Page 1

JUL/AUG 2012

issue 6

Cruising Through

Page 30

Seeing Gozo Differently


How Gozo is attracting visitors from the sea

Life Aboard the Barbarossa

Gharb’s Infiorata One bloominglybeautiful tradition

Character / Spirit / Foundations / Flavours / Calendar / Through the Keyhole


C o. L t d.


Let your taste buds run wild

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Editor's note

Issue 6

see things differently Editor Coryse Borg Editorial Consultant Jo Caruana Publisher Gozo Tourism Association Advertising Gozo Tourism Association Art Director John Falzon Design Keen Limited Contributors Pia Zammit Veronica Stivala Iggy Fenech Photography George Saguna Pre-Press & Printing Progress Press

This issue of Let’s Gozo is all about seeing things differently. After all, we so often find ourselves taking ‘everyday’ sights and sounds for granted, and easily overlook the beauty that’s all around us. Taking a different route gives us the chance to look at things through new eyes – which is exactly why Jo Caruana chose to see Gozo from the sea for a change. She boarded the Barbarossa for a few hours spent admiring the coast, exploring caves and learning a story or two about our history. Read all about life on the high seas on page 30. Similarly, the international cruise industry has also started to see Gozo differently, and our island is now becoming a popular port for day-trippers touring the Mediterranean. As Pia Zammit discovers in her article on page 12, Gozo has a lot to offer (and a lot to gain) from this exciting industry. And there are all sorts of tastes to uncover too, such as the scrumptious wares whipped up by the team at David’s Bakery. As Veronica Stivala finds out, it’s no wonder their recipe for success has gone international – pour yourself a cool drink, grab a slice and read more on page 34. Finally, I’ve been looking forward to some of this summer’s must-attend highlights, including the Qala International Folk Festival (see pg 18) and everything else that we’ve mapped out in our calendar (pg 38). So, grab the sun cream, head out to an undiscovered spot and spend your time seeing Gozo differently! Enjoy, and Let's Gozo!

On the cover

Gozo's budding cruise industry is taking the island by storm. Photo by George Saguna

Let’s Gozo is published by the Gozo Tourism Association every two months on Sunday with an audited circulation of 39,500 copies distributed with the Sunday Times of Malta. Reproduction in whole or in part without written permission from the Publisher is prohibited. All rights reserved. Dates, information and prices quoted are believed to be correct at time of going to press but are subject to change and no responsibility is accepted for any errors or omission. Neither the editor nor publisher accept responsibility for any material submitted, whether photographic or otherwise. While we endeavour to ensure that firms and organisations mentioned are reputable, the editor can give no guarantee that they will fulfil their obligations under all circumstances. This publication is supported by the Ministry for Gozo. 3

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contents July/August ‘12


through the keyhole A look at the latest events that have taken Gozo by storm.



When Art Runs in the Family Coryse Borg meets with Ruben Camilleri Cauchi, a gilder whose talent is as golden as his lineage.




A Bed of Roses An intimate look at Gharb’s most famous tradition – the Infiorata.



Crusing through Life Pia Zammit steps aboard the latest trend hitting Gozo – the incoming cruise liner.



Keeping Heritage & Traditions Alive Coryse Borg investigates how the Qala International Folk Festival is helping to keep traditions alive.





What We Used to Wear The simple life of days gone by is reawakened in this exhibition by Heritage Malta.



A Place in the Sun Pia Zammit escapes day-to-day life in an attempt to find a haven in the sun.




As Seen from the Sea Jo Caruana describes how a trip around Gozo by boat revealed a new side to Calypso’s Isle.



Rising to Perfection Veronica Stivala delves deep into how the Mercieca’s successful bakery has gone down a treat.



Calendar of events:

Just round the corner Get your diaries out as we chart the must-attend events of Gozo’s upcoming calendar. 5


when art runs

family in the

Coryse Borg meets Ruben Camilleri Cauchi, who is one part of an amazing artistic family of sculptors and artists. Here she discovers how he is carrying on his family’s legacy as a master gilder.


n the wall of the Camilleri Cauchi studio in Gharb is a large, blown-up photograph of artist Ruben Camilleri Cauchi’s grandfather Agostino Camilleri. He is very well-known as the sculptor responsible for the stone sculptures found at Ta' Pinu Church, as well as for the 12 stone statues depicting the 12 apostles for the same basilica. Agostino (also known as Austin or Wistin) Camilleri was born on 2 May 1885. He started his lessons in sculpture at the Gozo Seminary when he was very young. He then furthered his studies at the School of Art in Valletta under the direction of Maltese artist Giuseppe Cali'. Wistin later lived in Rome, where he continued his studies at the Accademia di San Luca. After returning from Rome, the artist went back to live in Gozo and set up a studio in Victoria. He made sculptures, not only for churches in Malta and Gozo – such as Munxar and Naxxar parish churches, the Mosta Rotunda and Capuchin Church in Victoria - but also for destinations further afield, such as the Maltese communities in Australia, USA, Canada, Abyssinia, Marseilles and Tunis. Wistin married Francesca Cauchi in 1936 and they had six children – Josephine, Paul, Alfred, Catherine, Mario and Michael. The brothers became the wellknown Camilleri Cauchi artists: Paul (a painter), Alfred and Michael (both sculptors) and Mario (a gilder). Although his daughters did not go into the arts, their children did. Pretty much all the children of Camilleri’s sons now work in the arts. 6 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012


Almost bringing things full circle, one of Camilleri’s grandchildren, Austin, is named after his grandfather and was born on 1 May 1985 - just one day shy of the 100th anniversary of his grandfather’s birth. Today I am meeting Mario’s son Ruben who is going to show me some of his work. Ruben’s chosen artistic medium is gilding – a decorative technique for applying fine gold leaf to surfaces such as wood, stone or metal so that they look like gold. Well-aware of his family’s strong, unique legacy, Ruben starts off by giving me a little background about his grandfather, father, uncles and, cousins – all involved in the arts in one way or another. He smiles when I tell him that they really ought to commission someone to put together a family tree... it is fascinating to see how talent really does run in the family in this case! Back to the subject at hand, gilding was probably first used by the Egyptians on wood and metals. It was also used by the Ancient Greeks, Chinese and the Romans, who used to gild the ceilings of their temples and palaces, such as the Capitol. Ruben shows me what looks like a small pocketbook. It is, in fact, much more than that, for starters, it is more expensive and its thin sheets are made from cut or hammered gold. He then takes me to a pedestal that he is working on. Some of it is covered by the very fine gold leaf, which is cut into tiny pieces and then ‘polished’ until the pieces fuse together seamlessly. Ruben tells me that the pedestal, being made for a private client, will take him around two months to complete. Ruben explains that there are different methods of gilding which he uses – water gilding (tal-boll) and oil gilding (tal-murdent). If the first method is practiced, it is possible to use ‘white-leaf’, which, when varnished, looks like gold and is excellently-suited to outdoor works of art. Oil gilding, on the other hand, takes much longer, is pricier and more complicated. It is, however, more longlasting and is not suitable for use on works which are to be displayed outdoors (mainly because of the rain, as it shouldn’t get wet). Only real gold or silver leaf may be used and it is ideal for works of art, such as church statues and Maltese Tal-Lira clocks. Right under the photo of Ruben’s grandfather is a large rectangular shape hidden under some sheets. I ask Ruben what it is and he grins. He whips away the sheet and underneath is this beautiful intricate piece of wood that he has been working on. Only it doesn’t look

Top Left: Ruben at his studio. Top and Bottom right: The work of local artisans celebrated for generations.

He smiles when I tell him that they really ought to commission someone to put together a family tree. 7


Once gilded, an item looks like it is made of metal – gold to be precise. like a piece of wood. Since it has been gilded, it looks like metal, like gold to be precise, and it shimmers in the light of the studio. Ruben tells me that this ornamental piece (which dates back to the 16th century) was found in a very bad state of repair in front of the altar at Kirkop’s parish church. Under his care, it was restored and ‘re-covered’ in gold leaf. It is a beautiful piece of work and took Ruben six months to complete. At this point, I am introduced to Ruben’s father, Mario, who recently retired from his teaching post at the Gozo Centre for Art and Crafts in Ghajnsielem, which is named after his father. He tells me that there is presently a revival as far as gilding is concerned and that a lot of artists are using it. I’m then taken to see another piece de resistance - a Maltese Tal-Lira clock that was crafted from scratch by Ruben. It is a stunning work of art which immediately makes me want one for myself. He tells me that they are extremely popular right now and that the one I am looking at was commissioned by a private client who even had their coat of arms engraved on the bottom.

Ruben illustrationg the fine art of gilding; a craft dating back thousands of years.

Ruben tells me that everything is hand-made; even the numerals are painted on by hand. Of course, the gilding is stunning and every clock comes with a certificate of authenticity and is signed by Ruben himself. This, in turn, is bound to be a signature that Ruben's grandfather would be proud to see on any of his gorgeous artifacts. Isn't it nice when art runs in the family?

The tools of the gilding trade and some of the wonders they help create.

8 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

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Roses A Bed of

Volunteers hard at work laying down the carpet of flowers.


lowers are often associated with celebrations; a bride holds a bouquet as she walks down the aisle on her wedding day, men give their sweethearts roses on St Valentine’s Day and new mothers are given bunches when their baby is born. This celebratory nature was taken to the village of Gharb some 10 years ago in the form of a special artistic

10 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

arrangement called Infiorata for its annual feast. It was the first time such a tradition was introduced to the Maltese Islands and has since become a yearly activity. Meaning ‘covered in flowers’ in Italian, the Infiorata in Gharb sees its church parvis literally becoming a bed of roses (and other flowers) on July 29. It ties in with Gharb’s celebration of the feast of the Visitation of Our Lady to St Elizabeth. This floral decoration consists of a carpet made of fresh flower petals and leaves arranged to form various thematic designs. The tradition remains unique to the Maltese Islands, so much so that it has successfully been listed in the Malta Book of Records and Firsts, published in 2006. The Infiorata is an old Italian tradition which dates back to around the 17th century. This has its roots in Gerano on the outskirts of Rome, which Gharb has been twinned with since 2002. Whereas the Infiorata is usually set up for the feast of the Corpus Domini celebrated 60 days after Easter, the Infiorata of Gerano is celebrated during the feast of the Madonna del Cuore in April. The most particular aspect of the “Infiorata” held in Gerano is that the period in which it takes place, which is April, lacks a variety of flowers. The annual tradition was introduced to Gharb in

Photos: Max Xuereb

Gharb’s floral floor work of art – the Infiorata – is unique to the Maltese Islands. Veronica Stivala learns about this tradition’s links with Italy and how one goes about crafting a picture made from flowers.


2003 on the initiative of mayor David Apap as part of Because the decoration is made with fresh flowers, the village feast activities. The mayor explains that the it needs to be put together at the last minute, that is, introduction of the tradition came about as a result of before the feast on Sunday itself. Together with a team the friendship between the two localities, Gharb and of some 30 volunteers, including the mayor and the Gerano, so as to have both continue the same tradi- artist, everybody pulls together to create the Infiorata tion. Indeed, although based in different countries, the in about four hours. The organisers do their best to use tradition is practically identical in both localities, save local flowers in this decoration, however, due to the for the fact that the Infiorata in fact that it is set up at the end of Gerano is on a larger scale. July when there is a lack of fresh “Introducing the Infiorata flowers thanks to the scorching This proved to be a success and its uniqueness attracted both heat, a number of blooms are also to Gharb came about as locals and tourists to the islands. imported from Holland. a result of the friendship This was also the first time that And although the creation is such an event was held on the isput together in this relatively between the Gharb and lands. So, after the success of the short amount of time, preparaGerano in Italy, so as to first edition, the council decided to tions will have been underway add this event to its annual cultursince the beginning of the year. have both carry on the al calendar and hold it again yearly Considering the six-month build on the occasion of the village feast. up to this extravagant feast decosame tradition.” So how does one go about creatration, the actual celebration is ing an ‘Infiorata’? The process is over in a relatively short amount pretty similar to a colouring book, though naturally on of time, in fact the climax of the carpet of flowers’ life a much larger scale. The outline of the design is mapped comes once the procession walks on top of it. Then, out onto the ground and is then filled in accordingly with rather than facing the arduous and admittedly demorflowers and leaves by a group of helpers and volunteers. alising task of picking up the flowers after the feast, the A different design is created annually. To add an element organisers leave this to the children of the village, who of surprise, Mr Apap does not reveal who is behind this are given permission to play with the leaves and petals year’s design. Indeed the same goes for the actual design once the procession is over. itself; all will be revealed on 29 July at 2 pm.

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Through Life

Who doesn’t love living the high-life on the high seas? Join Pia Zammit and step aboard as we set sail for Gozo.


he term ‘boutique hotel’ conjures up images of luxury, intimacy and personal attention. This line of thinking has led me to the realisation that Gozo herself is actually a Boutique Island (copyright: me). Consider it for a moment if you will – Gozo is the ultimate proof that small is beautiful. It is the place where you go out for a meal and find that the restaurant is owned and run by one family, and that most of the produce is home grown. In fact, the chef is not only the owner but he probably caught

12 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012


Since 2006 boutique cruises and smaller liners have been using Gozo as a port of call.

the fish-of-the-day himself early that morning! It is also the place where everyone you meet will go out of their way to ensure that you have a wonderful stay on their little island. It is a place where even the air seems fresher.

With this in mind, I have a chat with Ivan Mifsud, the managing director of Mifsud Brothers Ltd, about the fact that boutique cruises are now using Gozo as a port of call. Ivan is a firm believer in the attractions that Gozo has to offer, but how 13


A few island crusiers on Gozo give passengers the chance for a whirlwind tour, including arts, crafts, trekking, swimming and snorkeling.

does he define a Boutique Cruise Ship? I wonder. “Well, they are smaller liners that offer a very personalised service thanks to a higher crew-to-passenger ratio. Also, they visit the smaller ports that larger ships simply can’t. They tend to cater to those with more disposable income,” he adds.

Gozo offers an entirely different experience to Malta. “As is the appeal of all cruises, you can visit several destinations from the comfort of your ship; which means you don’t have to worry about packing and unpacking, different flights, taxis, hotels or restaurants.” I entirely agree, and have always 14 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

believed cruises to be great ‘guiltfree holidays’, as you don’t have to fret that you haven’t included a visit to every little church, museum, art gallery and bar that your destination of choice offers – the cruise itinerary makes all those decisions for you, allowing you to happily go along for the ride. And while I know that Malta has long been on the destinations list for liners, Gozo is far more recent an addition. So what changed? “My wife and I were at a conference on the Seabourn Spirit in 1999,” says Ivan. “One day we berthed in the port of Portoferraio on the island of Elba and the ship later sailed round the island and weighed anchor in a wide bay similar to Marsalforn. We had the opportunity to enjoy the ship’s watercraft, swim in

the marina and go ashore. It immediately struck me that this concept would be ideal for Gozo. “So we got to work, conducted a study and published a short report which we circulated to the itinerary planners of the liners we represented. In it we suggested that they give Gozo a try.” The turning point came about on 22 of April 2006, when Gozo welcomed the Seabourn Pride. “From the excellent feedback we received we grew in confidence and continued promoting Gozo. Step by step we convinced other cruise lines to visit – SeaDream, Clipper, Saga, Holland America and more!” he explains. Ivan loves passengers’ reactions to Gozo. He tells me that, “they don’t usually know what to expect but are startled by the beauty and


tranquillity of the island. They love the authenticity of the place and the friendliness of the Gozitans.� He goes on to say that they have been promoting Gozo as an entirely different destination and experience to Malta. “The emphasis is more on its eco-island status, with tours including outdoor activities such as arts and crafts, trekking, cycling, 4x4 tours, wine tasting, cheese making, swimming and snorkelling. 15


Ivan Mifsud has been integral in the development of Gozo’s budding cruise industry.

“Gozo should be a must on every quality-minded, smallor medium-sized cruise vessel operator calling in Malta.” There’s an emphasis on Gozo as an eco-island, with stunning views and unspoilt spots to explore.

16 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

“Using Gozo as a port of call is a win-win for all involved,” he continues. “Whenever a large cruise ship has berthed on Gozo, the whole island benefited. Generally half the passengers go ashore on pre-arranged tours while the other half disembark independently and use taxis, hop-on/ hop-off buses, little boats and buses to explore. They venture all over, heading in various directions, enjoying doing their own thing and shopping.” With a grin he adds, “when the Holland America Line’s Noordam called here in August 2010 with some 1800 passengers on board, the whole island rocked!” In an ideal world, all liners would overnight in Malta and schedule Gozo the day before or after. “This would allow guests more time in Valletta and, in turn, give more allowance for crew changes, medical services and a variety of other jobs that give business to port agents,” Ivan says vehemently. It would also open the door to evening tours, restaurant bookings and entertainment for passengers and the crew. Some passengers may even chose to sleep in a hotel in Malta which could prove to be very lucrative for local businesses. “We are very proud to have initiated this drive to Cruise Gozo,” Ivan says with a smile. “This has led to Xlendi being re-surveyed so that cruise ships can have more accurate depth markings and can steer away from any underwater wrecks and archaeological remains.

“Plus, in 2010, the placing of a mooring buoy off the port side of Xlendi proved to be a major development. Eventually a quay for cruise ships to berth alongside this would be ideal; however it is an expensive option and may take a long time to execute.” Now Ivan’s dream is to see some 100 cruise ships call into Gozo every year. “In 2006 we had two; this year we had 15. There is still a way to go but we are definitely gaining momentum.” Over the last few years the Directorate for Tourism and Economic Development has embarked on a focused marketing campaign in international cruise industry publications and exhibitions – both of which are helping to put Gozo more firmly on the cruise map. To expound this, I sought the opinion of Manuel Tabone, the director of tourism at the Ministry for Gozo, and he explained that, as an island, Gozo is not seeking to accommodate the larger liners. “Ships with 1000 passengers and more will stretch us too much,” he says. “We can cope with around 700 however, ideally, each liner would bring in between 200 and 500 people. That way everyone would be catered for with no issues of transport management and questionable service. We want everything to be impeccable. “Plus, a port of call of around six hours is ideal for Gozo as people can


Gozo welcomed 15 cruise ships this year, and has the potential to attract many more.

explore a lot and feel they have seen quite a bit during their stay.” In view of all that we have learnt from these two gentlemen, I think that I can safely ascertain that Gozo

is indeed a Boutique Island. However, before I rush off to patent the term, I will leave you with the words of Captain Torbjorn Svensson of the Mv Clipper Adventurer after a port of

call here when he said: “Gozo should be a must on every quality-minded, small- or medium-sized cruise vessel operator calling in Malta.” And he was certainly right.

13, Fortunato Mizzi Street, Victoria | t. 2210 2000 | m. 9943 7257 | e. 17



Heritage & Traditions


By Coryse Borg. Photos Lorne Cremona

Qala still seems fast asleep as I arrive there

The festival exposes old practices and folkloristic traditions, with performances by numerous folk groups.

18 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

one Sunday morning. A few people mill about, presumably heading to church or to visit family but, for the most part, the village is as still as can be. I’m visiting Qala, which is located at the eastern-most point of Gozo and is the one furthest from Victoria, to learn more about the international folk festival that will be held here from 20 to 23 September. And while things may seem quiet now, I can already imagine just how quickly this village will morph into festival mode by then. To explain the ins-and-outs of the seventh edition of the Qala International Folk Festival, I meet with Mayor Clint Buttigieg and Rose Grima, the secretary of the organising committee. Clint, a freshly-graduated architect, was appointed mayor only last March. Although he is very young – still in his early 20s – he has launched headfirst into his role and explains his great respect for festivals that celebrate history and heritage. He says that his aim is to build on the success of the previous editions of the festival, and to make 2012’s version even stronger, bigger and better. In fact, from the very moment he took office, Clint insisted that the festival should continue and offered


his full support. “I really believe in the importance of exposing old practices and folkloristic traditions connected to Qala and Gozo,” he says. Well, if last year’s edition is anything to go by, this year’s festival should be a riproaring success. Rose tells me that the organising committee was overwhelmed by the positive feedback received by locals and visitors who attended the 2011 edition. And now, preparations are in full swing for this edition, which, as always, will be held in conjunction with the Menhir Qala Folk Group. The folk group was set up in 2003 to promote local Gozitan and Maltese folklore and traditions, with special references to the village of Qala and its history. With the help of the Qala Local Council, the group has since participated in various local, national and international events and activities. “Preparations for this year’s event started just days after last year’s had come to a close,” explains Rose. “It’s a year-round task, and we’re constantly looking for new ways to keep things exciting.” For this year, the committee has attracted three European folk groups to Gozo – one each from Slovakia, Turkey and Estonia – continuing a tradition whereby the festival includes performances from folk groups from all over Europe, as well as the participation of the Menhir Qala Folk Group, of course. Meanwhile, for the fourth consecutive year, a subcommittee headed by Euchar Mizzi will organise a halfday conference. This year’s theme is ‘Gozo Heritage in Stone – Part 2’, carrying on from last year. It will be held in the new conference facilities of the Qala Local Council on Saturday 22 September, and will include the participation of the folk groups, as well as three main speakers who will present papers and visuals relating this interesting and vast subject. Another of the highlights of this year’s festival is sure to be the re-enactment of a traditional Maltese wedding, ‘It-Tieg fl-Antik’, which will be held on the Sunday morning. It will start off from Isqof Mikiel Buttigieg Square and continue in a procession under the Baldakkin (canopy) towards the main square, where the wedding will conclude with a small festin (party), serving sweet delicacies of the period. Most of the actors involved in this re-enactment – children, young people

and the older generation – are from Qala, so the festival encourages a lot of local residents to participate in one way or another. There will be lots of other activities taking place throughout. These will include performances by a folk group, set up last year, which is made up entirely of children between eight and 12 years of age. Additionally, a live exhibition of traditional artisan work will be set up on the Sunday in St Joseph Square. This will include a vast array of local ‘artigjanat’ such as lace-making, canework, knitting, ganutell, stained glass, woodwork, stone decorating, parchment and pottery – all increasing awareness of the rich heritage of craft on Gozo. Moreover, various unique local antiques, found in households and passed down from one generation to another, will also be on loan for the benefit of the public to admire and appreciate. And a gastronomy section will provide typically Gozitan food and wine, which will give visitors a taste of local fare. “This relatively ‘slow’ weekend, tourist-wise, was mainly chosen in order to serve as an added attraction for Maltese and foreign tourists visiting Gozo,” continues Rose. “This aspect helps the organising committee to benefit from the ‘Gozo Attractions Incentive Scheme’, and the festival has also been eligible for funds through a progamme promoting cultural exchanges.” Plus, various sponsors also contribute in kind. And then, of course, there is all the work carried out by volunteers, without whom, both Clint and Rose say the festival would certainly not be the success story it is today. In fact, Clint adds that the involvement of the community in events such as this one ensures that inherited traditions are kept alive and passed on to future generations.

This year’s festival has attracted folk groups from Slovakia, Turkey and Estonia.

A traditional Maltese wedding will be held on the Sunday morning, with festivities and sweets from the era. 19

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we used to


‘Exhibition Peasant Costumes: Insights into Rural Life and Society’ was set up by Heritage Malta in collaboration with the Ministry for Gozo, and inaugurated during the Lejlet Lapsi: Notte Gozitana events on 18 May. It is open until 29 July. Here Jo Caruana learns more about what it means, and what we can learn from it. 21


Costumes reflect the society which produced them.

Most costumes reached Heritage Malta by donation, and help to shed light on the lives of our ancestors.


e all know the old adage that ‘clothes make the man’, which is exactly why a costume exhibition with items dating back centuries is bound to provide plenty of exciting insight into the way our ancestors lived. Open until 29 July, Peasant Costumes: Insights into Rural Life and Society provides visitors with precious snippets of the ordinaryyet-incorrupt hard working rural population whose toil and simple life made drastic inroads in literature and the arts, particularly in the 19th century. Heritage Malta certainly houses an exciting and significant collection of textiles from this time, with over 1,000 artifacts. “These include three Coptic fragments dating to the 4th and 5th centuries AD, as well as early modern aristocratic clothing, vestments and modern 20th century shoes, hats and accessories,” explains Godwin Vella, of Heritage Malta. Most of the costumes in the exhibition reached Heritage Malta through generous donations by families who hoped to contribute to

22 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

securing a future for these precious items (instead of chucking them out or watching them rot). As Godwin explains, like all other forms of art, costumes reflect the society which produced them. “Thus they are reflective of the noble’s refined aesthetic values based on French and Italian taste, the ecclesiastical need to spare no expenses for its most important sermons, the layman’s need to feel important, and the peasant’s aesthetic approach based on traditional methods and functionality.” It is the latter – peasant clothing – that has for, this exhibition, been brought into the limelight. “The most exciting aspect of it

lies in the fact that, with the exception of underwear, the costumes are practically all authentic. Many a time we see interpretations of such costumes clad by re-enactors, yet the real thing proves to be something else entirely. In themselves the terħa, ħorġa, sidrija, geżwira, and ċulqana aren’t exceptionally refined pieces, but they are becoming increasingly rare. “This really is a great opportunity for the public to learn more about our history, through a really interesting medium.” This exhibition is being held at the Exhibition Hall within the Ministry for Gozo, St Francis Square, Victoria.


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A Place in the

Sun In desperate need of some unwinding, Pia Zammit goes in search of the ideal spot to relax on Gozo... and finds it!

24 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012



ougainvillea-draped rubble walls, sun speckled water, a refreshing early morning dip in my own private pool, strips of sunlight through a hasira (bamboo curtain), a stunning view with splashes of colour, a sunset BBQ on my own terrace… Yes, these are a few of my favourite things. But fear not, dear readers, I’m not about to burst into song – and especially not one as sickly sweet as anything from the Sound of Music. I

am merely thinking about what constitutes an ideal de-stressing break. Picture the scene with me if you will: we’ve driven down a little country lane and are now seemingly in the middle of nowhere; a rustic farmhouse looms ahead and this is to be our holiday home for the week. Its honey-coloured walls are covered in pretty mauve flowers, and birds flit to and fro as they merrily chirp us a Welcome Home tune. This new home is surrounded 25


The houses are as rustic as possible, with traditional touches that evoke a sense of the real Gozo.

26 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012


“People come from all over the world to experience the tranquil charms of island dwelling; of being on an island yet not being isolated.” by fields and has an amazing view of the valley and the sea further ahead; and yet, less than a five-minute drive away, we can shop from a number of stores in the heart of the village. The early morning dip in the pool gives way to a leisurely midday lunch and afternoon siesta in the cool breeze. Our evening BBQ is backdropped by a magnificent Mediterranean sunset, after which we can hit the town and party till dawn should we so wish – or alternatively relax on the terrace and natter. Sounds idyllic, doesn’t it? The perfect antidote to our everyday hectic work schedule and the daily grind of chores and duties. It’s a holiday where the concept of time

The farmhouses make the most of old stone and tranquil settings.

and routine disappear and where we can live a contemporary lifestyle in an authentic rustic environment. Of course, a week-long or minibreak in a farmhouse in Gozo is a concept most Maltese are very familiar with. Even though Gozo is but a 20-minute boat ride away from Malta, the atmosphere here feels different and perfectly suited to absolute relaxation. However the appeal of farmhouse-holiday-

living is not just restricted to the Maltese – people come from all over the world to experience the tranquil charms of island dwelling; of being on an island yet not being isolated. The little island is dotted with farmhouses of different shapes, sizes and amenities – all available for you to rent; however one of the major players on the market, Gozo Village Holidays, always guarantee top-notch service and lovingly 27


“Our guests fall in love with the island and make life-long friends here.” converted properties. The company owners – Ino Attard and Lino Cefai – as well as their marketing consultant Mario Loporto, meet me for a little chat about what they’ve been up these last 40 years or so. They explain that Ino and Lino’s collaboration dates back to the 1970s when they were schoolmates. The duo enterprisingly saw a potential niche in the market and borrowed the money to buy a farmhouse in the quaint fishing village of Xlendi, to rent to foreign visitors. By the late 70s, they had five houses on their portfolio – the one they owned and another four which were rented from the owners. Nowadays they have 30 houses on their books. Lino smiles and tells me: “the properties we own all have unique locations and characteristics. We are very proud of them.” When they started out, farmhouses and houses of character were not as in-demand as they are now and the price reflected this. Most of their properties were purchased

in the late 1980s when derelict houses were quite cheap. Ino tells me that they were aware that they were taking a huge risk, however they believed that it would pay off in the long run. “It was madness, we bought everything on loan. I remember that no one wanted these old houses – so much so that when we were viewing an old house in a village with the possibility of buying it, other villagers would open up their front doors and ask us to look at their house and buy that one too!” he tells me with a chuckle. When it came to design, both men were in agreement – they wanted the houses to be as rustic as possible. Lino tells me that, “in the 70s and 80s the trend was to paint interiors white, however we were quite sure that we wanted to expose the old stone and have the rooms as open plan as possible. This has proved to be right decision.” As they explain, both men are hands-on decorators, initially doing much of the work themselves. In the

The team transformed derelict houses into beautiful places to stay, with great facilities.

28 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

1980s, property was being bought and sold at such a rate that the pair also opened an office in London and boasted the slogan, ‘Buy a home in the sun – for the price of a Mini’. “The market is very different now,” Lino grimaces. “We aren’t developers anymore. We concentrate fully on our holiday residences now.” While many Maltese do rent out their properties, 70 per cent of their clients are foreign – the main market being the UK. “Many of our clients return year after year and they usually want to book the same farmhouse each time,” says Lino. “They fall in love with the island and its people, and many make life-long friends here. We’re now trying to crack the Israeli market – it would be ideal as the Israelis tend to book off-peak as they don’t like the heat.” Mario, who has been working with Ino and Lino for many years now, is Maltese but now lives on Gozo. “I’ve fallen head over heels with this little island and consider it home now. I love seeing people relax when they come here,” he tells me with a grin. “I firmly believe a farmhouse holiday is the ideal holiday. If you stay in a hotel granted you have many little luxuries – but you don’t have family life. Our biggest assets are the quality of our houses and the fact that we sell honestly.” He notices my quizzical look and explains, “We don’t state that we offer luxury five-star dwellings when we don’t. We offer four-


star farmhouses and three-star superior cluster residences. That is not to say that our standards aren’t excellent – they most certainly are. We offer all the home comforts one could imagine in all our properties, at reasonable prices. Both Ino and

Lino are very hands on and that’s what makes it work,” he stresses. “All our clients get their personal telephone numbers so that everything they need can be taken care of. A lot of passion goes into wanting our customers to de-stress.”

Well, with that in mind, I simply can’t wait to book myself in! Care to join me? Bring your swimsuit, a good book and your party shoes. 29


As Seen from the Hoping to see Gozo from a whole new angle, Jo Caruana heads for life on the high seas, aboard the beautiful Barbarossa.

30 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012



Sun cream… check. Big floppy hat…

check. Desire to relax… check, check, check. Watching the boats bob on Mgarr Bay, I’m struck by one of them in particular. It’s a Turkish gullet that looks like no other in the area; its wooden exterior gleams in the sunlight and it seems to beg to be taken out for a spin. Not one to disappoint, I climb aboard. There I meet Chris Magro and his dad Frankie, the duo to whom this beautiful boat belongs. With a smile, they welcome me on deck, encourage me to make myself at home and start to relate the tale of the Barbarossa. “This boat has long been the boat of my dreams,” grins Frankie, his bright blue eyes 31


A boat trip round the islands sheds new light – from fishing to cave exploration, there‘s always something new to see.

“With the sun shining down on us, everyone on board is mesmerised by the incredibly blue waters.”

32 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

shining. “I bought it 15 years ago and brought it back from Turkey; back then boats like this were very in demand. It was only the second of its kind to be brought to the Maltese Islands, and the first to be berthed in Gozo. In fact, back then it was the only commercial sailing boat of its kind on Gozo at all.” Frankie explains that it is the unique shape of this boat that makes it so seaworthy and enjoyable to sail. “It’s designed for people to spend long stretches of time on, so it’s very comfortable and can sleep up to 12. In the past we did a lot of overnighters and extended stays, but these days day-trips are far more popular, whether that’s a romantic sail for two or a lively party as part of a bachelor’s or hen’s do.” Hugely passionate about the history and topography of the island, Frankie chats away about some of his favourite sights and spots. “Gozo may be small, but there’s no end to the number of places you can see by boat here,” he tells me. “We manage to take in some of the most beautiful ones as we tour round the island. These include Xatt l’Ahmar, Mgarr ix-Xini, Fungus Rock, San Blas and Dahlet Qorrot, to name but a few. I love looking out for really special areas and pointing

them out to our guests – such as Halfa Rock, which is where Turkish general Dragut swore to seek revenge for his brother’s death on Gozo. I believe that our guests like to learn that little bit more about the island while they’re with us.” Chris and Frankie take great pride in the fact that the Barbarossa is a five-star boat, meaning a trip on here is a lot more luxurious than many of the other day-trip options. “It’s a complete service,” Chris explains. “From the pick-up at their hotel, to the excursions we can organise during the day, to the personalised service aboard the Barbarossa; we like to go that extra mile.” As Frankie, Chris and I finish chatting, my fellow ‘sailors’ (the group lucky enough to be joining us for the tour) arrive and the duo put all hands on deck to get us out to sea. Enjoying the luxury of the boat, those on board find a spot in the sunshine (or in the shade if preferable), grab a complimentary glass of wine and settle in to enjoy the journey. As we tour around Gozo and Comino it’s striking to see just how different things look from the sea. Each cove has something special to offer – sharp cliffs, sparkling waters and undiscovered spots of countryside to look at.


Barbarossa stops to take in incredible sights en-route, with swimming scheduled in too.

My favourite has to be Crystal Bay (which Frankie stops to tell me used to be a landing place for pirates, hence the large tower that was built overlooking the area). The spot is southeast of the infinitely better-known Blue Lagoon on Comino and we anchor here for an hour or so. With the sun shining down on us, everyone on board is mesmerised by the incredibly blue waters. Chris pops out to inform us that snorkelling gear is available if we want it, and that a dingy is on-hand should we want to explore the caves. I do, of course, so I hop onto the little boat and enjoy the experience of whizzing in and out of the tiny caverns nearby, looking at the brightly coloured coral and the deserted beaches that lie deep within them. Back on the Barbarossa and it’s not long until we’re on our merry way again, spending long stretches of time whizzing through the water and watching land whoosh past. The boat hugs the coast all the way around Comino, and Chris only breaks up the journey for a short while, giving us the chance to dive in and swim in the Blue Lagoon. Finally the boat makes the crossing over to Malta, with the waves lapping loudly at our side. For their convenience, some of the

group choose to disembark in Cirkewwa; each shakes Chris’s hand as they get off and thanks him for a wonderful afternoon. As for me? I join the crew on the sail back to Mgarr, watching as the sun sets before us, casting a glorious light over Fort Chambray in the distance. Having seen Gozo from the sea, I’m completely taken in by this new side to the island and eager to see more next time around. Yes, I may have taken off my big floppy hat as I step onto land and walk along the shore, but I vow to be back on board the Barbarossa as soon as possible. 33



to Perfection

David Mercieca and his wife Lina have been baking bread since 1992. Their company, David’s Bakery, has gone from strength to strength and not only do they export to Malta, but overseas too. Veronica Stivala learns the secret recipe to their success.

34 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012


From local favourites such as the ftira, to wholemeal options for the healthconcious, David's Bakery has risen to the challenge. 35


One of my favourite treats for a scrumptious Sunday morning breakfast is a slice of fruit and fibre bread, lightly toasted, with a smattering of butter and topped with a few slices of strawberries or bananas. Bliss. This type of wholemeal loaf, along with another six varieties of sliced bread, was introduced to mark David’s Bakery’s 20th anniversary since its founding in 1992. Featuring varieties such as multiseed, multigrain and wholemeal, the new range is a reflection of the bakery’s innovative and hardworking approach to business. Aware of the fact that people are becoming ever-more conscious of their health, David and Lina Mercieca sought to introduce a range of bread that took this into consideration. All seven varieties are free from lactose, soya and genetically modified organisms (GMOs). What has now grown into an ever-expanding bread factory began as a small bakery in a garage when David was asked to bake bread for the people of Zebbug by a baker who was closing down. David had previously toyed with the building industry but felt it wasn’t really for him so he’d since started making sweet pastries. He and his wife readily rose to the challenge and they haven’t looked back since. When they first started out, and in order to keep their heads above the water, they would work through the night to keep up with the demand and would then sell their produce in the morning. David and Lina strived to listen to what their customers wanted and how they could better their product. Indeed this hardworking approach is one of the reasons the bakery has done so well; that, and the pride the two evidently take in their work. Because the bak-

ery and the Mercieca’s home in Kercem are connected, this allows easy communication between the bosses and the employees. That said, although David is the boss, he is also one of the employees and makes bread along with them. “It’s important that we all work together,” explains David. Naturally this allows him to closely monitor his bread and pastry stuffs as well as enabling his 37 employees to be an integral part of the company. “Some of my employees have been working with me for 18 years,” he notes proudly. It is clear that David and Lina work as a good team; for they often finish each other’s sentences and help each other out with explanations or thoughts. In addition to the hands-on approach, the success of David’s Bakery also lies in the fact that the product is good, explain the couple. “We never cut corners,” asserts Lina. “We still use the same ingredients we used when we first started out.” From selling in Zebbug, the demand soon spread across the whole of Gozo, then expanded to Malta some eight years ago and, most recently, to the UK. The range of David’s Bakery products totals a whopping 350 items – ranging from fancy breads to baguettes, buns, ravioli, fig rolls, date tarts and village cakes (pastini tar-rahal). However, it could be said that the two stars of the range are in the traditional Maltese loaf and honey rings (qaghaq tal-ghasel). “The Maltese loaf is sacrosanct. We will never stop making it, we’re so proud of it,” says Lina with conviction. She goes on to note that they are two of the few people to still make ‘pure’ Maltese bread with mother dough. This means a pre-ferment is used when making the bread and, although the process takes longer, the bread lasts longer. The honey rings, meanwhile, consist of a divinely sticky treacle-based filling nested in a crispy pastry that melts in your mouth. The husband-and-wife duo is keen to point out how it was their initiative to make smaller versions of the rings and to sell them in packs of six. Be-

David and Lina would work through the night to keep up with the demand and would then sell their produce in the morning.

The factory now employs 37 people, all of whom pull their weight to create tasty treats and daily staples.

36 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012


The bakery produces a whopping 350 items, including fancy breads, ravioli, fig rolls and date tarts.

cause the bigger rings tend to take longer to be consumed, they go off more easily. Also, in this health-conscious age, perhaps digging into a smaller sweet makes one feel less guilty than a larger one. David’s Bakery is now so big that it is technically a factory. Yet David and Lina constantly strive to better improve their baked goods. David travels abroad to fairs to get new ideas and to keep himself up-to-date with trends and tastes. He also brings experts from overseas

to educate his staff about breads and sweets. Their latest venture involves building a massive extension to the factory as well as a little shop from which people can buy their goods. The two also reveal that there are new sweets and breads in the pipeline. My mouth is already watering. David and Lina remain very humble, and are adamant to thank God, as well as their two sons, their families and their employees. 37

Calendar of Events

Just round the corner As we approach the height of summer a sense of celebration fills the air – and there’s plenty to keep absolutely everyone entertained.

Opera vs Pop Under the Stars

The age-old crusade between opera and pop comes to a culmination at this year’s Gozo Youth Orchestra’s popular open-air summer concert. Gozo Ministry Courtyard, Victoria, 30 July


ow in its fifth year, the Gozo Youth Orchestra’s annual summer concert is a highly-anticipated social event. Its popularity reflects the reputable name the group has made for itself through the various well-received concerts at the Oratory Don Bosco in Gozo’s capital, and their collaborations with the Helping Hands Group’s productions of various musicals, including: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (2003), The Scarlet Pimpernel (2004), and LesMisSaigonGuerre (2009). Opera vs Pop Under the Stars, this year’s edition of their summer concert will commemorate the group’s tenth anniversary since its inception and promises to be one of their very best. It will be held on Monday 30 July in the Gozo Ministry’s courtyard and will be unmissable.

C Commemoration | E Event | M Music/Concert | F Folklore Event | P Procession | R Religious Event | S Showcase/Exhibition | T Theatre/Film

July 2012:


S Paintings by Mary Rose Saliba

Exhibition Hall, Ministry for Gozo, St Francis Sqr, Victoria For more info: Ministry for Gozo, Tel. 2215 6400,


Photograph by Clare Borg S

Banca Giuratale Foyer, Independence Sqr, Victoria For more info: Gozo Culture Office, Tel. 2215 6700,

24 M

Leone Goes Pop

(Repeat Performance)

Marsalforn Bay, Marsalforn Concert with the participation of the Leone Band. For more info: Leone Philharmonic Society, Tel. 2156 2974,


Paintings by Thomas Brunell S

St Ursola Hall, Cittadella

38 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

Centre for Culture & Arts, Citadel, Victoria W:

August 2012:

11 E

Riflessi Sajfin

Il-Menqa, Marsalforn Bay, Marsalforn


Festival of dance & music by local artists. For more info: OASI Foundation, Tel. 2156 3333,

Exhibition Hall, Ministry for Gozo, St Francis Sqr, Victoria

S Paintings by Shirley Willberforce

Art Club 2000 collective exhibition S



Festival San Lawrenz E

San Lawrenz Main Sqr, San Lawrenz Festival of Dance, concerts and folklore. For more info: San Lawrenz Parish Office, Tel. 2155 6073.


Il-Fjakkolata taxXlendi E

Xlendi Bay, Xlendi

Traditional fire-lighting of Xlendi’s bay commemorating the ’Night of Saint Lawrence‘. For more info: Xlendi Administrative Committee, Tel. 7906 4595,


S New Exhibition at The Farmhouse Gallery

The Farmhouse Gallery, 21 Skapuccina Street, Zebbug


Art work by Jorg Bottcher W:

St Ursola Hall, Cittadella Centre for Culture & Arts, Citadel, Victoria

Madonna ta’ Loreto Sqr, Ghajnsielem



S Il-Wirja ta’ Santa Marija

Villa Rundle Gardens, Republic Str, Victoria W:

16 E


Madonna ta’ Loreto Sqr, Ghajnsielem

Festival of dance and music by local artists. For more info: Ghajnsielem Local Council, Tel. 2156 1515, www.

21 M

Musical Concert

Concert with the participation of the St Joseph Band For more info: St Joseph Band Club, Ghajnsielem, Tel. 2156 3592, stjoseph

22 T

Cirque du Soleil

St John’s Demi-Bastion, Gozo Citadel , Victoria Sweet Music – Dance on the big screen. W:


E Annual Animal Show

Ta’ Blankas Olive Grove, Xewkija

Calendar of events



Competition of different categories of animals, including horses. W:

29 C

Jum l-Gharb

Visitation Square, Gharb Commemoration – Locality Day. W:


Annual Traditional Bonfire of St John the Baptist E

St John the Baptist Sqr, Xewkija Traditional lighting of bonfire. W:

September 2012:


Il-Fjakkolata taxXlendi E

Xlendi Bay, Xlendi

Traditional fire-lighting of Xlendi’s bay commemorating the hamlet’s annual patronal feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. For more info: Xlendi Administrative Committee, Tel. 7906 4595,

2 C

Jum il-Vitorja

Independence Sqr, Victoria W:

30Aug-2Sep 3

Delicata Wine Festival E

Gnien il-Familja, Nadur Wine tasting, food stalls & entertainment. For more info: Nadur Local Council, Tel. 2155 8080, www.nadur.


Paintings by Henry Alamango S

Banca Giuratale Foyer, Independence Sqr, Victoria W:


Musical Concert

Our Lady of Victories Sqr, Xaghra Concert with the participation of the Victory Band. For more info: Victory Band Club, Xaghra, Tel.2155 6835.


T Re-enactment of the Great Siege and World War II

Our Lady of Victories Sqr, Xaghra Live re-enactment. For more info: Xaghra Parish Office, Tel. 21551042,


S The Rotary Gozo Art Exhibition

St Ursola Hall, Cittadella Centre for Culture & Arts, Citadel, Victoria W:


Cinderella by Prokofiev T

St John’s Demi-Bastion, Gozo Citadel , Victoria Sweet Music – ballet on the big screen. W:


20-22 July, Ta’ Sannat: Feast of Saint Margaret

Sannat Parish Office, Tel. 2155 1435,

27-29 July, Gharb:

Feast of the Visitation of Our Lady Gharb Parish Office, Tel. 2155 6129,

3-5 August, Qala:

Feast of Saint Joseph Qala Parish Office, Tel. 2155 6684,

10-12 August, San Lawrenz:

Feast of Saint Lawrence

San Lawrenz Parish Office, Tel. 2155 6073,

13-15 August, Victoria: Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady

Cathedral Parish Office, Cathedral Church, Victoria, Tel.2155 4101,

17-19 August, Zebbug: Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady

Zebbug Parish Office, Tel. 2155 4882,

24-26 August, Ghajnsielem:

Feast of Our Lady of Loreto Ghajnsielem Parish Office, Tel. 2155 3710,

6-8 September, Xaghra: Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady

Xaghra Parish Office, Tel. 2155 1042,

9 September, Zebbug: Feast of il-Madonna tal-Ghazziela

Zebbug Parish Office, Tel. 2155 4882,

15 & 16 September, Victoria:

Feast of Our Lady of Graces Franciscan Capuchins Friary, Victoria. 39


distributed to all the households during these visits. The eco Trainer explains the information included in the booklet by giving practical ideas related to everyday chores. These range from energy conservation tips and ideas on site, such as best solutions on water conservation to be applied in the bathroom or kitchen of the respective residence. Where possible, rainwater harvesting and the use of second class water are also suggested to be implemented in order to reduce water consumption. The following are some typical, frequently asked questions and answers:


The EcoGozo Home Consultancy Visits


he Ministry for Gozo, in collaboration with the Institute for Sustainable Energy (ISE) of the University of Malta, is implementing a Gozo-wide information campaign known as Naqqas u Ffranka (Save and Reduce). This project will result in the holding of house visits to every Gozitan household by eco trainers who are providing free advice to families on ways to save on electricity and water consumption, as well as the benefits obtained from the application of energy efficiency and renewable energy methods, the recycling of grey water and proper waste management. The EcoGozo Home Consultancy Visits project originates from the EcoGozo Action Plan and is in line with the Maltese government's aim to transform the island of Gozo into an ecological island by 2020. The proposed project was officially launched in November 2011 and is expected to be completed by the end of this year. This project was initiated with the recruitment of 50 officers by ISE to implement the Naqqas u Ffranka Campaign. These officers were trained on how to perform the doorto-door consultancy visits and were subsequently assessed by ISE before

40 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

being officially certified as eco Trainers. To-date, there are eight localities where the consultancy visits have already been concluded. These are the villages of Fontana, Ghajnsielem, Ghasri, Kercem, San Lawrenz, Xaghra, Xewkija and Zebbug. More then 5,000 families have been visited which amounts to an average of 54% of households in the identified localities having completed this EcoGozo activity. At present, visits are being held in the villages of Gharb, Munxar, Qala and Sannat, and the campaign will eventually be fulfilled with the EcoGozo Home Consultancy Visits in the localities of Marsalforn, Nadur, Rabat and Xlendi. Those households situated in localities where visits have already been completed and for some reason have not been visited yet, may contact the ISE on 21650675 or email ise@ to arrange an eventual appointment with an eco Trainer. A typical visit by an eco Trainer should approximately last 30 minutes. An information booklet containing qualitative and quantitative information on EcoGozo’s main trust and objectives, tips on energy and water conservation, renewable energy technologies possible and better waste management, is being

Q: What can one do so as to ensure a standard for well water to be utilised for washing or even drinking?

A: T  o be safe it is recommended to disinfect water with chlorine or treat with UV lamp technology. Q: What type of television technology consumes less electricity - LEDs, LCDs or Plasma screens?

A: E  very TV on the market has an energy efficiency rating showing how much energy it consumes; therefore one can see these ratings, compare and choose the less energy consuming devices. The EcoGozo Naqqas u Ffranka Campaign has already been a success and the feedback received is quite positive. Overall it can be noted that residents are highly conscious on sustainability issues and are very eager to learn about and implement actions to save on electricity and water consumption, to apply energy efficiency and renewable energy methods, and to embrace proper waste management practices in their homes. This all involves a change in culture, which is happening slowly but surely. A change in mentality is the biggest leap in the right direction that will guarantee a cleaner environment for our children and a more attractive island for visitors and residents alike. Finally, this is perfectly in-line with the EcoGozo Strategy, which aims to ensure a sustainable future for our island. Contributed by:


Animal Show & Traditional Bonfire A competition of different categories of horses and animals is being held on Sunday, 26th August at Ta’ Blankas Olive Grove, Xewkija. The winners placing 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Best in Show will be awarded a trophy. Applications available from Council. Another event is that of the Traditional Bonfire of Saint John the Baptist, at St John the Baptist Square, Xewkija on Wednesday, 29th August including band marches , traditional dinner & family entertainment. Ix-Xewkija Local Council, Gozo. t: 2155 8822, 2156 5719 | e: | w:

Country Terrace Dine indoors or out on the terrace and enjoy the magnificent views of Mgarr Harbour and Malta. We specialise in local and Italian cuisine, offering you the chance to indulge in a large variety of fresh fish, lamb, rabbit, game and more. We guarantee that our menu is substantial enough to tickle everyone’s taste buds. We can also cater for large parties, weddings and outside catering. Country Terrace, Zewwieqa Street, Mgarr, Gozo. t: 2155 0248 | m: 9944 6833 e: | w: 41


Diamond Jubilee Bar Diamond Jubilee in Victory Square, Xaghra, has been renovated from a traditional wine bar into more than the local meeting place. This Xaghra landmark has been revamped to achieve a contemporary posh-but-welcoming style by blending the old with the new. Apart from the decor, one can find the bustling young staff who serve the best coffee, wine and drinks. Snacks and local food are dished out attractively and consumed heartily by locals and tourists alike. The Diamond Jubilee is the hub of the busy Xaghra Centre and not to be missed! Diamond Jubilee Bar, Victory Square, Xaghra, Gozo. t: 2156 9009 | m: 79094392 | e:

Dolphin pools ltd Now is the time to plan on investing in a better and more enjoyable lifestyle for all the family, whilst enhancing and adding value to your property. Dolphin Pools, our Island's leading swimming pool company, can offer professional guidance, advice and assistance in making your dream come true. Whether you want to install a garden pool, indoor or rooftop pool, which are increasing in popularity, we are there to help you make the right choice at a surprisingly affordable price. Dolphin Pools – for all your pool, spas and sauna requirements, Dolphin Pools Gozo. t: 2156 6990, Malta: 2123 0855 | w:

Il-Kartell Restaurant Since 1973, Il-Kartell Restaurant has become the venue where friends meet to enjoy fine food and wine. We offer an extensive Mediterranean and Gozitan menu at a reasonable price. Il-Kartell Restaurant, Marina Street, Marsalforn Bay, Gozo. t: 2155 6918 | m: 7900 1965 e: | w:

ISABELLE MIZZI Photography/WEDDINGS Isabelle Mizzi Photography & Isabelle Mizzi Weddings have been established as photographers for 30 years. From a personal photo shoot for you and your family, to shoots for weddings and other special occasions, including videography. Both digital and traditional albums are available at affordable prices. We have an established studio in Mellieha, and now also in Qala, Gozo. Extra travel charges are thus not incurred, and we are not limited to ferry times. t: 2132 0475 | m: 7932 0475 | e: w:,

Farmhouse Gallery New Exhibition Situated in the heart of Zebbug Gozo, the Farmhouse Gallery offers art lovers the opportunity to enjoy art in the romantic and authentic atmosphere of this 300 year old farmhouse on weekends. The Farmhouse Gallery is reopening during the Zebbug village feast weekend from Friday 17 to Sunday 19 August, from 11am to 6pm, exhibiting new art works by the owner Jorg Bottcher himself. The Farmhouse Gallery, 21 Skapuccina Street, Zebbug, Gozo. t: 2156 1434 | m: 9922 8770 e: | w: 42 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

MGARR - GOZO: 2210 9000 / 2156 1622 / 2155 6016 43


Pebbles Restaurant Situated in the heart of the popular resort of Marsalforn, Pebbles Restaurant offers a truly authentic experience in dining al fresco right on the water’s edge. Our sensitive appreciation for local cuisine and an awareness of the contemporary kitchen enables us to offer a variety of food which satisfies the appetite of even our most discerning clientele. Our a la carte menu offers a delicious and mouthwatering selection of dishes served daily, both lunch and dinner, in a friendly atmosphere. Pebbles Restaurant, Misrah Mikelang Refalo Marsalforn Gozo. t: 2155 6151 | e:

PRIME MEAT SHOP & PRIME DELI SHOP The Prime Meat Shop & Prime Deli Shop at Ta' Dirjanu in Ghajnsielem offer you a wide variety of products for any occasion. Try our range of cold cuts, cheeses and antipasto items for your finger-food party, or our succulent steaks, marinated meats, chicken, ribs, kebabs, pork medallions and other specials for your upcoming barbecue. Join our Facebook group PRIME RECIPES 4 U. For free summer recipes, send an email to We are open daily from 6am to 7pm. Open also on Sunday mornings. Free parking facilities are available. Prime Meat Shop & Prime Deli Shop, Ta' Dirjanu, Ghajnsielem, Gozo. t: 2124 2650 | m: 7947 8452 | w:

The Boat House Restaurant Located in the picturesque bay of Xlendi on the west coast of Gozo, our restaurant offers Mediterranean specialities: fresh fish & seafood, live lobsters & shellfish, fresh pasta, suckling pig, fresh argentenian & irish beef and over 200 local & foreign wines. Babies & children welcome; highchairs & baby changing facilities avaiable. Wheelchair access & WC facilites. Awarded one of the top 40 restaurants on the Maltese Islands by The Defentive(ly) Good Guide. Open daily from noon till 10.30pm (last orders) Booking recommended. The Boat House Restaurant, Xatt ix-Xlendi, Xlendi Bay, Gozo. t: 2156 9153, 2756 7207 | m: 9947 7207 / 9982 6303



of the May Let's Gozo competition Winning photo:

Beach Life

by Mikaela Galea taken at Ramla Beach on 24 May 2012.

Following on from our successful competitions in past issues, this edition it’s time for you to put your mark on Let’s Gozo, with your photographs. This issue's theme is Festa Time, so join the party and start snapping! Prizes are also up for grabs for the winners, including Gozo wine, restaurant vouchers and over-night stays. Visit for details, or submit your beach-focused pictures to Kindly include details about where your picture was taken, and submit by the deadline 15 August 2012. Please note that only pictures related to the theme will be considered. We will be uploading the winning pictures to

44 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012

Photos: Paul Scicluna




out with the sunday times on 16 September


As we look forward to September, change will be in the air once again. Next issue Let’s Gozo will be celebrating the best of the island’s agricultural industry, visiting the lush Ta’ Mena Estate and taking a fishing trip to discover what’s under the sea.

Through the keyhole

01 | Lejlet Lapsi: During Lejlet Lapsi, an annual event now in its fourth edition, historical tours were held around the citadel. This particular tour was led by Fr Joe Bezzina.


The ‘Grand Master’ and ‘Bishop’ leading a procession down Castle Hill in a re-enactment that took place in Pjazza Indipendenza. Il-Banda ta’ Indri was one of the several folklore bands giving performances in the narrow streets of Victoria over Lejliet Lapsi.




Agricultural Fair, held the weekend before Imnarja : Arch Fr Jimmy Xerri, parish priest of Nadur, blessing animals in Nadur. Members of the Mnarja Folk Group dressed in the Ghonella, ahead of a dance performance in the village square.




ITS Open Day: Students being shown round by chef George Borg during an open day at ITS in Qala.




Fiori D’ Argenta: Organised by the Xewkija Local Council from 15 to 17 June. This event included a festival of art drama, music, culture and traditions.


Pictured right: Reenactment in front of the Rotunda Church in Xewkija, of the ’Bandu‘ announcement issued by Grand Master Nicol Cottoner on 23rd June, 1679, proclaiming the transfer of public land to Bishop Molina, on which the village community was to build its parish church. Left: Local lady keeping alive lace making during the Fior d’Argenta. 46 Let’s Gozo July & August 2012



Photos: (1, 3, 4) George Xerri (2) Anthony Cassar (5) Reno Rapa

Fort Ross: Shots of the film set built in Xwejni, Gozo, for the Russian production of Fort Ross.

SSSSSS h... Stunning Gozo!

Small and beautiful as it is, Gozo cannot be seen in just one day. As a place to relax, ‘hang out’ and live the good life the island is unsurpassed. After you set foot on Gozo, you’ll know why you need more than just a day to savour it’s leisurely charms. The more you enjoy your visit to Gozo, the more likely you are to return, and to recommend the island to others. If you are intrigued by this beautiful island’s ability to create ‘Gozo fanatics’ like ourselves, then plan a visit. We always stay for more than just a day. It’s the secret hideaway of all Maltese. Which is why we would prefer to leave it undiscovered by you. But it’s in our nature to share the best we have with visitors.

Gotta go to Gozo UP TO

mondaY - sUndaY

fashion + home: 9am - 8Pm | foodstore: 8am - 8Pm


oPen aLL daY

gotta go to

fashion - home - food

arkadia Commercial Centre, Victoria, Gozo |

Let's Gozo issue 6  

The 6th issue of the Let's Gozo magazine published with The Sunday Times on the 22th July 2012

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