of DJs. Say goodbye to 2019
with a posed red-carpet photo that will seal the night to memory, making it one you won’t forget. Venue: Montekristo Estate, Luqa.
Versatile Brass New Year's Eve Gala 2020 31 December Versatile Brass band is one of the island’s foremost entertainers,
New Year's Eve Gala Dinner 31 December Held within the grand ballroom of the stunning Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar, there simply isn’t a more elegant way to usher in the new year. Indulge in the delectable menu prepared by the palazzo’s talented team of chefs and, once it’s time to party, let your hair down with a drink and great music to dance the night away in the cellars. Venue: Palazzo Parisio, Naxxar.
52 56 181
X3 ,182 181
71 73 74
6 88, 22
8 0 ,83
302 303 323 306
312 322 303 322 323 303 322
302 303 305 306 307 308 310 311 312 313 323 330
1 2 3 4 13 13A 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 58A 61 62 63 64 71 72 73 74 80 81 82 83 84 85 88 91 92 93 94 122 130 133 238 250 260 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 / Il-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 L-Imdina 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-Imġarr In-Nadur Il-Qala Ir-Ramla Ta’ Sannat Santa Luċija / Ta’ Kerċem Ta’ Pinu Church / L-Għasri Ix-Xagħra Ix-Xlendi Iż-Żebbuġ Ix-Xewkija Il-Munxar
Kemmunett Id-Dwejra (Cominotto)
301 309 311 308 310 301 302 303 302 305 313 308 307 306 309 301 305
KEMMUNA GOZO - Index of places served (COMINO)
322 323 301 303
St Thomas Bay
91 92 93 119 124 135 204 93
Date: 19th April 2017 © FREYTAG-BERNDT & ARTARIA KG, VIENNA
94 120 121
206 Marsaskala 84 Iż-Żejtun (Wied il-Għajn) 84, 20
Ta’ Kola Windmill Il-Ġgantija (Ġgantija Temples)
IL-BAĦAR MEDITERRAN (MEDITERRANEAN SEA)
Tarxien Temples Ħal Tarxien
213 1 Il-Fgura 90,91 92,93,94
Raħal Ġdid (Paola)
1 124 213
Ir-Rabat (Victoria) 30 2 32 3
Il-Munxar Ta’ Sannat
15 21 202 203 212 222 225
Ħal Saflieni Hypogeum
Il-Ħnejja (Blue Grotto)
Ħaġar Qim L-Imnajdra Temples (Mnajdra Temples)
56 58 Tal-Pietà A
St George’s Bay San Ġiljan (St Julian’s)
X1 X2 X3 119 201 117 Malta Int. Airport 218 72 L-Imqabba
University Mater Dei Hospital
X1 X2 X3 X4 61 62 63 64 74 110 120 121 135 204 206 209 210 218 226
22 Il-Balluta 21 0,1
233 16 25 35 2 2
Ħal Balzan Birkirkara
41-49 203, 25 0,260 280 4 5
13A 14 103 110 120 121
In-Naxxar Mosta Dome Il-Mosta
,5 50,52,5 3
53 186 201 202
Ix-Xlendi Xlendi Bay
This map is to be used for personal/non-commercial purposes. Unauthorised reproduction is forbidden. For more information please contact us on publictransport.com.mt or 21222000
21 2 , 22 2, 2 25 X 1, X1A
Ta' Qali National Stadium
44, 2 38
X1 X1A X2 22 25 31 32 106 110 117 120 122 135 181 182 204 206 209 210 213 218 226 233 238 260 280
San Pawl il-Baħar (St Paul’s Bay)
X3 31 45 48 186 203 212 221 223 280
Selmunett (St Paul’s Islands)
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
2 223, 2
1 44, 10
44 223 225
Popeye Village Il-Prajjet (Anchor Bay)
IL-BAĦAR MEDITERRAN (MEDITERRANEAN SEA)
2 20 1, 6,18 52,5
L-Armier (Armier Bay)
X1 X1A 41 42 101 221 222 250
80,82 , 85
5,48,186, X3 ,42,4 ,41 31 203,250,280
2 22 103 31
1A , 260
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MALTA BY BUS
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