Rent a house or a Room in Gozo, Malta
Living in Victoria Gozo, the Heart of the Island is so Convenient and Practical.
Walking inside the Victoria Gozo Citadel along the cool cobbled narrow passages and alleyways is a fantastic experience which takes one back to dream of living at the time of the Knights. It is so silent and mysterious that one finds himself talking in whispers.
Maybe the ghost of Bernardo Di Puo' still roams the deserted street that is named after him. This brave man was a Knight who martyred his wife and daughter to save them from the ruthless hands of the Turks during the Siege of Gozo of 1551.
Citadel, Victoria, Gozo.
The Citadel also locally known as the Cittadella is a city within a city. Once an ancient fortified town it lies on a hillock overlooking Victoria. The Citadel built by the Normans and enlarged by the Arabs was fortified by the Knights after the Great Siege of 1565.
Many houses are in ruins but other buildings dating back to the 12th Century are still standing and are today open as Museums. Within the walls of the Citadel lie the Law Courts, the Gozo Cathedral and its Museum, the Folklore Museum, the Museum of Archaeology and the Old Prisons. From the ramparts high above the buildings of the town one enjoys a superb 360-degree panorama of the entire island of Gozo.
Banca Guiratale, Victoria Gozo
Victoria is the capital city of Gozo. It got its name in 1887 in honour and on the occasion of the British Queen's Golden Jubilee. Also called Rabat by its old Arabic name, especially by the older generation and by the people of the villages.
Independence Square formerly known as It-Tokk and the surrounding streets constitute the business centre of the town. Coffee shops abound as well as clothes and fashion wear, jewellery and souvenirs are sold from the various outlets. An open-air market is held daily at the main square specialising in clothes, leather goods and footwear. Here one can sometimes find a good bargain. And talking of bargains you can book a room right here in Victoria at very advantageous (for you :-)) rates.
Narrow Street in Victoria Gozo
Around the Basilica of St. George, a few paces from It-Tokk is the old city and the "Mandragg" characterized by winding narrow streets, shady silent alleys, quaint houses, arched doorways, enclosed wooden balconies and corner niches dedicated to saints. Many streets are still named after Saints, like St.Andrew Street and St. Mary Street reminiscent of the time when the church and religion were all supreme in Gozo, up to the 1960s.
At that time, Gozo was at least 50 years behind Malta, since Gozo remained a church-run mini state. Kingsway in Valletta (Republic Street, today) all lighted up in the evenings, the open air Cafes in the baroque squares with live bands playing up to midnight, the Cinemas and restaurants all seemed like New York to us raw Gozitan youths.
Open air market in Victoria Gozo
Victoria Gozo is literally the hub of the Island since all roads from the villages link to it. The larger villages are Xaghra, Nadur and Xewkija. Qala and Gharb are the remotest, in the East and West respectively, while Ghasri, Sta Lucia and Munxar are the smallest villages in Gozo.
The City houses the main government offices, the bishop's curia and the Gozo Police HQ. A few meters down Republic Street (formerly Race Course Street) we find the bus terminus from where buses leave every 30 minutes to the various villages and also to the main bays and beaches.
A bus ride to anywhere in Gozo to Gharb or to Qala for example does not take more than 15 minutes and this is indeed one of the advantages of living on a small island.
In Victoria Gozo you can reach everywhere on foot so you do not need to hire a car or a taxi but you can simply use the public transport when you need to go to the beach or to pay a visit to the other villages. At the time of writing the fare is 1Euro 25 cents to all destinations in Gozo.
In Gozo everything is so near. People duly go about their daily business but at their own leisurely pace, which makes all the difference. In Victoria Gozo you can find anything from Internet Cafes to Shoe Repair, Shopping malls, economy Food Stores, Post Office, Information, Insurance, Travel Agencies, Banks, Pharmacies and Clinic as well as the General Hospital.
Living here is so relaxing and hassle-free. I should know :-).
The crime rate is non existent as it is all over the Island.
In July and August 2 grand feasts are held, one dedicated to St. George, the patron Saint of the Island (photo) and another in honour of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Locally we say Festa ta' San Gorg and Festa ta' Santa Maria. Great displays of fireworks are held as well as daily band marches performed by different bands from the other villages and also from Malta.
(Note:) St George Feast 2012 was a HUGE success. Congratulations to all concerned especially to the volunteer crew of about 40 youngsters in charge of the Street Furniture - 'Gharmar' and to the organizers in general. I was lucky enough to find a seat for the evening celebrations in the Basilica. They started as early as Monday and continued throughout the whole week and included the 'Tridu' and the Sunday morning Pontifical Mass. Suffice it to say that the music, the choir and the singing were simply Angelic.
St. Geoge's Square, Victoria
For the horse-racing enthusiasts, 2 big races are held with over 30 courses each. The race held in July as part of the feast of St. George is held at night starting from about 7 pm up to after midnight and it has been a great success from its inception 3 years ago.
On the subject of dining out - - here one can choose from quite a few good restaurants, specializing in Sicilian, local, Indian and Chinese food.
There is only one Hotel but to make up for this shortage of accommodation several beautifully restored townhouses and modern apartments are offered for short lets or long lease.
One can also consider one of the many 'property for sale' options.
Victoria in the evening is so quiet. There is a world of difference from other European cities such as London, Paris.
Admittedly Victoria is much much smaller but the atmosphere in St. George's Square both in the morning and in the evening is unique and compares well with the Square of the Clock in Prague, for example.
Do you agree? Contact me with your views.
Rent a house or a Room in Gozo, Malta