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Malta’s 16th-century citadel capital, the Unesco World Heritage city of Valletta, is one of the European Capitals of Culture 2018 A melting pot of European influences since it was built by the Knights of St John following the Great Siege of 1565, Valletta has long packed a historical and artistic punch well above its weight. In 2018 this will be true in spades, with hundreds of events – art of all kinds, theatre, dance, opera and music, fireworks, food and fun – in Valletta and across the country.
Valletta itself is tiny, a perfect place to wander beneath painted wooden balconies and baroque facades, as well as a few edgier new constructions by Renzo Piano, architect of the LondonShard. Preparation for this year has included extensive restoration, leaving fortifications and palazzi glowing. The tourist map has gained fortresses and museums, sparkling interiors (especially at St John’s Co-Cathedral) and a new National Art Gallery (Muza) due to open in the Auberge d’Italie later this year. brightstarsglobalgetaways travelagent travel malta sunshine holiday