5 Things you Did not Learn about Gozo
That there’s such a place.
Let’s face it: you could have probably all the time considered Malta (to the extent that you have thought about it at all) as a one-island-state – like Iceland, solely hotter.
In reality, it is an archipelago republic that consists of 3 inhabited islands, though one (Comino) admittedly just about clears the bar with a inhabitants of four everlasting residents. (Even the local policeman commutes every day, by boat. One other interesting query is how he passes his days as soon as he has made the journey.)
Gozo, conversely, is a proper place with 35,000 inhabitants, contributing slightly less than 10 % to the Republic’s complete.
Being located 4 km across the sea and 50 years away from Malta, it’s a gentle throwback to the Mediterranean world of the 1960s and 70s. When the builders, social gathering vacationers and casinos arrived on the principle island, Gozo, it seems, put up an enormous No Thanks signal at its M’Garr ferry port.
Consequently, life right here has the flavour it should once have had on Malta, too: previous males arguing soccer and politics within the village cafe, meals trucks that promote insect repellent and contemporary water melons, evenings when the loudest sound on the farmhouse terrace is the flapping of the butterflies’ wings.
If you happen to remorse the passing of this world, you’ll feel at home here right away.
2. Churches are numerous and big.
All Gozitan city squares are essentially variations of the same recurring motifs: a “central retailer” which is probably smaller than your living room, a village cafe with flywire doorways and a minimum of one big Television display screen, a roundabout, an English telephone sales space, and a baroque church.
A huge baroque church: Gozitan churches are generally big sufficient to accommodate the city’s complete inhabitants.
The Saint John Rotunda, Gozo’s largest church, was constructed in the 1950s and 60s round an old seventeenth century chapel, which had change into too small for the group’s wants. (The old church was then dismantled, stone by stone, and rebuilt as an annex in the back.)
The brand new St John now packs 800 folks and is filled 5 instances over every 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-way between Sicily and the North African Coast and have, for centuries, played the position of Christianity’s lonely battleship in hostile waters.
A stone island t shirt badge rigorous, assertive Catholicism therefore stands at the guts of Maltese identification. The distinction between Malta and Gozo is that this: whereas the main island was well equipped to defy any invader, having been expressly transformed to play this “battleship” position by fight-hardened crusader knights from 1530 onwards, the rural folks of Gozo had never requested to play a central role in world history, and when the invading Ottoman Navy discovered the primary island too well protected for its liking in 1551, it turned its ire against its poorly protected neighbour, killing each male inhabitant of Gozo and promoting 6,000 girls and children into slavery.
After this, the Citadel on the capital of Victoria was fortified, and for a while, each inhabitant of Gozo was pressured to spend the evening within its confines. Nonetheless, there was no lengthy queue of individuals wanting to repopulate the island, and it took Gozo a hundred and fifty years to achieve pre-invasion stone island t shirt badge ranges of inhabitants.
4. Hollywood loves Gozo.
Gozo’s rugged coastline and unspoilt interiors have attracted film-makers for decades – the Television adaptation of Brideshead Revisited was partly shot here, and so was Troy. Most famously, Gozo supplied the backdrop for a lot of episodes of Recreation of Thrones. Followers of the series will subsequently recognize this feature of the coastline …
… referred to as the Azure Window.
While we stayed in Gozo, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been capturing a movie right here (referred to as By the Sea, their first joint mission for 10 years), and everyone we met had a narrative of how they had run into Mr. Pitt on one in every of his previous shoots on the island (he additionally made World Warfare Z here).
You may also be interested to hear that it was here on Gozo where the $2.5M watch that Miss Jolie handed over to Mr Pitt as her wedding reward (a 1952 Patek Philippe, since you ask) was engraved, at a jeweller’s shop known as Dolindo on Victoria’s excessive road. “I was not nervous at all”, the engraver later mentioned, and it is up to you whether you want to imagine him or not.
5. Don’t be concerned if, until now, you had by no means heard of Gozo: the Gozitans is not going to hold that against you.
Truly, they fairly like their position on the periphery of the great World Visitors Routes and the great Global Every part, one thing which positively consists of tourism.
Vacationers are welcome on Gozo, however no frantic makes an attempt are made to squeeze each last penny out of them, and they’re expected to adapt to the local methods, not the opposite means round. This is what gives Gozo its unique charm as an outpost, yet again, of a Mediterranean tradition beneath menace.
Easy Hiker was recently a guest of the Malta Stone Island T-Shirts Tourism Authority. Learn extra about Malta, and Gozo particularly, in his weblog.