MALTA: At the Crossroads of Civilization for 7,000 years
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CITIES: Valetta ||
MDINA ||RABAT || 3 Cities ||St. Paul's Bay||MELLIEHA BAY || Buskett Gardens

It is generally said that foreigners are only tourists in Malta on their first visit. On their second and subsequent visits, they return to Malta as established friends.

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Guide to

the national airline,
Air Malta
by For daily scheduled flights from the UK.

Tour operators who feature specialist Malta and Gozo brochures include Belleair Holidays (020 8785 3266) and Cadogan Holidays (0238 0828306).
Air Malta
APS Bank
Bank of Valletta
Central Bank of Malta
Employment and Training Corporation
HSBC Malta
Malta Enterprise
Official Website of the Maltese Government
Malta Freeport Corporation Ltd
Malta Chamber of Commerce
Malta Council For Science and Technology
Malta Financial Services Authority
Malta International Airport plc
Malta Information Technology and Training Services Ltd.
Malta Maritime Authority
Malta Resource Authority
Malta Tourism Authority
Malta Environment & Planning Authority
Maltacom plc
University of Malta
Water Services Corporation
the 50th 2005 contest will be held in Keiv and all Malta will following the contest
Malta comes from melita, meaning honey. The country's delicious, aromatic honey has been famous since Roman times.
One of the most important and influential painters of the period, Michaelangelo Merisi de Caravaggio led a colorful life that included both masterpieces and captivity in Malta. His story is adventure and the work he left in Malta includes two priceless treasures painted during his time as a Knight of the Order.


There's two indigenous Maltese grape varietals, Ghirgentina and Gellewza, which use the low bush method and little irrigation.

Grapes are harvested at the end of August. The white varietal Ghirgentina produces excellent white wines with good flavor, depth of character and a refreshing dry quality. The red varietal, Gellewza, produces medium bodied easy drinking red wines and award winning roses. The hot weather, clayish terrain and lack of rain give Maltese wine a character of its own. There's also an increasing amount of more familiar locally produced wine from grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Carigan, Ruby Cabernet, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano and Moscato. Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Petit Verdot, Merlot, Syrah, Grenache, Carigan, Ruby Cabernet, Chenin Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio, Trebbiano and Moscato.

Malta and its sister islands, Gozo and little Comino, have enjoyed a full history from the dawn of civilization in the Mediterranean. Here are the oldest known human structures in the world, medieval citadels, 360 churches, village festivals dating back centuries and a rich annual Carnival tradition making Malta one of Europe's finest cultural experiences for a visitor. Malta is on the edge of many new changes and challenges. Mediterranean culture is very much the dominant force in Malta today. English is an official language alongside Maltese.    

Malta quickly becomes a special journey. No where else will you find great beaches combined with such a fascinating cultural heritage. Malta is also well known for one of the Mediterranean's largest concentrations of English language schools, some of the world's best diving centers, world class yachting and cruise line facilities, a highly developed visitor and convention infrastructure and above all a friendly, worldly population of natives.

Malta is approximately 17 miles long, and 9 miles wide, while the island of Gozo is roughly 9 miles by 5. While Malta has a population of 345,000 the corresponding figure for Gozo is only about 25,000. The Maltese Islands are just 60 miles from Sicily, and 180 miles from the African continent.  

Malta is caretaker to the oldest known temples in the world. They are still standing and in an excellent state of preservation. They tell the the tale of a time when the Mediterranean honored the Fertility Goddess and tribes from distant shores gathered on Malta to worship communally.

The Phoenicians are the first known influences, followed by the a full millennium of Romans, Arabs, French, and English.  Malta has been ruled by the natives only since 1961. (more history)

Malta was the official home of the Knights of the Order of St.John (better known as the Knights of Malta), during which period a concerted attempt was made to invade the country by the Turks. In Valleta, Malta’s ancient capital, frescoes in the Grand Masters’ Palace (built in 1574) depict the story of the Knights of Malta, those intrepid crusaders who staved off the invasion of Europe by Turks in the Great Siege of 1565. In the decades that followed, those wealthy knights turned Valletta into an architectural showcase of palaces, gardens, and churches that remain today.

Malta is noted for its fine crafts, particularly its handmade lace, hand woven fabrics, blown glass and silver filigree. Folk traditions in music are very strong, and Malta holds a folk song competition every year. The Maltese have achieved considerable prosperity, thanks largely to tourism. Every summer the Maltese population triple in size due to a huge influx of welcome tourists, but the island nation is also increasingly benefiting from trade and light industries, including the highly prized film industry.

On 1st May 2004 Malta became the smallest of ten countries to attain membership of the European Union. The stage is set for further growth.

(Official tourist board site in 8 languages)
Good information for divers and hikers. Includes detailed overviews of sister isles Gozo and Comino
 "Markets are the heart of the Maltese week and a cultural tour of their own. Almost every town and village has its version"
Air Malta publishes the Travel Trade Directory on a yearly basis in 4 languages - English, Italian, French and German. It serves as a source of reference for many facilities the Maltese Islands offer. The directory is available online at

Getting Around  || TOP ||

The public bus service on Malta and Gozo is a good way to get around. Buses on Malta and Gozo serve the major tourist areas and go practically everywhere.Download

Though Valletta and the Cottonera are easily explored on foot, renting a car is a good option if you want to get to the farther reaches of the island, especially as taxis are expensive. Major and local agencies are located on the main island. You can also rent motorcycles and bicycles on Malta. Driving is on the left.

Malta's taxis have a problematic reputation and fares can be surprisingly expensive. Follow the usual travel precaution of asking: How much? before you get in the cab. You can settle for simply using the meter if you cannot agree on a price.
There are black taxis, which have to be called in advance, and white taxis, which can pick you up off the street.


Malta has a distinctive local cuisine. Sit down to a table at a culinary crossroads of the Mediterranean, where Spanish, British, Sicilian, and Moorish cuisines come together in trattoria’s and waterfront restaurants.  

"The Maltese are fond of food analogies to define themselves. They will say their culture is, like their food, a mélange, referring to the fact that until recently Maltese housewives took the family supper to the local bakery, where it joined everyone else's in the brick oven, the food acquiring the aromas and tastes of all the other meals. They will tell you their personality is like Maltese bread: crusty on the outside, soft on the inside. by Lyn Hamilton for

There is a huge range of fresh fish, but you might perhaps start with pastizzi (savory cheese pastries), followed by lampuki (the islanders’ favorite fish). The national dish is rabbit (fenek) served in a sauce with garlic, onions, wine and herbs.
Maltese Recipes at geocities

Maltese Recipes at angelfire 
Fish Soup (Aljotta), Bean & Chick Pea Salad, Broad Bean Paste (Bigilla), Buskuttini, Easter Pastry (Figolli), Date Filled Snacks (Imqaret), Maltese Cheese and Meat Cakes (Pastizzi), Bread Pudding (Pudina), Baked Rice (Ross il-Forn) & Baked Macaroni Pie (Timpana)

The national drink is Kinnie, a fizzy drink made from bitter oranges. (

DRINK: Legal Drinking age is only 16. Try a glass of Hopleaf, the refreshing local beer, or some Maltese red or white wine. DRIVING & DRINKING is not allowed: The blood alcohol level is zero (0),

NIGHTLIFE  || TOP || || search  Guide ||POST FREELY. The busiest Entertainment Guide on the island. Post your announcement for free The information clubbing site in Malta. online version of local music magazine


Try the directory site clubbing or simply bars & pubs


Shoppers won't want to miss the huge Valletta open-air market on Sunday mornings. It is easy to combine sightseeing and shopping, and there are many unique items to be found. Visiting an Art Gallery or an exhibition, one may pick up a painting or print by one of Malta's many talented artists. The Islands have an abundance of jewelry shops where you can find gold and silver pieces at very reasonable prices. There are plenty of shops along Valletta's Republic Street, as well as a daily clothes market on Merchant Street.
Sliema, reachable by 5 minute boat ride, offers greater choice. The main shops are on the Strand, and continue up Tower Road, where the Plaza Centre (00 356 2134 3832; ) can be found.

  • Go to Dingli cliffs on the south-west coast and order a hearty breakfast at Bobbyland (00 356 2145 2895).
  • The pretty village of Marsaxlokk, visit the Sunday-morning fish market on the quayside, then pick a table with a view at Carrubia, at 37 Xatt Is-Sajjieda (00 356 2165 0174), and spend LM1.35 (£1) on a full English breakfast.
  • the Roman Baths situated in the vicinity of the very popular beach Golden Sands
The sandy shores of Birzebbuga’s Pretty Bay, Golden Bay, “Ghajn Tuffieha”, Paradise Bay, Gnejna and Mellieha Bay are sure to be full of bathers. Rocky beaches such as Sliema’s, Delimara (limits of Zejtun), Zurrieq and Marsascala become crowded with locals on weekends. "If you prefer to be pampered in a Club Med style lido with waiter service and DJ music playing, most lidos are situated around Sliema, St. Julians and Qawra. They all charge an entrance fee and offer a whole range of facilities depending on their classification.

"Although topless bathing is illegal in Malta, topless bathing is common place on most beaches and has become more acceptable. There are no official nudist beaches."
- North Paradise Bay, Mellieha Bay, Golden Bay, Ghajn Tuffieha Bay, Gnejna Bay, Qawra/Bugibba Coast,
MALTA - Central  Sliema Seafront,Lidos
MALTA - South  Pretty Bay
GOZO  Ramla Bay, San Blas Bay, Dahlet Qorrot, Marsalforn Bay
COMINO The Blue Lagoon

Gozo and Comino have many beautiful beaches all around the coast of the islands. Apart from the popular beaches there are also a multitude of deserted coves and little beaches sometimes only accessible by sea. Although most of the beaches are small, some are rated as the most beautiful beaches in the Mediterranean.



SPORTS  || TOP || 
The Marsa Sports Club has some of the best facilities on the island. This large sports Centre is about 4 km (2.5 miles) south of Valletta and lists among its numerous features: an 18-hole golf course, miniature golf, 18 tennis courts, 5 squashcourts, cricket grounds and a huge unheated swimming pool. Tourists can join the club on a weekly basis
.  Royal Malta Gold Club at Marsa is an 18-hole, par 68 course. Visitors are welcome to Malta's only golf course, but reservations are required.
Also adjacent is the Marsa Sports Complex which has many playing fields, courts and a race
track where you can bet on horses.

Malta Maritime & Yachting  || TOP ||
For centuries, the port of Valletta has been regarded by many as one of the finest and safest natural havens in the Mediterranean.

The Grand Harbour has become an irresistible scene for over 250 cruise ships, with nearly 200,000 passengers visiting Malta each year as a most popular stop on their Mediterranean itineraries. Valetta has  over 750 metres of berth space for these ships and can accommodate the largest among them. Additionally, Mgarr Harbour, Gozo or other Maltese ports can also receive these floating hotels. Malta's long term plans include developing itself as a fly-cruise hub served by more international airlines.

The National Museum of Archaeology
The more important collections covering Maltese archaeology are housed in the Auberge de Provence, Valletta, one of the Inns of the Knights of St.John. Collections of prehistoric pottery, sculpture, statuettes, stone Emplements and personal ornaments recovered from the Maltese megalithic temples and other pre-historic sites are exhibited. Typical examples of tomb furniture of the Punic and Roman periods are also displayed. Tel: (+356) 21 221 623 nationalmuseumofarchaeology

The National Museum of Fine Arts
This 18th century palace houses paintings, sculptures, furniture and other exhibits connected with the Order of St John. Works by Domenico di Michelino, Carpaccio, Perugino, Tintoretto, Reni, Valentin, Mathias Stomer, Preti, Tiepolo, Favray and Vernet are permanently displayed. A section is specifically reserved for works by Maltese artists. Occasional exhibitions, together with concerts and lectures, are also held here. In the monetarium a unique collection of coins and medals may be viewed by appointment. Tel: (+356) 21 233 034

St John's Co-Cathedral and Museum
St John's Co-Cathedral, formerly the Conventual Church of the Order, 
with magnificent carvings and other art work shows the love of the Knights for the arts.  Caravaggio’s Beheading of St. John and St. Jerome can be admired. The Church of St. John the Baptist was built between 1573 and 1577 by a Maltese engineer, Girolamo Cassar. The Cathedral, once the church of the Order, is historically and artistically one of the most important monuments on our islands.
Closed except for Mass on Sundays. T
here is a strict dress code forbidding shorts, bare shoulders and high-heeled shoes, which could damage the exquisite, fragile marble floors.

War Museum at Fort St. Elmo
Every Sunday a military parade in period costumes is re-enacted.

the Grand Master’s Palace
The President's Palace was once the Grand Master's Palace. It was built between 1571 and 1574. Today it is The President's office and the seat of Malta 's parliament. It is open to the public.

The palace is a treasure trove of art. In the Tapestry Chamber hangs a unique collection of Gobelin tapestries. Frescoes depicting the Great Siege of 1565, by Perez d' Aleccio, adorn the Hall of St Michael and St George, formerly the Order's Supreme Council Hall. The decorations on the ceiling of the corridors are by Nicolo Nasini. Many of the State Apartments are embellished with friezes describing episodes of the Order's history. In the various State Apartments are outstanding works of art by famous painters.

Having been under the influence of the British for over 160 years, the Maltese Islands provide the ideal location, right in the centre of the Mediterranean, to learn English or improve one's grasp of the language. The mild climate, the rich culture and the friendly population are an extra advantage and make studying English in Malta a real pleasure.
During the summer months, students from all over the world travel to Malta to study English and enjoy the great holiday atmosphere. Malta has something for everyone: Mediterranean climate, crystal clear sea, wonderful cafes and shops, exciting nightlife with parties and discos organized especially for international students.  

 +356 213 823 62   in St. Julians,  open fri-sun 24 hours, mon-thu 10am-6am. 184 slots and 21 table games. 2 restaurants.
+356 218 055 80 in Vittoriosa, Malta and is open slots daily 11pm-4am, main casino mon-thu 8pm-4am, fri-sun 4pm-4am. 49 slots and 14 table games.
+356 215 700 57
New Dolmen Hotel is in St. Paul's Bay, Malta and is open slots sun-thu 10am-4am, fri-sat 10am-6am; table gaming sun-thu 12:30pm-4am, fri-sat 12:30pm-6am. The casino features 150 slots and 20 table games. 4 restaurants and a hotel with 412 rooms.

Churches   || TOP ||  

There are 313 Catholic churches on Malta (in 64 parishes), while Gozo's 15 parishes support 46 Catholic churches. Together with Comino's single church they make the magic number 360.

Baroque churches in Malta and Gozo dominate the skyline. Domes and steeples can usually be seen from many kilometres away. The dominance is not only present from the point of view of architecture but on a social level too. The baroque style of architecture was predominant after the Renaissance. The baroque is a grandiose style and it aims to emphasizes man’s smallness in relation to authority. This explains the spacious halls, enormous windows and entrances of the Knights’ auberges in Valletta.

St John's Co Cathedral see Valetta attractions

St Paul's Shipwreck Church
In Valletta. The first church was built in 1609. Grandmaster Lascaris had paid for the building of the church. The facade in Baroque style was finished in 1885. It has two belfries and seven bells.

Mosta Parish Church
The third largest unsupported dome in Europe after the Vatican in Rome and St.
Mosta Rotunda Sophia in Istanbul. This church is dedicated to the Assumption of Our Lady into Heaven and celebrates its feast on the 15th of August. This church is known as the Rotunda because of its round shape. During the Second World War, a German bomb fell through its roof while 300 people were about to celebrate Mass, but it failed to explode and the faithful were saved. Open 9-11.45am and 3-5pm. Mosta Parish Church

Mdina Cathedral
The reason St. John's is called Co-Cathedral, like most churches in Malta, is the shape of a Latin cross.
The icon of the Madonna above the tabernacle is attributed to St Luke. St Luke had suffered shipwreck along with St Paul in 60 AD according to the Acts of the Apostles in the Bible. St Luke was both a doctor and an artist.

The Sanctuary of Our Lady in Mellieha
According to tradition, the apostles Paul and Luke had visited this sanctuary. Moreover, the picture of Our Lady is the oldest painted Madonna that still survives. In 1973, during the restoration of the icon, the original authentic effigy of the Madonna with a child was unexpectedly discovered. The icon has beautiful light color and dominates the whole church.

The Collegiate Church of St Paul in Rabat
In the suburb of Mdina, Malta's old capital, Rabat. It was built to the left of the cave known as St Paul's grotto
. Under the main church of St Paul are two small chapels. It is said that it is here that the first two Sacraments were held.

The Parish Church of St Lawrence in Vittoriosa
The oldest church in Malta

"Old rivalries between parishes and even between local churches and chapels within the same village was the incentive for many parishioners to donate time and money to their church. Some of these rivalries are still evident today when parishioners celebrate their parish feast with band marches, processions and fireworks
Around 1113, Pope Pascal II acknowledged the Hospitallers as a religious order. They were bound by the Augustinian rules of Chastity, Poverty and Obedience. However, more was expected of the members of the Order. They were required to abide by eight obligations or aspirations.
The Maltese Cross
symbolizes the eight beatitudes of Christ's Sermon on the Mount (Matt 5.3-10): Blessed are
  • the poor in spirit,
  • they who mourn,
  • they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness,
  • the meek,
  • the peacemakers,
  • they who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
  • the pure in heart,
  • the merciful

as well as 8 chivalric virtues shown above and the 8 languages of the Knights
more by


LINK LISTS  || TOP || || is the number one referrer of enquirers of holiday services get_listed

Links by with good forums at

"TAKE A HIKE: Begin your exploration of the capital at the City Gate, rebuilt after the Second World War, when Valletta suffered extensive damage. The route follows Republic Street, but first take a detour to the right to look at the Auberge de Castile. One of a number of ornate buildings designed for the knights who once ruled the city, it is now occupied by the Justice Ministry. Also on Republic Street is the Co-Cathedral of St John Cathy Packe for

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Valetta  || TOP ||
Sir Walter Scott described Valletta as 'the city built by gentlemen for gentlemen'
colloquially known as il-Belt, simply meaning "the city."
St. Johns is also the home of a small art collection by the famous painter Caravaggio (1571-1610). One of his most famous paintings, "Beheading of Saint John the Baptist" (1608) can be found here, as well as "Jerome III" (1607-1608). You can also see a number of replicas of his paintings here.

Valetta was built on a peninsula, which is fed by two natural harbours: Marsamxett and the Grand Harbour, Malta's major port. It was founded in March 1566, with the laying of the first stone of a church.  It is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The hub Malta's buses operate mostly on routes to or from Valletta, with their central terminus just outside the city's entrance. Traffic within the city itself is restricted, with some principal roads being completely pedestrianized.

St. Johns Co-Cathedral, located in Valetta, Malta, was built between 1573 and 1578. It was designed by the Maltese military architect Gerolamo Cassar, who designed several of the more prominent buildings in Valetta. The inside was largely designed by Mattia Preti, the Calabrian artist and Knight. Preti designed the intricate carved stone walls and painted the vaulted ceiling and side altars with scenes from the life of St John. St. John's was originally the regular church of the Hospitalers (the Knights of Saint John), but grew to equal prominence with the archbishop's cathedral at Mdina.
LINKS:St John's Co Cathderal

For a breathtaking view of Valletta and the Grand Harbour, go to the Safe Haven Gardens, across the water in Senglea. It is one of a trio of interconnecting conurbations known as the Three Cities - the others being Vittoriosa and Cospicua. The best view in the other direction is from Valletta's Upper Baracca Gardens.

The boat trip between Valletta and Sliema takes just five minutes. Ferries depart every half-hour, and the crossing between Manderaggio in Valletta to the Strand in Sliema. Sliema is known for its excellent shopping.

Mdina, perched on a rocky outcrop about 15km (9mi) west of Valletta, is also known as the silent city. This 3000-year-old city, once the political centre of Malta, is filled with Norman and baroque buildings and narrow cobblestone streets.

The so-called Citta Notabile (Noble City) has a commanding view of the island. Its nickname derives from the many aristocratic Maltese families who still live in town.

The best-preserved medieval building is the Norman-style Palazzo Falzon, built in 1495. Mdina has a beautiful main piazza, where you'll find the 11th-century Roman Catholic Sicula-Norman Cathedral, one of the few buildings to survive an earthquake in 1693.

Other sites not to miss in Mdina include the St Paul's Metropolitan Cathedral and the Cathedral Museum with its magnificent exhibits including a coin collection spanning 2,000 years and a collection of Dürer woodcuts. Also on the must-see list: The Vilhena Palace, now housing the Natural History museum, and the Tower of the Old Standard, a 16th century tower which now houses the police station.

RABAT  || TOP ||

Rabat is an ancient suburb of Mdina and where you can explore the close connection between the Roman empire and Christianity 

Roman Villa  
The Roman Villa in Rabat probably belonged to a rich Roman merchant or senior civil servant. It is beautifully sited, looking west over the valley towards Mtarfa. The ruins were discovered in 1881. The small museum was added in 1923. Here we can see various Roman remains, such as amphorae (clay pots) statuettes, pottery and glassware. Some of these were found on the site of this Roman villa, while others were found at other Roman sites in Malta, such as a Roman Tower near Safi and at Marsaxlokk.

This consists of two well-preserved complete mosaic panels, sculptures, pottery, and metal objects.  One of the mosaics is particularly interesting for its particular three-dimensional optical effects. The museum can be reached by crossing the garden outside the Mdina main gate.


St. Paul's Church

St. Paul's church is said to have been built in 1572 and was enlarged in the 17th century.  The church houses a grotto were St. Paul used to pray during his three months stay on the Island.

St. Paul's Catacomb
The entrance to these catacombs is in St. Agatha Street.  This labyrinth or narrow underground passages, which altogether cover an area of more than one square mile, was used as a burial place during the 4th and 5th centuries.

St. Agatha Catacombs
The entrance to these catacombs is through St. Agatha's lane in Rabat. In the 4th or 5th century a natural cave was altered into a crypt, typical of the underground Christian cemeteries of the time.  These catacombs are very extensive and compromise numerous galleries and graves of different types. St. Agatha is said to have taken refuge in the underground crypt from the persecutions of the emperor Decius in Catania in the year 249 AD.
St. Agatha's Historical Complex - Rabat

3 Cities Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea || TOP ||
On the other side of the Grand Harbour from Valletta are the historic fortified towns referred to as the Three Cities. Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea, built by the Grandmaster Cottoner, have a unique charm and character that distinguish them from all other towns in Malta, including Mdina and Valletta. Older than Valletta, the three cities were home to the first knights. Here you will find unique architecture, the maritime museum, and some of Malta's most important churches.
St. Paul's Bay   || TOP ||

St. Paul's Bay is one of Malta's largest tourist resort concentrations. An alternative to the nightlife of Paceville and St. Julian's, with a good multi-cinema complex and modern casino. Near the popular northern sandy beaches of  Mellieha, Ghajn Tuffieha and Golden Bays. The neighbouring resort towns of Bugibba and Qawra are modern extensions of St Paul's Bay, with large hotels and apartment blocks The village of St Paul's and St Paul's Bay are just opposite St Paul's islands at the north of Malta, where it is believed that the Apostle Paul and Luke were washed ashore following their shipwreck in AD60, bringing Christianity to Malta.

Mellieha boasts the longest beach on the Islands and the best views. Many restaurants and hotels are within walking distance to the beach, and the city is home to many luxury villas which are available for rent.  

Home to Popeye's village and other film sets

Mellieha is also known for its restaurants and clubs. Getting to Mellieha Bay is quite easy since it lies on the main road that leads to the ferry docks at Cirkewwa.  

Buskett Gardens A WALK IN THE PARK  || TOP ||
Visit Buskett Gardens, a lovely wooded area to the south-east of the island.

This is the site of the popular feast of Imnarja (the feast of St. Peter and St. Paul), which is celebrated on June 28th and 29th. Hundreds of people flock to the gardens to eat the traditional Maltese dish of Rabbit Stew cooked in wine and to listen to traditional folk music and singing. Many people stay overnight, although not too much sleep can be had in the festive atmosphere. The morning after the Imnarja festivities, there is usually an agricultural show where farmers and gardeners exhibit their produce, plants and flowers and enter them in competitions. 
Meanwhile on Gozo's Carnival City of Nadur, another worthwhile Imnarja festa will take place on
June 29

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