Once upon a time there was a sleeping city.
It had been built by knights with a penchant for gold.
They said: “This is a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen,” and made it the capital of their island home.
Folk flocked to the city and embellished its buildings with elegant grandeur,
… wooden balconies and sculptural motifs.
It thrived and people felt safe enclosed by its vast bastion walls.
But then came World War II and havoc spread across the island. The city wasn’t spared and bombs came falling upon it.
In those post-war years, the city’s residents began to dwindle, allured by modern housing and foreign shores.
The city began to sleep.
Shops were abandoned,
… houses left to dust, and the population shrunk to 9,000.
In hibernation, the city became a museum, visited daily by gawkers in their thousands, capturing a glimpse of times gone by. By night, it only whispered.
But then one day, it started to wake.
Young artists and architects with an eye for style became enamoured by the city’s looks.
They started to move there, and breathe life into its sleeping streets, opening quirky cafes,
… and design studios.
Others began to follow and old residents chose to return.
Merchants’ houses became boutique hotels, and chocolate shops reopened after 20 years.
Like a magic wand across the streets, the city was waking up.
The city is waking up.
Welcome to Valletta. Her time has come again.
One thing that you might like tonote about Valletta is that it will be the European City of Culture in 2018. That year will be an especially exciting time to visit.