The tiny capital of the Mediterranean island nation of Malta finally seizes its moment...
Unesco declared Valletta a World Heritage Site in 1980, describing it as “one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world", and in 2018 it's taking up the mantle of European Capital of Culture, something the city has worked towards for years.
The Maltese capital is one of the smallest in Europe, crammed onto a peninsula just one kilometre long. The city was built over the course of around 250 years from 1566 onwards, constructed largely out of honey-coloured limestone. Architecturally it's very harmonious, with green balconies adding a flash of colour against the warm stone.
Sitting alongside these homegrown aesthetics are red post and telephone boxes — a legacy of Malta's 150 years as a British colony. Within its fortifications, churches, palaces, domestic buildings and the so-called auberges of the Knights of St John are all jumbled together.
The Knights of St John are inextricably linked with Malta and their story permeates every corner of the city.
Even if you can't attend a concert, visit for the glowing interior, the coloured marble floor and the Oratory with its Beheading of St John the Baptist by Caravaggio.
George VI awarded the George Cross to the entire population of Malta and in 1943 Franklin D Roosevelt sent a message of gratitude from the American people. “Malta stood alone but unafraid in the centre of the sea," he said.
Valletta attracts millions of visitors from all over the World and many also decide to buy a property in this amazing historic city.
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