When Paul and I were in Malta, we took a ferry across to Gozo. And, with so many things to do in Gozo… one morning we had the opportunity to do something a little different in Victoria (Rabat).
So, Victoria is Gozo’s capital city, which like Malta has a long and interesting history. In fact, its history goes as far back as 5000 BC… when a group of Sicilians successfully crossed the ocean to Gozo.
And, with the discoveries on this island, it is said that Gozo may have earlier settlers than on Malta.
Then, as time went on… Gozo was under heavy attack by the Phoenicians, Romans, Arabs and French, to name a few.
Thus, having learnt some of the history from The Malta Experience… it was a treat for us to get a special tour of the back streets of Gozo. And, on this tour we saw many interesting things, and learnt more of the remarkable history.
So, in this blog post I’ll run through some of the things to see in Victoria Gozo… which was outside of the main tourist attractions.
The Start Of Our Back Streets Tour In Victoria, Gozo
To start off our Victoria back streets tour… we were standing near the corner of Triq l-Arċipriet Saver Cassar, and Triq Sir Mikelanġ Refalo.
Now, if you’re searching for this spot on Google maps… a landmark to look out for is, Cathedral Parish Center…
And, it was said to us that here, movies were shown like in a theatre. Even so, this building is still in use, yet you wouldn’t think so when looking at the outside… as it looks deserted and unloved, right?
Then, as we continued down Triq l-Arċipriet Saver Cassar… we saw these gorgeous little streets.
And here, there was a boot hanging above the doorway…
So, this would signify that here was a bootmaker.
Then, as we continued on our journey, we wandered down Triq il-Providenza. And, on almost every corner of a street was a statue like this…
Now, for such a small island, Gozo has over 40 churches! So, many of the locals have a strong faith.
And, oftentimes the statues would be a religious one. Other times we saw statues like this one on Triq San Gorg…
The Cute Alleyways
Then, as we continued walking around these narrow, little winding alleyways… these were like the Arabic ones.
Yet, that comes as no surprise… considering their ruling and influence when they were in Malta and Gozo.
And, in the alleyways were many tall houses and buildings.
So, the construction of these high buildings would shield locals from the sun and attacks. And, each home was built with wells inside.
So, the more we strolled through the alleyways, the more it was like a labyrinth! Plus, there are many dead ends.
Yet, what the attackers didn’t know back in the day was this… The houses had a second entrance / exit, so that the locals could escape.
Then, we were walking down a street called, Triq il-Librerijaas. And then we stopped in front of this door, with a thick dark green paint. What’s so special about this door you’re thinking?
Well, near this doorway was a plaque… which was in memory of the first library in Gozo.
Then, from Triq il-Librerijaas, we kept wandering the back streets. Then, we noticed a lady sitting at her doorstep. And, as we got closer we saw that she was making lace by hand.
So, as we were watching she made the lace effortlessly. And, she probably could’ve done it with her eyes closed!
Now, being in Malta and Gozo, many of the traditional balconies would look like this…
Yet, we were shown a balcony where back in the days it was seen as unique. And, that’s because every section of the balcony beneath the windows, had different patterns…
Ready For Attack And Marriage
You may be wondering how attack and marriage are related for this blog post?!
So, we were turning down another street, which then was looking like a dead end. Yet, we decided to wander further down the street called, Triq il-Madonna tal-Karmnu.
And here, we saw a place with bold blue colored framing…
So, this place called, Dar Ghax-Xemx, is a farmhouse. It underwent renovation… and is now open to the public as a guest house for accommodation.
And, as we got talking, she was motioning us to follow her to this home…
So, this huge home was built in the 1500’s. And, there was this massive door to keep unwanted people out, mainly enemies!
And, above the door there was a peeping hole.
Then, it was shocking to discover that the owners would peer through the peeping hole… and if it was an enemy for example, they would pour hot oil over them. OUCH!
So, on either side of the peeping hole are like small ledges. And, it was said to us that the parents would put flowers or a plant on it… if they had a daughter who was available to be married!
So, it comes to an end…
Then, to end our back streets tour of Victoria, we ended up in Savina Square. And, here we saw the Santa Savina Church.
Then, we were a little peckish. So, we took a short stroll to Bellusa Café in Independence Square to enjoy some Cisk beers and pastizzis!
There were many other things we discovered on our back streets tour of Victoria, Gozo. And, we were so fortunate to have had the privilege to learn about it.
So, while there are plenty of things to do in Gozo… it was great to have done something off the beaten path.
So, when you’re on your travels not just in Gozo, but in general… take the time to check out some off the path sights. As you may get a wonderful surprise, and have the best travel memories ever.
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