Category Archives: Malta Attractions

A Historic Flight from Malta

A single engine Piper PA-28 Cherokee 9H-FLY with Oliver Bennett, David Polidano, Raymond Ebejer and Ezechiel Busuttil from the Malta Aviation Museum last month attended the fifth annual Historical Aircraft Group’s Fly Party for vintage aircraft at the airfield of Montagnana in the Veneto region, northern Italy.

Piper PA-28 Cherokee 9H-FLY

The local museum’s participation was made possible thanks to main sponsor Mediterranean Insurance Brokers and secondary sponsors Grand Hotel Excelsior, Sky People flying school, Euro Star Garage, Total oils, Mosta Radiators and Splash and Fun water park.

Sponsors for the Historical aircraft group fly party

Mr Polidano thanked MIB for making their attendance to the Fly Party possible: “With your support we have continued to strengthen our friendship with like-minded vintage aviation enthusiasts and operators in Europe. The HAG aims to keep the aviation culture alive and strong in Italy, and preserves and enhances the historical, technological and cultural impact that classic airplanes represent.”

No fewer than 60 vintage aircraft took part, with the Maltese crew being awarded a memento for having travelled the greatest distance to attend the Fly Party.

Vintage aircraft Malta Memento

In its report, Warbirds News (www.warbirdsnews.com) described the two-day event, which hosted airplanes, gliders, helicopters, ultralights and aerobatic teams, as the premier event in the Italian air show season. It also hosted the first meeting devoted to airplanes designed by the legendary aeronautical engineer and aircraft designer, Stelio Frati.

One of his notable planes was the Aermacchi SF.260, and there were four of them on display. During the flight demonstrations of the SF.260s, four planes suddenly fell together to perform a seemingly impromptu precision aerobatics display, carrying out a series of complicated steps and manoeuvres, wingtip to wingtip, garnering an enormous and enthusiastic response from the crowds below, who were not expecting much more than flyovers and some solo aerobatics.

The mystery of the SF.260 display was solved when the planes landed and the pilots were revealed to be four former pilots of the Frecce Tricolori, the Italian Air Force’s aerobatic exhibition team. These pilots, now retired, clearly have not lost a taste for flying, nor an appreciable diminishment of their skills.

The success of this year’s event, the largest yet, was in large part due to the hard work of AvioClub Montagnana through its many volunteers and the tireless and efficient Vittorio Frison. The event director, Sergio Maron, serving as the announcer, was able to masterfully paint a compelling picture, describing the aircraft which flew during the show, bringing tangible emotion to the colourful commentary he provided for the planes, some of which he himself flew during his many years of service in the Italian Air Force.

A spokesman for MIB said: “It is our pleasure to support initiatives to fly our flag beyond our shores. We thank the Malta Aviation Museum for seeking our collaboration and remain devoted to assist in similar events. We take the opportunity to congratulate the Maltese crew for their accomplishment.”

If you are interested in Events in Malta and would like information on Things to do in Malta during your holidays kindly contact the Concierge Team at one of the Leading Luxury Malta Hotels.    

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Traditional Malta Summer Feasts

What comes to mind when you think of Malta during summer? Feast, food, fun, sun, holidays, relaxing, fireworks…. Oh the list is endless!

It is widely known that during the summer months there is a feast almost every week. But one of the biggest feasts in Malta is that of Santa Maria which is celebrated on the 15th August. Several towns and villages around Malta celebrate Santa Maria, namely Mosta, Attard, Mqabba, Qrendi, Gudja, Ghaxaq and Victoria Gozo. Besides it is also a religious and public holiday in Malta so even the Maltese are out to celebrate.

Mosta_FeastAnd if you happen to be in Malta enjoying a short break during the Santa Maria Weekend you can surely enjoy one of the Santa Marija feasts somewhere around the island. Be part of the festa fever; join the locals celebrating in the town or village square, enjoy the amazing fireworks displays, savour some of the traditional festa food, and witness children squeal with joy throwing confetti to one another as they follow the band marching after the local statue.

So if you would like to enjoy a Malta Summer Festa the Grand Hotel Excelsior is offering a Special Package for the Santa Maria Weekend which includes:

• Accommodation in a Deluxe Partial Sea View Room
• A 20% OFF the Bed and Breakfast Rate
• Welcome drink upon arrival
• Daily Buffet Breakfast
• Daily Dinner at the Tiki Terrace per person (food only)
• Two way transfer from the hotel to Mdina and back on the 14th August (evening) to enjoy the fireworks displays
• Two way transfer from the hotel to Mosta and back on the 15th August (evening) to enjoy the Mosta Santa Maria Feast celebrations
• Use of indoor and outdoor pool and fitness centre
• Complimentary pressing service during your stay.

Terms & Conditions Apply.

VIEW OUR MALTA SUMMER FEAST SPECIAL PACKAGE 

Should you wish to experience a typical Maltese Feast during your holidays in Malta contact the Concierge Desk at the Grand Hotel Excelsior and they will organise the excursion for you. And if you would like to enjoy a special summer break, stay at one of the superior Malta Hotels and enjoy a selection of superior Accommodation in Malta.

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Love Maltese History? A Spotlight on Fort St Angelo

Fort_St Angelo

Fort St Angelo

Fort St. Angelo is the jewel in the crown of Malta’s rich military heritage. It stands majestically at the
tip of the promontory of Citta Vittoriosa or Birgu, as it is popularly known, dominating the Three Cities on the South Eastern of the Grand Harbour. The Families of De Guevara and De Nava were associated with the castle for many years and the latter family had to hand over the castle to the Order of St. John, when the Knights landed on our shores in 1530.

Soon after their arrival in Malta the Knights set about strengthening the then half-ruined Castle of St. Angelo and repairing the Fort’s defences. The church of St. Anne as well as the Castellan’s house, both in the fort, were restored and remodelled by the Order’s Ingeniere e Soprastante dell Opere, the Portugese Fra Diego Perez di Malfriere. The castle soon became a veritable fortress and, thirty five years later, in 1565, was to repulse a formidable Turkish Armada which besieged the island for three months. It was the headquarters of Grand Master Jean Parisot de Valette who led the local force of some six hundred Knights and a few thousands met-at-arms against the repeated onslaught of the Muslim invaders. The epic resistance of the defenders of the Fort during the Great Siege, are the archetype of all that symbolizes the character and determination of the Knights of St. John and the Maltese.

The Fort underwent various changes during the rule of the Order of St. John and the other defence works were concluded by the Spanish military engineer Carlos de Grunenburgh, in about 1689. This outline still survives today. In 1912 the British Royal Navy moved into Fort St. Angelo and the fort was turned into a naval headquarters and rechristened HMS St. Angelo. During the Second World War the fort was extensively damaged by air attack and between 1940 and 1943 it suffered sixty-nine direct hits. It continued to be used as a base ship for the Mediterranean until the British Services finally left Malta in March 1979.

In the historical agreement reached with the Maltese Government in 1998, the Order of St. John, was granted the right to occupy the upper part of the Fort, comprising the Magistral Palace and St. Anne Chapel. Intensive restoration works of these areas are being carried out.

The Church of St. Anne in Fort St. Angelo
The 15th century Chapel of St. Anne, in the precincts of Fort St. Angelo, is where the Knights first worshipped on their arrival in Malta. It is said that the original chapel was built by De Nave family one hundred years before the coming of the Knights in 1530.

The histographer of the Order Iacomo Bosio, writing in 1594, says that the present chapel was built on the site of the previous chapel thus: “The church consists of an entrance bay, a square central section of four quadripartite-vaulted bays, another quadripartite-vaulted bay in line with the entrance and, finally a small bay which seems to have supported a half-dome. The four middle bays are sustained by a central column composed of red granite known as syenite and may have formed part of a temple.”

The ‘Guva’ in Fort St. Angelo
The ‘Guva’, or underground cell, was the Order’s most sever place of confinement for convicted knights. It principally served as a place of punishment but occasionally also housed knights awaiting trial. It consists of a bell shaped hole excavated in the ground-rock, without steps, from which it was virtually impossible to escape. The base is roughly oval shaped (from 3.3 meters at its narrowest to 4.2 meters at its widest) and it is 3.4 meters high. Niches and shelves cut in the walls were probably used for candles, laps or lanterns. Sad graffiti decorate all the wall surface and the names incised indicate that the guva was in use soon after the knights’ arrival in Malta. One graffito by Fra Jeronimo Palan is the earliest, dated August 7, 1532.

The only guva known today, rediscovered in 1913, is in Fort St. Angelo in Malta, and is five meters awat from the facade of the little church of the Nativity of the Virgin Mary. The archives indicate that other guvas existed; with at least two or three in Gozo, but their whereabouts have not yet been identified.

EU Celebrations

EU Celebrations

EU Celebrations

Fort St. Angelo was the centre of attraction in a spectacular display of lights, music and fireworks which was transmitted live on television to millions of viewers, to celebrate Malta’s entry into the European Union on the 1st May 2004.

If you would like to know more about the History of Malta and would like to visit some interesting places during your holidays in Malta, contact Our Concierge & Transport Desk and they will surely be able to assist you. And if you would like to book a superior room for your relaxation break, check out what this Luxury Malta Hotel has to offer.

Photos courtesy of Mario Galea, www.viewingmalta.com & http://www.cc-advocates.com.

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