Mdina & Rabat
Also known as Città Notabile, the noble city, Mdina is our favourite local destination and is one of the prettiest ancient walled cities you will find anywhere. Perched upon one of Malta’s highest promontories, it commands a superb view of Malta and never fails to inspire and amaze. It is no wonder that every notable artist who has visited has included it in their painting portfolio! Within Mdina’s walls is a mix of medieval and Baroque architecture that has been virtually untouched by modern development. Just strolling around its narrow and winding cobbled streets, passing by hidden noble houses and private chapels, and to suddenly find yourself in the expansive square of St. Paul’s Cathedral is an experience not to be missed.
Fine dining is the keyword in Mdina with restaurants built within magnificent edifices dishing out local and international treats. The best time to visit is in the evening when the ‘silent city’ is charmingly lit by wall-hanging lanterns. It does not take much effort to imagine yourself having been transported a couple of centuries back.
Rabat neighbours the wonderful Mdina and apart from the typical village core, Rabat is notable for its ancient Roman heritage. The Domus Romana (Roman Villa) has a set of mosaic pavements that rank amongst the finest in Europe. The St. Paul’s and St. Agatha’s catacombs are two separate complex Roman underground cemeteries with notable frescoes and are fun to explore. The Grotto of St. Paul, underneath the parish church, is a cave where it is said that the patron saint of the Maltese Islands preached in his quest to convert the local population to Christianity.