Malta – our little island in the middle of the vast Mediterranean Sea. Yet, many have not heard of it, do not know where it is, do not know of our language, do not know her people.
Here are some very quick facts, brushing up your skills on Malta and the Maltese:
- Malta is an independent island, of just 316 km2
- It is located towards the south of Sicily
- Malta has its own language, Maltese, which finds its origins in Semitic and Romance languages. Some English words have now been incorporated in the vocabulary as well.
- The Maltese islands are made up of 3 main islands; Malta, the biggest island in the archipelago; Gozo, the second biggest island of only 67 km sq; and Comino, the smallest, barely inhabited island.
- Malta has been colonized by many peoples over the years, the longest being by the Knights of St John, and by the British.
- Euro is the official currency as of 2008, with the Maltese Lira preceding it.
- Malta has a population of just over 400,000.
- The Capital City is Valletta, built by and named after the Grandmaster Jean Parisot de la Vallette.
- We drive on the left side of the road (or the wrong side of the road for many), a custom left by the British rule in Malta.
- Our climate is hot and dry in the Summer, and humid but mild in the Winter. Average temperature in Summer is of 32ºC, while in Winter it is of 14ºC.
Malta is much, much more than this – it is an island abounding in culture, history and art. It is made up of a fun-loving, caring people, who can squabble one minute and laugh the next. It is an island made up of sun, sea, and bright colours – from the traditional Luzzu boats to the brightly painted covered balconies. It is a treasure to be discovered, and to be treasured. There is something for absolutely everyone, from the quiet streets of the Silent City to the roaring, raging weekly summer Festas. Come and see for yourself!