Through the keyhole – A restoration gem (part 1)

Just a couple of hundred metres from the church at the heart of Santa Lucija, the smallest village on Gozo, there’s a pretty row of traditional farmhouses: their stronghold-stone facades are brightened by potted plants and doors and windows painted in bright primary colours, red, blue and sunshine yellow. At the western end of the […]

The secrets of the citadel (2)

Secrets of the citadel

Each year I buy a new ornament for the Christmas tree, and this year I fell for one in House of Gozo, a shop in Independence Square in the heart of Victoria, just down the slope from the Citadel. And, gold-ribboned and glossy as glass, my beautiful new bauble shows a Christmas star of Wonder […]

A Magical World

A magical world

Malta and Gozo, known for their photogenic tendencies, are popular places for filming – from Gladiator and Troy to Game of Thrones and a lesser known film, By The Sea (2015), starring Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie which was filmed at the tiny, pretty bay of Mgarr ix-Xini, one of the first places we fell […]

Toasting Tanit

Toasting Tanit

Last week, we took a picnic to Gozo’s Punic Temple, a lesser known beauty spot with a long history. We were welcomed by the quacking of ducks as we parked up at L-Ghadira ta Sarraflu, otherwise known as The Duck Pond. It’s a pretty natural freshwater pond year-round and home to the Painted Frog (Discoglossus […]

Kinnie Chameleon and other colours

Whenever I have an hour to while away in gentle sunshine, I am drawn by the magnificence of the citadel to stroll its heighty barricades and amble through its windy streets. It’s a medieval city in miniature, just 200m in diameter, and yet it has a cathedral and an imposing court building in its main […]

Sicily on the balcony

Siciliy from Gozo - Daniel Cilia

Yesterday The Significant Other and I sat on our small front balcony in the gentle October sunshine as the sun began to stripe the colours of sunset across the sky. Gazing at the sea due North, we noticed something we never have before: to the right of  the scattered cargo ships which seemed to balance […]

The secrets of the citadel (1)

Citadel

I love Gozo’s citadel: its vast solidity as a hilltop fortress reflects it impressive history of swords and scimitars, and yet, glowing soft yellow amber, with green-carpet views rolling away to the deep blue sea in every direction, it has a beauty and romance that might have been lifted directly from Scheherazade’s Arabian nights: it’s […]

Through the Keyhole

Say ‘farmhouse’ across Europe, and in the mind’s eye you conjure a picture of a detached foursquare building resting alongside a scattering of barns in the middle of green fields. It would be likely to have windows scattered over two floors, perhaps painted white with colourful shutters flung open in a welcoming green Alpine valley, […]

Away in a Manger

Taking the ferry to Gozo from the modern metropolis of Malta is like stepping back in time. Instead of tall tower blocks and bustle, the buildings nestle close to the land, an unassuming stripe along the skyline where traces of the old traditions of the archipelago can still be found. During December, in the village […]

Prickly pears and pomegranates en route to The Redeemer

On a cloudy day the other week, The Significant Other and I climbed Tal Merzuq Hill on the top of which stands a giant statue of Tas Salvatur (Christ the Redeemer; as replicated by The Significant Other in the picture above) with his arms out-stretched. He is the third such statue at this site replacing […]

Saints, bands, flowers and fairy-lights

Gharb Square

It was village Festa week here last week – and we had a truly wonderful time. Festas are a big deal in Malta and Gozo, a celebration of the village’s patron saint with events and processions over a weekend or more. Our village Gharb really goes to town with a seven-day celebration of the visitation […]

Atop Ta Għammar

View of Gozo from Ghajn Ghammar

I am often asked by friends visiting Gozo for top tips for special places to go, secret spots that leap less often from the pages of a tourist guide. This morning, I strode to one of my favourites and I’m happy to share it. There’s a ring of amazing mosaics that glimmer with gold and […]

Dahlet Qorrot – a secret spot

Dahlet Qorrot

Ask me today for my top five places on the island and I can’t guarantee I’ll give you the same five as I would have done yesterday or might tomorrow. What I can be sure of, though, is that the lesser-known Dahlet Qorrot, a particularly beautiful bay on the North Eastern edge of the island […]

Gozo’s new Jedi

As a tourist to Gozo in the early days, baked mid-brown with a dash of lobster, I was surprised to see the warm woollen jumpers amongst the traditional lace hanging from stalls in the market place. They seemed an unlikely purchase for the summer stroller or sun-worshipper. I was bemused and amused in equal measure. […]

The Chef is not my wife

Well, what d’ya know? For nearly three years  The Significant Other and I have enjoyed the Gharb Rangers Bar’s hospitality,  whether that’s on the upstairs terrace with fresh fish whilst gazing across open countryside to the Ta Pinu Basilica or winter-wrapped over a delicious pizza in a damp wet February (only 60 miles from Italy, pizzas […]

Phoenician drinking habits

It’s a speck of an island, hardly visible on a map of the Med, yet Gozo’s history runs deep: just over a decade ago divers discovered the remains of a Phoenician wreck dating back to 700BC. Beyond a popular bay on the south of the island, this is the oldest known wreck in the central […]

The Busman’s Holiday

Definition of ‘a busman’s holiday’: a form of recreation in which one does something very similar to what one does for a living.   One of my favourite ways to spend time in Gozo is aimless wandering through the back streets of Victoria, through the jumble of resplendent houses, from rickety-ramshackle to richly-renovated, that jostle for […]

The wonders of the weather

Gozo is a wonderland: whilst Lewis Carroll’s Alice wouldn’t recognise its terrain she surely would feel at home here. It may be a small and gentle Mediterranean island, but on this three-dimensional chequerboard of green and golden-browns, the roads take you in directions you’d never expect as secret ravines and valleys divert your route according […]