Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Malta by Mail

The Mail's John Craven still thinks Malta is good value for money despite the weak pound against the euro.

Prices in restaurants and cafes are much the same as in the UK and quality is good. A traditional Maltese meal of a fish broth called aljotta and rabbit cooked in red wine and herbs cost me €18 in the rooftop restaurant of the Castille Hotel in Valletta, looking down on the twinkling lights of the harbour.

But the concentration of history and culture is what impressed Craven most.

In Valletta's cathedral is the island's greatest treasure, Caravaggio's vast masterpiece The Beheading Of St John, the only work he ever signed. It was painted in situ in 1607, shortly before the troublesome artist got into a fight, was flung into the dungeons and then escaped the island.

Further along Valletta's cobbled main street you can glimpse how top Knights used to live.

Casa Rocca Piccola, a 16th Century palace, is the home of the Marquis de Pira and his English wife Frances, who showed me round its many elegant rooms, rich with paintings, exquisite furniture and silver.

Read John Craven's article here

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