Malta, where is that again? Like where Churchill and Stalin and FDR met to hammer out a post-war plan? (No, that was Yalta.) Like the Nabokov story? (No, that’s Fialta.*)
Well then, where the fuck is Malta?
Malta is a tiny speck on the Mediterranean, an hour south of Sicily, east of Tunisia, north of Tripoli.
A small island (well, really, three islands) where peach sandstone contrasts with vibrant window boxes in shades of pink, green, and blue; where religious altars mounted on walls on every street; where delicious fish, rabbit, lamb are the norm–sorry vegetarians. Crazy blue and turquoise waters. Half Italian, half Arabic, half English. Yes, I’m aware that’s too many halves.
Malta sits in such a key spot that it’s always being invaded by someone–Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Greeks, Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French, British. It’s everywhere in the Mediterranean squeezed into one of the smallest countries in the world.
So where is Malta?
Malta is at the intersection of rich cultural heritage, Semitic and Latin languages, historically strategic importance and forgetability, eclectic architecture and beautiful landscapes, great weather and stormy seas, ancient pagan catacombs and Catholic shrines on every corner.
Or at 35.9375° N, 14.3754° E, if we’re being literal.