UNESCO World Heritage Site and European Capital of Culture 2018, Valletta is for sure one of the grander, even if smaller, capital cities in Europe.
Named after the Grandmaster of the Knights of St John, Jean Parisot de Valette, Valletta was founded one year after the Great Siege of 1565, when the Ottoman forces tried unsuccessfully to take the island. One of the main reasons for using the hill as a foundation for the new city was to deny any future invaders such an excellent vantage point over the Grand Harbour.
Over the centuries, the city of Valletta has lost none of its charms and in the last few years it has been able to reinvent itself from “a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen” to a cosmopolitan and lively city, where magnificent ancient buildings coexist with ultramodern architecture designed by the world-renowned architect Renzo Piano.
The new City Gate, Parliament and the Opera Theatre/Pjazza Teatru Rjal, the newly restored Triton Fountain and its square, the new food Market (Is-Suq Tal-Belt) are just few examples of the deep transformation process Valletta went trough in the last few years.
Once per year, during Notte Bianca, State palaces and museums open their doors to the public free of charge.
2018 Notte Bianca will take place 6th October. This is Malta’s biggest annual arts and culture festival. From the City Gate to Fort St. Elmo, Valletta will come alive with a spectacular celebration that will encompass music, dance, theatre, visual arts, literary events, new and digital arts.