The capital of the Mediterranean archipelago of Malta, Valletta is a fortified city steeped in history. Founded by the Knights of St John in the 1600s, its acclaimed architecture includes the stunning baroque St John’s Co-Cathedral.
“One of the most concentrated historic areas in the world,” according to Unesco, it is a world heritage site.
An EU passport
Malta is attracting wealthy individuals to its shores through its Individual Investor Programme. This offers Maltese citizenship — and the right to work and live in other EU countries — in return for investment in the country, subject to certain requirements. Benefits of citizenship can include an EU Malta passport.
Its sunny outlook
Previously named the sunniest city in Europe in terms of sunshine hours per year, coastal Valletta basks in hot and dry summers with an average of 12 hours of sunshine per day. Its winters are mild and the sun still shines for an average of between five and six hours a day.
Next year’s European Capital of Culture, Valletta has an established arts scene thanks to venues including the restored 18th-century Teatru Manoel (Malta’s national theatre) and Pjazza Teatru Rjal, a Renzo Piano-designed open-air theatre integrated into the ruins of the 19th-century Royal Opera House, which was bombed during the second world war.
Gardens with a view
Once the private gardens of the Italian knights of the Order of St John, the Upper Barrakka Gardens enjoy panoramic views of Valletta’s Grand Harbour. The Lower Barrakka Gardens also overlook the harbour, while it is possible to glimpse towns including Floriana from the vantage point of Hastings Gardens.
Photographs: Anyaivanova/Dreamstime; eye35/Alamy; Anei/Dreamstime; Mdfotori/ Dreamstime; ED Torial/Alamy; Mdfotori/Dreamstime