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Five Stuff you Did not Find out about Gozo

That there is such a place.
Stone Island Fashion Men's Navy blue CoatsLet’s face it: you’ve most likely at all times thought of Malta (to the extent that you’ve got thought about it at all) as a one-island-state – like Iceland, only hotter.

Actually, it is an archipelago republic that consists of 3 inhabited islands, though one (Comino) admittedly just about clears the bar with a population of 4 everlasting residents. (Even the local policeman commutes daily, by boat. Another fascinating question 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 a bit lower than 10 percent to the Republic’s complete.

Being positioned 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 appears, put up an enormous No Thanks signal at its M’Garr ferry port.

Consequently, life here has the flavour it should once have had on Malta, too: previous males arguing football and politics in the village cafe, food trucks that sell insect repellent and fresh water melons, evenings when the loudest sound on the farmhouse terrace is the flapping of the butterflies’ wings.

Should you remorse the passing of this world, you will feel at house here right away.
2. Churches are numerous and huge.

All Gozitan city squares are basically variations of the identical recurring motifs: a “central retailer” which is probably smaller than your residing room, a village cafe with flywire doorways and no less than one large Television screen, a roundabout, an English cellphone booth, and a baroque church.

A huge baroque church: Gozitan churches are usually big enough to accommodate the city’s entire inhabitants.

The Saint John Rotunda, Gozo’s largest church, was constructed in the 1950s and 60s round an old 17th century chapel, which had become too small for the neighborhood’s wants. (The outdated church was then dismantled, stone by stone, and rebuilt as an annex in the again.)

The new St John now packs 800 people and is filled 5 times over each Sunday – in a city (Xewkija) with 3,000 inhabitants. What’s going on here

Three. Gozo has a history of Christian martyrdom.
The Maltese islands lie about half-approach between Sicily and the North African Coast and have, for centuries, played the role of Christianity’s lonely battleship in hostile waters.

A rigorous, assertive Catholicism due to this fact stands at the guts of Maltese identification. The distinction between Malta and Gozo is that this: whereas the principle island was properly equipped to defy any invader, having been expressly transformed to play this “battleship” position by fight-hardened crusader knights from 1530 onwards, the rural of us of Gozo had never asked to play a central position in world historical past, and when the invading Ottoman Navy found the main stone island triads island too effectively protected for its liking in 1551, it turned its ire towards its poorly protected neighbour, killing each male inhabitant of Gozo and promoting 6,000 ladies and kids into slavery.

After this, the Citadel on the capital of Victoria was fortified, and for a while, every inhabitant of Gozo was pressured to spend the night time within its confines. Nonetheless, there was no lengthy queue of individuals desperate to repopulate the island, and it took Gozo a hundred and fifty years to reach pre-invasion ranges of population.

4. 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 offered the backdrop for many episodes of Recreation of Thrones. Followers of the sequence will subsequently acknowledge this function of the coastline …

… known as the Azure Window.
While we stayed in Gozo, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie have been shooting a film here (called By the Sea, their first joint challenge for 10 years), and everyone we met had a narrative of how they had run into Mr. Pitt on one among his earlier shoots on the island (he also made World Struggle Z here).

You may also be interested to hear 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, because you ask) was engraved, at a jeweller’s store known as Dolindo on Victoria’s high road. “I was not nervous at all”, the engraver later stated, and it’s as much as you whether you wish to imagine him or not.

5. Don’t worry if, until now, you had by no means heard of Gozo: the Gozitans will not hold that towards you.

Really, they fairly like their position at the periphery of the good International Site visitors Routes and the nice Global Every little thing, one thing which positively consists of tourism.

Tourists are welcome on Gozo, but no frantic attempts are made to squeeze each last penny out of them, and they are expected to adapt to the local methods, not the opposite method round. That is what offers Gozo its unique charm as an outpost, but once more, of a Mediterranean culture below menace.

Simple Hiker was just lately a visitor of the Malta Tourism Authority. Read more about Malta, and Gozo particularly, in his blog.

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