Palatial dwellings in Malta
1) Casa Rocca Piccola
This privately owned family home belongs to a noble family. The original building dates from the second half of the 16th century, when it was the residence of one of the Admirals of the Order of St John, Don Pietro La Rocca. It was later occupied by various knights, after which it passed into the hands of a Maltese aristocratic family. Casa Rocca Piccola houses a number of rooms and halls, that are richly decorated with family heirlooms, a library with ancient and precious documents, as well as authentic furniture and other household items. Beneath the house is a World War II shelter, to which the inhabitants withdrew for safety during the many air raids.
2) Girgenti Palace
The Inquisitors built their summer residence here in this lush valley and the surrounding countryside in the late 17th century. The building was a functional small residence for the representative of the Pope in Malta. A small church was erected nearby, that connected with the Palace through a covered passageway. Today it is the official summer residence of the Prime Minister of Malta.
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3) San Anton Palace
The private residence of the future Grand Master Antoine de Paule, this country retreat soon became the favourite residence of the Grand Masters. Surrounded by lush gardens, part of which have been opened to the public, it is still a popular place with locals. The palace, which is surrounded by private gardens, is not open to the public, as it is the official residence of the President of Malta. Although the interior is opulently decorated, the exterior looks more austere.
4) Villa Bologna
Built in the 18th century as a wedding gift to the daughter of the advisor of Grand Master Emmanuel Pinto de Fonseca, the house was considered one of the most beautiful palaces of its time. The villa has lush gardens, that accentuate the building’s beauty. Currently held by Lord Strickland, a former Prime Minister of Malta, the villa has recently been restored and opened to the public.
5) Palazzo Falson
The earliest part of this palace dates from the 13th century, and it is believed that a medieval synagogue existed on the site. Various alterations and additions were made during the following centuries. The house changed hands and was eventually purchased by Olof Gollcher, an avid collector of objets d’art, ranging from Persian carpets, armour, furniture and paintings. The various rooms of this medieval building make it a unique place to visit. The house was restored by the Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti and opened to the public in 2007.
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