What a fascinating city. Valletta is a fortified city built by the Knights Hospitaller during the 16th century that serves as the capital of this island nation. After the "Great Siege" of 1565, the Ottomans nearly took control but the Knights held on with the help of the Sicilians and the local Maltese. After the siege, the city was fortified with bastions, curtains, and cavaliers.
This cathedral, opened in 1577, is an amazing display of the wealth of the Knights. Just about every square inch is covered in gold. It is home to many precious works or art, including the famous painting of the beheading of John the Baptist by Caravaggio.
This 16th century palace of a Maltese noble family is still home to descendants of its original occupants. The De Piro family has inhabited this place for more than 430 years. We had a chance to meet Baron De Piro in the courtyard of this living historical monument. He was very friendly and full of stories. We could have stayed all day talking with him.
Malta allows one to "buy in" to the country. We had dinner with a Mexican man who is now a Maltese citizen, although he is only in the country 2 times per year. You must have rented property for 12 months or have purchased purchased (relatively expensive) real estate. Then, for about $1 million, you can get a Maltese passport.