What to see
Malta city: Here’s what you can’t absolutely miss in Valletta in Malta
Valletta City Gate and Renzo Piano’s work
Once you get to the central bus station, right at the entrance of the City Gate, the large square (opening in front of you) exhibits (in all its beauty) the impressive “Triton Fountain”. Beautiful in daylight, even more at night, since it’s cleverly lit.
The monumental entrance to the city has been created by the world-famous Genoese architect Renzo Piano in contemporary style. Also the alleys and gardens below are part of his project.
Upper Barrakka Gardens
If you need a short rest, they are a small paradise, with their well-kept gardens, their fountain and (plenty of) benches.
There’s a kiosk selling soft drinks and ice-creams.
If you move towards the terrace overlooking the sea, still in Valletta (Malta), you can enjoy the daily gun salute ceremonial at midday and at 4:00 p.m. on the “Saluting Battery” (the terrace below).
National Museum of Archeology
The Museum tells the story of Malta from Prehistory to the Phoenicians. It’s rich with archeological finds dating back to the Neolithic, pottery, jewellery, coins, statues of all dimensions and beautifully modelled figurines, among which the most precious is by far “The Sleeping Lady”, a 12-centimetre artifact of a recumbent woman. The museum is really worth a visit.
St John’s Co-Cathedral
In the very heart of the capital, it appears to the viewer with a simple facade but it holds its unique treasures in the stunning, extremely ornate interior, which is reputed to be one of the finest examples of high Baroque architecture in Europe.
The huge central nave, the two side naves and the Maltese limestone walls, richly decorated and extensively inlaid, are painted in gold.
A barrel ceiling is a masterpiece of frescoes and the floor is covered with marble tombstones belonging to the famous Knights of Malta.
The oratory holds two real gems: The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist and Saint Jerome Writing, both by Caravaggio.
Chinese Garden of Serenity
The Chinese Garden of Serenity is in Santa Luċija.
Rocks, water and vegetation make up this little Chinese world. The extremely well kept and orderly gardens interspersed with statues representing moments of daily life in China, together with the pond and the small waterfall, convey peace and serenity.
For a while, you feel like being on the other side of the planet – it’s the ideal place to take a break from chaotic Malta.