|Azamara Journey docked at La Valletta, Malta|
I recently gave the sail-in commentary as we arrived in the magnificent harbor of La Valletta aboard my favorite luxury cruise ship.
|mysterious doorway in the Palazzo|
Although Malta is far away, an English island halfway between Sicily and Africa, it felt like a homecoming for the harbor and the entire city were dotted with connections to central Italy.
|courtyard Grand Masters Palace|
There were capers covering the walls of the fortresses with Italian names and Caravaggio paintings decorated the main church, St. John's Co-Cathedral .
|entrance to Grand Masters Palace|
|piano nobile in the palace|
Caravaggio was a novitiate in the order of the Knights in 1607 and his huge "Beheading of St. John" is the drawing card for tourists who flock to the Cathedral today.
For more on the Spanish past of the Tuscan promontory see my latest book "Etruria-travel, history and itineraries in central Italy".Copies can be ordered directly through the website using paypal.
|armor belonging to Ranuccio Farnese|
Another local lad, Ranuccio Farnese, is rememebered in the Armory museum, where numerous magnificent coats of armor are displayed.
|portrait of one of the Grand Masters|
|bus La Valletta to Naxxar .42 cents|
The pubs and shops were still closed along the newly restored waterfront as we boarded a local bus to reach the central square with its huge fountain.
From there an even more ancient bus took us for a 30 minute ride through the suburbs past the Mostar church where an unexploded bomb from the Second World War siege is remembered.
|Cathedral Mostar with unexploded bomb|
|facade Palazzo Parisio|
|entrance and family portrait|
|Ballroom Palazzo Parisio, Malta|
|reception in the Palazzo garden|
|carriage, Palazzo Parisio|
Have you been to Malta? What is your favorite thing to do in Malta ?