A Day in the Cultural Capital

Luther’s Malta and the Mediterranean Program, currently in its 26th year, offers students the opportunity to spend a semester exploring Malta's rich history and traveling to other countries in the Mediterranean region. Coursework includes Paideia II: Ethical Issues in the Mediterranean, a Service Learning class, where program participants teach English to recent immigrants to Malta, Maltese History and Culture and additional classes taken at the University of Malta.

To learn more about the program, visit the Malta Semester website.

This morning we took a bus to Valletta, the capital of Malta. Valletta was named the Cultural Capital of Europe of 2018. It was so fun to see all of the posters and decorations advertising all the events happening in the city this spring.

Our morning began with watching "The Malta Experience" at Fort Saint Elmo. I was amazed at all the history packed on the tiny island! For centuries Malta was mercilessly invaded by nearly every major power in Europe. We learned that despite continual invasion, the Maltese persevered and grew closer as a country. After viewing the documentary it became even more clear why the Maltese are so proud of their heritage and culture. 

Although countless invaders influenced the island with foreign cultures, the Maltese maintained parts of their own identity. The Maltese have incorporated cultures from all over, making the melting pot of traditions salient. This was especially evident in the architecture and the language, truly proving the combinination of multiple influences. 

The weather was absolutely gorgeous as we wandered around the rocky shore. We were invited up to see the view from a fishing shack by Roberto. He was also quite proud to show us his fishing equipment. Roberto's place is located on the base of Ft. Saint Elmo and under the Lower Barrakka Gardens. We were even invited to stop by again later in the semester to chat with him!

I swear we make new friends each day! The Maltese have been so friendly and welcoming. It's fun to converse with them about the island while learning more about the country of which they are so proud. 

Will Douglas on Ft. Saint Elmo with Valletta in the background.
Our friend Roberto talking with his neighbor
Malta 2018 students posing on Ft. Saint Elmo