The Malta Independent 15 November 2018, Thursday

Notte Bianca: Discover Interesting stories about Valletta

Malta Independent Tuesday, 2 October 2007, 00:00 Last update: about 6 years ago

Visitors to Valletta on Notte Bianca Lejl Imdawwal will have the opportunity to visit and discover some interesting and unusual facts about Valletta, its history, streets, palaces and buildings, through a series of animated tours.

The Malta Union of Tourist Guides (MUTG), a non-profit, non-political organisation, is organising four tours, including one for children. Each of the four different tours will be held 13 times so that the public will have the option of covering more than one tour during the night. All guided tours by the MUTG are free of charge and depart from Castille Square every 15 minutes on first come first served basis.

Other tours on the Notte Bianca programme include Casa Rocca Piccola (entrance at a minimal charge), the Sacra Infermeria, and the former Crypt and World War II air raid shelter at the Augustian Cultural Centre.

Children’s City Tour greeted by HSBC children’s mascot, Karusinu

The classic tour of Valletta explores the main highlights of the HUMILLIMA CIVITAS VALLETTAE. The tour takes children to the historic hub experiencing the Auberges, the Castellania, the Church of the Convent of the Knights and The Grand Masters’ Palace. Children will be given the opportunity to learn about the history of Valletta, how the Knights used to live, their organisation, their customs, their work, their eating habits, their rise and their decline.

The children’s tour is animated by Karusinu, the children’s mascot from HSBC Bank Malta plc The first tour departs from Castille Square at 6.30pm and ends at the Palace Square. The last tour for children will be held at 9.30pm. Tours depart from Castille Square every 15 minutes on first come first served basis. All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Palaces and Auberges Tour

Francesco Laparelli, Gerolamo Cassar, Romano Carapecchia and Francesco Buonamici have all contributed to the creation of the grand urban vision of Valletta. During this tour participants will learn about the different architectural developments that took place in Valletta in the 16th, 17th and 18th Century. The tour will visit Palazzo Castellania, The Civil and Criminal Courts and prisons designed by Francesco Zahra in 1748 and the Auberge D’Aragon built in 1571.

The tour will feature an animation at the Auberge d’Aragon, Independence Square. The first tour starts at 8pm and the last one will be at 11pm.

Movies City

The Malta Story, Midnight Express, Popeye, Eye of the Tiger, Cutthroat Island, The Count of Monte Cristo, U-571, Gladiators, Munich… the multifaceted streets of Valletta and Grand Harbour have hosted dozens of feature films, TV dramas, mini-series, commercials and music videos. The tour will take participants on a movie voyage. In the 50’s and 60’s the ravages caused by bombs gave rise to a series of epic and documentary films that captured the destruction and despair of The City. The Harbour in all its grandeur is a perfect setting for action and romance. This is ‘The Dream Merchants’ Tour’ of the Capital. There will be animators in 1940’s costume at the Opera House Ruins.

The first tour starts at 9.30pm and the last one will be at 12.30am.

Courtesans in the City Tour (known as Sex ‘n’ the city)

The city built by the ‘Gentlemen for Gentlemen’ is ample witness to the prowess of the Knights. During this tour the guides will be showing the other side of the picture of Valletta. They will be talking about some of the mistresses. The tour explores the different strategies employed by the three ruling bodies: The Order; The Inquisition; and the Archbishop; to control and rectify perpetrators. As a harbour town, Valletta was a natural abode for prostitution. There will be an animation spot near La Sicilia Bar.

The first tour departs Castille Square at 00.30am and the last tour is scheduled at 3.30am.

Sacra Infermeria during the time of the Knights

The Mediterranean Conference Centre will be holding five re-enactment tours on the hour between 8.00pm and midnight (5 tours). Visitors will be able to travel back in time and view the main hall of the Centre transformed into a hospital ward attended by the Knights. Participation is free of charge.

Casa Rocca Piccola (16th century Palazzo)

Situated in Republic Street, this Maltese house showcases a museum of the aspirations and tastes of Maltese people. Casa Rocca Piccola will be open from 7.00pm onwards. There is a minimal entrance charge for this tour.

Augustinian Cultural Centre

The Augustinian Cultural Centre located in St John’s Street, will be open from 7pm to midnight. Visitors will be able to visit the former crypt and World War II air raid shelter.

Entrance to the Crypt is free of charge.

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