From Times of Malta,
June 30, 2013
Valette helmet found in Italian museum collection
When lawyer and historian
Robert Attard switched on his laptop last week to research
helmets worn by the Knights of Malta, little did he know
that he would make the discovery of a lifetime: locating the
helmet that formed part of the battle armour of Jean Parisot
The helmet, known as a
Comb Morion, is part of a collection housed in the Museo
Nazionale del Palazzo di Venezia, in Rome, where its true
identity went unnoticed by the Italians.
Malta is richer than it was before
From Times of Malta
June 28, 2013
Open air theatre to be handed over to
Government within two months
air theatre built out of the Royal Opera House will be
handed over from the Grand Harbour Regeneration Corporation
to the government within two months, according to Culture
Parliamentary Secretary Jose Herrera.
theatre, which forms part of the City Gate project, will be
named Pjazza Teatru Rjal to keep the historical element of
controversial open theatre will start being used on Sunday -
the opening night of the eighth edition of the Malta Arts
Festival. Itand will feature a show by world famous dance
company Puerto Flamenco. Another three shows, one by a
foreign dance group, will be held in the open theatre.
can seat 900 people and up to 1,500 standing.
for the events are available online or
from the Embassy Cinema ticket office in Valletta between
10am and 9pm daily or at the door before a performance.
Doors open 30 minutes before the event.
From Times of Malta
June 26, 2013
Valletta access scheme is to be reformed – PM
Park and ride system to be reviewed
The payment system for cars to enter Valletta would be
reformed and the Government was considering reverting to the
old annual V licence to drive into the capital, Prime
Minister Joseph Muscat said.
Whistleblower’s Act will come into force by the end of July
when Parliament rises for its summer recess
The Government was also looking into other options including
retaining the controlled vehicles access system but
extending the times when motorists can enter the city for
free to include early afternoon and Saturdays. At the
moment, access to Valletta is free after 6pm, on Saturday
afternoon and on Sundays and public holidays.
From Times of Malta,
25 June 2013
Updated - Valletta CVA system to be reviewed
government will review or scrap the CVA parking system in
Valletta by the next Budget, the prime minister said at a
public consultation meeting this evening.
the system needed to be changed or scrapped because of the
negative impact it was having on the Valletta business
Rejuvenating the capital city
from The Times of May 30 2013
Recently the EU Council of Ministers declared Valletta the
European Capital of Culture for the year 2018. The decision
brought to a positive conclusion the hard work of a year and
a half carried out by the Valletta 2018 Foundation.
Let’s make V18
one event truly worth remembering – that of rejuvenating the
city of Valletta
Undoubtedly, such a declaration entails a copious amount of
work which needs to be carried out until that year comes
about. Inthe meantime, Valletta will be celebrating its
450th anniversary. Also, the Dominican Order, which boasts
of being endowed with the first parish in the capital city,
will be celebrating the eighth centenary from the
establishment of Black Friars in 1216 – not to mention that
in 2016 the Basilica of Safe Havens and St Dominic will be
celebrating the 200th anniversary from its institution.
Moving monti is a ‘threat’ to city’s image
from The Times of 28 May 2013
Valletta’s image is under “serious threat” from the
relocation of the monti to a site near the capital’s
entrance, according to mayor Alexiei Dingli.
Dingli told Times of Malta that he learnt of the plan from
open-market hawkers themselves, who told him “a few weeks
ago” that it was an electoral promise.
Mayor was told a
few weeks ago it was an electoral promise
Monti stalls ‘must change’
does Valletta’s market compare with other cities?
Valletta 'Monti': Government to help hawkers replace their
from Tiimes of Malta May 28, 2013
government will be assisting Valletta Monti market
hawkers to replace their stalls, using national and EU
funds, Economic Affairs Minister Chris Cardona said today.
confirmed on TVAM that both the daily as well as the Sunday
markets will be moving to Ordinance Street in Valletta. He
said there was enough space for all 75 licence holders of
the daily market, who currently set up their stalls in
Merchants’ Street and around part of the Palace.
However, with more than 200 permit holders for the Sunday
market, the Ordinance Street market will spill-over ‘to
another street’ which Dr Cardona did not specify. There is
no space for hawkers working out of their vans. Another
place is being sought for them. The Sunday market is
currently set up at Horn Works Ditch outside Floriana.
Parking issues in Valletta
from The Times of 28 May 2013
Recently some parking spaces in Melita Street, Valletta (Marsamxett
side) were allocated for residents. I would like to express
my gratitude to whoever was responsible for this long
delayed decision, reversing a decision taken some years ago
to remove most of the parking slots in this part of
I had on various occasions communicated with the local and
central government authorities on this matter but to no
Valletta places seventh in top European destinations
The Times, 30 March
been voted as one of the top 10 European destinations by
travellers who participated in an online competition
organised by a Brussels-based consumers’ organisation.
Malta’s capital ranked seventh and, by placing in the top
10, won the right to be promoted by the European Consumers
Choice, a voluntary organisation that works to give
consumers a voice and reward companies. The top 10 also
win the right to use websites and official documents bearing
the European Best Destinations 2013 logo.
the paradise! Nice weather, a country with a lot of history,
the people are friendly, beautiful sceneries surrounded by a
wonderful sea,” one tourist wrote. Another wrote:
“History, harbour and hidden treasures, all in one.”
countries participated in the competition. The winner was
Istanbul, Turkey, that got 12.4 per cent of votes. It was
followed by Lisbon, in Portugal (12.2 per cent), Vienna, in
Austria (9.5 per cent), Barcelona, in Spain (8.3 per cent),
Amsterdam, in the Netherlands (7.2 per cent), Madrid, in
Spain (6.5 per cent), Valletta (6.3 per cent), Nice, in
France (6.2 per cent), Milan, in Italy (5.9 per cent) and
Stockholm, in Sweden (5.3 per cent).
great news. Even if it may seem to be a trivial matter,
positive coverage by a leading European consumers
organisation is useful.
interviewed tourists for my doctorate research and I can
confirm that Valletta does provide a most enjoyable
experience. One of the questions I asked was to mention
something negative about Valletta. Most of them struggled
to mention anything. This is not to say that there is
nothing that needs to be improved. Far from it. Valletta,
however, does have many requisites to offer an exceptional
experience to visitors.
by John Ebejer for VAF)
A day out by any other route
6 January 2013
excellent article by Mark Anthony Falzon. It gives a
flavour of what experiencing a city like Valletta is all
about. It merits being reproduced here in its entirety.
the Valletta-Cottonera ferry service and the Baracca lift,
Valletta now offers yet another experience for Maltese and
tourists to enjoy.
minutes is how long it took me to get from my doorstep in
Cospicua to Barrakka Gardens in Valletta the other day. It
took me considerably longer to get my head round the thought
that I hadn’t forgotten my car keys at home, that I wouldn’t
be needing them at all for that matter.
The new sea
connection between Cottonera and Valletta is one of those
things that remind one that innovation and ‘development’ do
not necessarily require grandiose projects. In this case I’m
not sure even ‘innovation’ is in order. It’s simply a
resuscitated connection and one that has been long, possibly
too long, in the making.
Nor do I
think the sea connection will do very much to ease the
perennial headache of traffic jams to, and parking in
Valletta. Most of us will still opt to use our cars and
that’s not least because car use is now too embedded in
practices like convenience shopping to cede territory just
magic. The trick is to suspend all boring arguments from
traffic management and weather conditions and boat legroom
and such, and take it in as the unique experience that it
is. Many were doing just that last Saturday and, hand on
heart, it’s a while since I’ve seen people enjoying their
city so much.
the big thing really. A city should properly serve up as
many different species of experience as possible. The
challenge for Valletta 2018 is that the city enhances known
faces and present new ones in stimulating and playful ways.
The sea connection is a tremendous point of departure in
currently reading Edward Said’s excellent Subterranean
Valletta (Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti, 2012). Said tells
how in 1642 Grandmaster Lascaris had a tunnel cut through
the rock and a road extended down at the Victoria Gate (at
the time Porta del Monte) area. He also had warehouses and a
wharf built and an exquisite garden laid out which came to
be known (aptly) as Ġnien is-Sultan.
later initiatives turned the waterfront and its neighbouring
streets into a hive of commercial activity. It was the point
at which the sea and its various inhabitants (sailors,
bumboatmen, and such) came in contact with the city.
was by far the most colourful entrance to Valletta. As
lovers of Ellis’s photographs will know, the romance only
ended in the mid-20th century. The dockyard’s large
workforce and the population density around the harbour
meant that the sea connection between Cottonera and Valletta
lingered on for another 20 years or so.
I grew up
in Valletta in the 1980s. By that time the maritime link had
been relegated to a staple of tourist itineraries. Il-lanċa
was a receding memory and the derelict and rusting Barrakka
lift was primarily associated in our minds with a convenient
drop should life get too rocky.
link, the sea became an obstacle. The only way to enter
Valletta was through Putirjal (City Gate). Compared to that
of our grandparents, our city was decidedly monologous and
why my morning outing turned out so rewarding, in at least
three ways. First, the sea crossing itself. I happened to
share a boat with people who remembered the lanċa of their
childhood and spent the entire seven minutes reminiscing
about the harbour as they knew it, crowded with British navy
ships and dgħajjes tal-pass (local boats) and criss-crossing
routes and routines.
something special about approaching Valletta by boat. One
really feels the tension between the need to fortify and
protect from sea attacks, and that to enable easy access to
the sea and its commercial opportunity. Like a ship,
Valletta simultaneously embraces and negates the sea.
Perhaps most tellingly, one experiences the harbour area as
one integral social and urban unit made diverse by complex
walls and linguistic and territorial distinctions.
ends at Lascaris Wharf. Or it doesn’t really because the
next leg is equally strong in character. The new lift
manages to look restrained and elegant while retaining the
industrial aura of its predecessor. The few seconds it takes
to breach the walls have all the qualities of a ritual
siege. Indeed the lift itself looks somewhat like a siege
tower from across the water.
Valletta like I had never experienced it before. Readers
will pardon my florid enthusiasm but even the requisite
espresso at Ellul’s on Strada Santa Luċia tasted better. I
just wanted to walk and breathe the city. My defence is that
I wasn’t alone. There were crowds of people at the lift and
the mood was that in which conversations with strangers are
thing was very nearly marred by the monstrous new monument
to de/la Valette. A piece of unbearable and worthless kitsch
that looks like something the festa armar people left
behind, this is just the type of temptation we need to
resist, one that pushes us in the direction of a facile
rhetoric that makes no attempt whatsoever to engage with the
matter, Renzo Piano’s work in progress (our best ever spent
tax money in my opinion) and the newly-restored church of
Santa Caterina d’Italia were at hand. Again I saw people
just drifting in and out of the sites as if they were
tourists in their own land.
There is a
certain implicit optimism about urban interventions of this
kind. I don’t just mean political optimism – although truth
be told, urban projects and politics are rarely divorced for
long. Rather, it’s a way of living and engaging with one’s
morning was an eye-opener for me. I realised I had been
starved of urbanity in its creative and explorative senses.
was no longer my city as Żebbuġ is to the Żebbuġin, that is,
as a site of local attachment. It was my city as a Maltese
person and, dare I say it, as a human being.”