Like a kaleidoscope of different civilisations, Malta has preserved all the traces of its extraordinary past.
Sardinia, Sicily, Malta… The very emblems of the Mediterranean, these are islands steeped in the legend of Ulysses and the history of the great navigating civilizations of antiquity. To the ancients, Sicily was the land of the gods, inhabited by the Cyclopes, sons of Neptune, by the god Vulcan and Aeolus. For centuries, it was the crossroads of empires: Greeks and Phoenicians, Romans and Carthaginians, then Arabs and Normans were succeeded by the houses of Anjou and Aragon, and later the English. This is no doubt why Sicily today is a veritable microcontinent, a world unto itself, infused with a decadent charm that enhances its beauty with a patina of nostalgia. It can be seen in the magnificent Greek temples of Selinunte, Segesta and the Agrigento Valley, and in the amphitheaters of Syracuse and Taormina, whose stage, high above the city, commands a breathtaking view of the sea and Mount Etna. In the midst of these spectacular ruins, the air is redolent with the heady fragrances of orange blossom, bergamot, lemon, almond, broom and myrtle. But to plumb the island’s secrets, one must head inland, to explore a countryside drenched in sunlight and dotted with baroque villages: Noto, Modica, Ispica, Raguse, Ibla. This baroque heritage can be tasted in the rich, sumptuous local pastries, cassata and cannoli decorated like miniature epicurean altars.
Sardinia reveals a different face, more discreet and reserved. Along with its Romanesque churches and mysterious monuments from the ancient Nuragic culture, the island boasts some of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful beaches. The limpid waters of its Emerald Coast have become a favorite of the jet set, but visitors also come from around the globe to savor Sardinia’s authentic traditional cuisine, with superb goat and sheep cheeses and dishes like suckling piglet and lamb infused with the flavors of a wild, mountainous land. Malta, on the other hand, has always been a cultural hub. For centuries, sailors, saints and adventurers crossed paths in the historic center of Valletta.
The Knights of the Order of Malta played a key role in the history of this island at the edge of Europe, defended by the sword and also by the brush of Caravaggio, who worked there. But it was the English who gave the country its enduring cosmopolitan character. The locals here drink tea at five, drive on the left and cultivate a seemingly innate sense of courtesy - all combined with a devotion to fine food that Malta owes more to its Sicilian neighbor to the north.
Hotel and restaurant in town. This 17th century palazzo is inextricably linked to the medieval city of Mdina, its walls forming part of the bastion walls that surround the former capital of Malta, with its remarkable baroque architecture. All rooms have been individually designed with romantic décor, original paintings, antique tapestries and furnishings. They are reminiscent of the noble origins of the Xara Palace and boast spectacular 180 degree panoramic views of Malta. Enjoy attentive service and gastronomic delights at the award-winning de Mondion restaurant, or dine at Trattoria A.D. 1530, situated on the charming Piazza. ... Learn moreless