5 Belongings you Did not Find out about Gozo
That there is such a spot.
Let’s face it: you may have in all probability at all times thought of Malta (to the extent that you’ve got considered it in any respect) as a one-island-state – like Iceland, solely hotter.
In truth, it’s an archipelago republic that consists of three inhabited islands, though one (Comino) admittedly just about clears the bar with a population of four permanent residents. (Even the local policeman commutes daily, by boat. Another attention-grabbing query is how he passes his days as soon as he has made the journey.)
Gozo, conversely, is a correct place with 35,000 inhabitants, contributing stone island junior shorts slightly less than 10 % to the Republic’s complete.
Being positioned 4 km throughout the sea and 50 years away from Malta, it is a gentle throwback to the Mediterranean world of the 1960s and 70s. When the builders, occasion vacationers and casinos arrived on the primary island, Gozo, it seems, put up a huge No Thanks signal at its M’Garr ferry port.
Consequently, life right here has the flavour it must once have had on Malta, too: outdated men arguing soccer and politics within the village cafe, meals trucks that promote insect repellent and recent water melons, evenings when the loudest sound on the farmhouse terrace is the flapping of the butterflies’ wings.
In the event you regret the passing of this world, you’ll feel at dwelling here right away.
2. Churches are quite a few and large.
All Gozitan city squares are primarily variations of the identical recurring motifs: a “central retailer” which is probably smaller than your dwelling room, a village cafe with flywire doors and at the very least one huge Television display screen, a roundabout, an English telephone sales space, and a baroque church.
An enormous baroque church: Gozitan churches are usually large sufficient to accommodate the town’s complete population.
The Saint John Rotunda, Gozo’s largest church, was built in the 1950s and 60s round an outdated seventeenth century chapel, which had turn out to be too small for the neighborhood’s wants. (The previous church was then dismantled, stone by stone, and rebuilt as an annex within the again.)
The brand new St John now packs 800 individuals and is stuffed 5 occasions over each Sunday – in a town (Xewkija) with three,000 inhabitants. What’s going on right here
Three. Gozo has a historical past of Christian martyrdom.
The Maltese islands lie about half-method between Sicily and the North African Coast and have, for centuries, played the function of Christianity’s lonely battleship in hostile waters.
A rigorous, assertive Catholicism subsequently stands at the center of Maltese identification. The distinction between Malta and Gozo is that this: whereas the principle island was properly outfitted to defy any invader, having been expressly transformed to play this “battleship” position stone island junior shorts by fight-hardened crusader knights from 1530 onwards, the rural people of Gozo had by no means asked to play a central position in world historical past, and when the invading Ottoman Navy discovered the principle island too properly protected for its liking in 1551, it turned its ire in opposition to its poorly protected neighbour, killing each male inhabitant of Gozo and selling 6,000 ladies and kids into slavery.
After this, the Citadel on the capital of Victoria was fortified, and for some time, each inhabitant of Gozo was pressured to spend the night time inside its confines. Nonetheless, there was no lengthy queue of individuals desperate to repopulate the island, and it took Gozo one hundred fifty years to succeed in pre-invasion ranges of inhabitants.
Four. Hollywood loves Gozo.
Gozo’s rugged coastline and unspoilt interiors have attracted movie-makers for decades – the Tv adaptation of Brideshead Revisited was partly shot right here, and so was Troy. Most famously, Gozo supplied the backdrop for a lot of episodes of Recreation of Thrones. Followers of the sequence will subsequently acknowledge this function of the coastline …
… referred to as the Azure Window.
While we stayed in Gozo, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie were shooting a film right here (referred to as By the Sea, their first joint undertaking for 10 years), and all people we met had a narrative of how they had run into Mr. Pitt on one of his earlier shoots on the island (he also made World War Z right here).
You might also have an interest to listen to that it was right here on Gozo the place the $2.5M watch that Miss Jolie handed over to Mr Pitt as her wedding ceremony gift (a 1952 Patek Philippe, since you ask) was engraved, at a jeweller’s store referred to as Dolindo on Victoria’s high street. “I used to be not nervous in any respect”, the engraver later stated, and it’s as much as you whether or not you wish to consider him or not.
5. Don’t be concerned if, till now, you had by no means heard of Gozo: the Gozitans won’t hold that towards you.
Truly, they fairly like their place on the periphery of the nice World Site visitors Routes and the good World Every part, one thing which undoubtedly contains tourism.
Vacationers are welcome on Gozo, however no frantic makes an attempt are made to squeeze each final penny out of them, and they’re anticipated to adapt to the native methods, not the opposite means spherical. That is what offers Gozo its distinctive charm as an outpost, but once more, of a Mediterranean tradition underneath risk.
Straightforward Hiker was lately a visitor of the Malta Tourism Authority. Learn extra about Malta, and Gozo specifically, in his weblog.