Valletta
Exploring the capital? 4 unique things to look out for (& admire) in Valletta
Keep your eyes peeled for these as you wander around Valletta.

Joanna Demarco

valletta

I must admit, I am always torn as to whether I should read up about a place before I get there. There is an irreplaceable excitement that comes about when coming across things whilst wandering around aimlessly. However, I find that friendly hints of what to look out for, without giving too much away, are the perfect in-between so as to not feel like you've missed out, whilst not completely abolishing that element of surprise.  On that note, here are a few things to keep your eyes open for when touring around Valletta (apart from all the wonderful museums and places of interest!)

Traditional balconies

Maltese traditional balconies may have very well been designed around the Maltese characteristic of being nosey, a perhaps expected trait within such a small society. With plenty of windows covering over 180 degrees, the voyeur can look out from their balcony whilst hiding behind the wooden frame themselves. Valletta’s colourful balconies are also beautifully structured and are found all over the city.

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Longstanding specialised shops

As time goes by, more of these small, specialised businesses are closing down and being turned into other establishments such as bars and boutique hotels. However, many still remain. You can find a variety of shops selling an array of products, from Maltese lace to bread, and vinyls to fishing tackle. The facade is usually dressed up with a beautiful old, pre-Internet typography sign too. Having spent many decades in the businesses, the shopkeeper, more often than not, is an expert in the item s/he is selling, making the place all the more inviting due to the potential interesting and informative conversations waiting to be had!

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Coffee shops

Valletta has many pretty coffee shops, making it advisable to have plenty of coffee stops whilst exploring the city (and occasionally choosing a decaf option)! Whilst some are big and noticeable, with waiters walking out of them in uniform, others are hidden in narrow alleyways and are charming due to their unexpected-ness.

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Doors and facade decor

Working hand-in-hand with Maltese balconies are matching Maltese doors, with their identifiable knockers, bright paint and religious iconography. Roaming around the more residential areas of the city you will find characteristics similar to areas in Southern Italy; such as personal shrines and laundry drying along the facade - priceless!

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Joanna Demarco
Written by
Joanna Demarco

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