Tag Archives: valletta

Valletta – the European Capital of Culture 2018

Collaboration between V18 and the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta

V1817th July 2013 Valletta, Malta – The Foundation for the Valletta 2018 project has just reached an agreement of collaboration with the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta. This is the first of its collaborations with a number of entities from different sectors; with the aim of strengthening the Foundation’s operations.

Mr. Jason Micallef, the Chairman for the Foundation Valletta 2018, said that this agreement will assist the Foundation by strengthening its position and helping it achieve its goals leading to the year 2018. He emphasised that the Foundation needs to ensure that the V18 project will have full participation by all the major stakeholders and this includes the commercial sector together with the communities and the local residents. This agreement together with other agreements will lead to this ultimate aim.

V2018 Partnership Launch

Mr Norbert Grixti, the General Manager of the Grand Hotel Excelsior, also expressed his satisfaction on the achievement of this collaboration with the Foundation Valletta 2018. He pointed out that nowadays the tourism industry appreciates the added value Malta has to offer, especially due to our unique attractions like the capital city of Malta, Valletta. He elaborated on the fact that the works that are being carried out in Valletta will contribute towards an enhanced tourism product and a superior tourist experience for visitors in Malta.

About the Grand Hotel Excelsior Malta:

If you’re looking for an enjoyable Holiday in Malta, then stay in one of the top Luxury Malta Hotels which is on the doorstep of Valletta. For a relaxing break enjoy excellent facilities including indoor and outdoor pools, a private sandy beach, a luxurious spa and a fitness centre whilst also being close to museums, churches, restaurants, bars, and shops.

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Do you love Maltese History? The Story of Caravaggio in Malta



Chalk portrait of Caravaggio
by Ottavio Leoni , circa 1621

Michelangelo Merisi was born in the town of Caravaggio (about 30 kilometres from Milan) in 1571. Caravaggio was, in fact, the first great representative of the Baroque movement. He was the archetypal rebellious artist and led a turbulent life. His life, it is said, matched the high-drama of the chiaroscuro style that his paintings became famous for.

In 1606 whilst working in Rome, one of his many brawls resulted in Caravaggio killing a young man called Ranuccio Tomassoni. With a price on his head, Caravaggio fled and headed for Naples where he would be outside the Roman jurisdiction and under the protection of the Colonna family. After just a few months, despite a successful period in Naples where he was given a number of important church commissions, Caravaggio left for Malta, the headquarters of the Knights of the Order of St John of Jerusalem, arriving on the island in July 1607.

Portrait of Wignacourt

Portrait of Alof de Wignacourt, the Grand Master of the Knights of Malta. Caravaggio

Grand Master Alof de Wignacourt invested Caravaggio as a knight of magistral obedience so taken was he at having an artist of such calibre as official painter of the Order. It was during this time that Caravaggio was commissioned to paint ‘The Beheading of St John the Baptist’ and ‘St Jerome Writing’, both of which are on display in St John’s Co-Cathedral. This period of relative calm in his life was short lived, and by late August 1608, Caravaggio was arrested for causing trouble once again, this time badly wounding a high ranking Knight in another fight. Imprisoned at Fort St Angelo, disgraced and unable to paint, he used his inventive powers to plan his escape. Caravaggio’s incredible break-out took place in October 1608 and once again he was on the run. The Council, informed of his escape, immediately expelled him from the Order.



The Beheading of Saint John the Baptist (1608)
St. John’s Co-Cathedral

After a nine month stay in Sicily, during which time he was trying to secure a pardon from Pope Paul V, Caravaggio returned to Naples and the protection of the Colonna family. His style and technique as an artist was still evolving and he enjoyed a productive time in his second spell in Naples. An attempt was made on his life, and an incorrect account of his death was reported in Rome. Although Caravaggio survived the attempt, his face was left seriously disfigured.

In an attempt to build bridges, Caravaggio painted ‘Salome with the Head of John the Baptist’. He depicted his own head on the platter and sent the work to de Wignacourt as a plea for forgiveness.
In 1610, Caravaggio took a boat north to receive a pardon, thanks to powerful allies in Rome. What happened then is shrouded in mystery. The artist was reported as dead in a private newsletter (an avviso) dated 28th July. Three days later, another newsletter declared that the artist had died of fever. His body, however, was never found.

The Grand Hotel Excelsior is located outside Valletta, the capital city of Malta and offers superior Accommodation in Malta with great harbour views. So if you would like to experience some of the rich history of Malta during your holidays, contact the Concierge Team at one of the top Luxury Malta Hotels and they will help you enjoy a memorable Malta Experience. 

Photos courtesy of www.viewingmalta.com

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How to Enjoy a Traditional Feast in Malta

Feasts in Malta – A unique feature of the holiday season on the Maltese Islands.

Malta Fireworks Display After the rainy winter months, by end of May, both locals and tourists would be looking forward to the much awaited ‘festa’ season in Malta.

Summer time in Malta is well known for its village feasts. Almost every weekend a town or a village is celebrating its patron saint’s feast. And as is typical with feasts they bring a lot of joy and positive vibes for both locals and tourists alike.

Maltese Feasts Preparations

Malta Feast Procession
A week before the feast the statue of the patron saint is placed in a prominent place in church. Religious functions are organised in church leading up to the feast day.

Malta Feast Decorations

Nothing, not even the summer heat, stops the village enthusiasts from decorating the main streets with decorative banners. All the preparations for the feast are carried out by a group of local volunteers who sacrifice a lot of their free time in order to make sure that their town or village celebrates its feast in style.

Locals also get into the festive spirit by decorating their balconies with lights and pictures of their Patron Saint. House rooftops are also lit up with coloured festoons. From way in advance band clubs start practising the musical programmes and marches which will be played during feast day throughout the streets of the locality.

Feast Celebrations in Malta
On feast day the Maltese village is packed up with traditional and fast food stalls ranging from food kiosks selling burgers, hot dogs and quick snacks; to delicacies and toy stalls. In this lively atmosphere you are sure to witness children rushing around eating sweets and playing with toys their parents bought them from the stalls.

At the traditional stalls you will find typical Maltese nougat – ‘qubbajt’ made following traditional recipes from past generation. Other traditional delicacies also include the delicious “mqaret”. “Mqaret” are pastry stuffed with a concoction of dates fried in oil.

Local Band

In the evening the feast celebrations start with the statue of the patron saint leaving the church accompanied by aerial fireworks. The statue together with the devotees is accompanied by the local band club playing hymns dedicated to the Saint.

As an end to the evening and to the festive celebrations fireworks illuminate the skies saluting the patron saint on its way back to the church. Ground fireworks are also displayed giving the night a spectacular display of colour and sound.

Land Fireworks Malta

All in all Maltese feasts are a great experience for tourists to enjoy. Great food, beer, wine, music, fireworks and great weather… What more can you ask for!!

And for the month of JULY the Grand Hotel Excelsior is offering a Special July Malta Deal bookable by end of June 2013. Book a Deluxe Inland Room and get a FREE upgrade to a Deluxe Partial Sea View Room with a 10% discount.

There are so many Things to do in Malta during your holidays especially in the summer months. So if you would like to enjoy a great holiday in Malta stay in a centrally located hotel near Valletta that offers excellent Accommodation and Facilities. 

Photos courtesy of www.viewingmalta.com

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