Villino Zammit has been standing since the 19th century.
As you turn onto Sliema's High Street off Dingli Street, one of the first things you’ll notice is this gorgeous townhouse, Villino Zammit. As a resident, I've stopped to take in the intricate architectural features that adorn this townhouse while heading home more times than I can count. However, its just been announced that the beautiful Villino Zammit is soon to be turned into a boutique hotel, and locals (myself included), don’t know how to feel about this.
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National heritage watchdog the Superintendence of Cultural Heritage warned that the development will alter the Grade II scheduled villa that dates back to the 19th century and was designed by renowned architect Francesco Zammit. While additional storeys will be built in certain parts of the villa, the gardens, it's been reported, will thankfully be retained.
This approved permit follows previously issued proposals in 2014 and 2003. The 2014 application proposed to restore the building as a residence and for a swimming pool to be built in the garden. The earlier 2003 application proposed to convert the villa into a casino and restaurant.
Light Design Solutions / Facebook
Many locals have taken to Facebook to express pity and frustration at the project, which will potentially ruin “one of the most elegant villas in Sliema,” as one commenter calls it. In a post shared by Stephen Borg Cardona, a descendent of the Borg Cardonas who owned the villa, he states that this development will destroy “the villa where my papa grew up and my parents got married.” What a shame!
What do you think of the Villino Zammit proposal? Great idea or not so much?