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Old Town of Valletta

Valletta, Malta
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Marvel at the Multicolored Streets of Malta Valletta  Malta
Ancient Reality TV in Malta Valletta  Malta
Marvel at the Multicolored Streets of Malta Valletta  Malta
Ancient Reality TV in Malta Valletta  Malta

Marvel at the Multicolored Streets of Malta

Who knew Malta was so pretty? Well, I suppose the people who live there knew. I didn't. There was, to be fair, a lot I didn't know about Malta, including that the national language is actually Maltese, which sounds like no Mediterranean language you've ever heard. But one of the most unexpected delights were the narrow streets of the capital city, Valletta. The closed balconies that jut from almost every house are a major feature; they're the first thing you see as you walk down Republic Street, the city's main thoroughfare, where they are painted a uniform dark green. Meander away from the shops and into some of the smaller residential streets, and you will be rewarded with a wider palette. Bright reds and yellows, cornflower blues, pastel greens, and dusky pinks—it's like something out of a fairy tale. Go feast your eyes.

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AFAR Ambassador
over 5 years ago

Walking Valletta

Get off the touristy streets and wander around the neighborhoods of the old town of Valletta. Take in the beautiful wooden balconies that stretch around corners and cross over cobblestone streets. But be prepared for some hill work—this old city has roller coaster–like streets. Take your time, walk slowly, look up, and discover. You’ll find small churches, coats of arms, and votive statues in every little niche. Thanks to the Knights, the city is built on a grid system so it’s about impossible to get lost! 
AFAR Ambassador
over 5 years ago

Ancient Reality TV in Malta

Colorful, enclosed, wooden, and on every single home in Malta - the wooden balconies may be weathered, but they have stood the test of time.

The origins of this unique Maltese architecture were about impossible to track down, but when I asked locals I generally received answers like this, " They are from Arabic times when women had to be hidden."

However the Maltese society didn’t really have to hide women, but the tradition instead morphed into the fact that pretty much all women were housewives and they really stayed in the home and didn’t venture out much. The saying “a woman’s place is in the home”rings true here years ago. (cringe!)

One local explained, "the housewives would sit on high stools and watch what was going on outside; in a weird way, it was their reality TV."

Regardless of origins, they wooden balconies are beautiful pieces of architecture that are unique to all towns and homes in Malta. And if you are lucky, you'll get to even sit in one and catch some reality tv.