When I decided to start this new path, worries and fears crowded my mind … Would I have been up to the situation? Would I have bravely faced change? It was the year 2016, on April 10 I decided to close my bags and to reach that small island in the south of the Mediterranean sea, called Malta. I arrived in Sliema on a spring Sunday, all the shops were closed and on the streets I could not meet a friendly face. I must admit that my first impression was not the best, I was assigned a room in an apartment where six other people lived and I felt alone.                                                                                                                                                                                Nothing was easy that day, but let me tell you one thing: if I had thrown in the towel that day, then I would have missed the wonderful adventure that would have started shortly thereafter. The next day I attended my first English lesson at the am language school facility, where I met numerous people who would later become part of this experience that I still carry in my heart.         Slowly I appreciated that small land surrounded by the sea, the sun and long walks.                                                                                Malta is an excellent place for reflection, there are uncontaminated spaces where the sea lets you breathe clean air and the sound of its waves, makes all bad thoughts go away. I still remember the fantastic climate, never cold but mild. The air smelled everywhere of Pastizzi, a typical Maltese dish, made of puff pastry stuffed with ricotta or peas.

Among the dishes that I would recommend, there are also the Soppa Ta ‘L-Armla, a soup made of vegetables, eggs, meat and sometimes even pasta and a typical Maltese cheese with a very strong flavor called Ġbejna. The kitchen has few dishes, but if like me you are lovers of the culinary diversity of the world then you will surely have the pleasure of tasting these characteristic dishes. My two months in Malta were characterized by several excursions, it seemed incredible to me how this island was so human-sized.

The territory can be fully visited in a very short time, where you can get to know it, savor it in its essence. Among the most interesting trips I would certainly mention the one in the capital. Valletta, which I consider a bit like an open-air museum, with the many structures, the churches (cathedral of San Giovanni Battista) and the buildings that I am sure, will not leave you indifferent. A little personal reflection, my dorm was located exactly on the opposite side of Valletta, every morning for two months, I was lucky enough to wake up, go out the front door and admire such a show, which I admit it still makes me today to dream

Among the many places visited, what I definitely admired most is the city of Mdina. An “unreal reality”, which seems to transport you directly to a distant time, where knights challenged each other to a duel and where probably a princess in pain is waiting for the return of her beloved. Mdina, is the ancient capital of Malta, its walls surround a territory full of characteristic buildings belonging to what were once the most important families of Malta.                                                                                                                                        The ancient city, as some call it, makes you live like in a film, at least, this is what I felt immediately after having crossed its walls. I remember that my companions and I arrived by bus, everything is very well connected, both from the capital and from the smaller towns.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Don’t worry if your English is not the best, the Maltese are very hospitable people, willing to help you and above all they love our language, so sometimes it will seem like being at home! Of the silent city, I can only advise you to visit it, a mix of Middle Ages and Baroque that will leave you breathless. If I had to use adjectives to describe it, one would surely be: elegant, but also fascinating and mysterious.

ne of Malta’s most interesting beauties was certainly the most famous natural arch in the Mediterranean, the so-called Blue Window. As you may have noticed, I used the verb in the past tense, because unfortunately, the window on the sea no longer exists today. It happened in March 2017, following a terrible storm.                                                                                                                                   I consider myself really lucky to have had the opportunity to admire its immensity. I could be here for hours, reaffirming the grandeur of its monuments and how you can still breathe.                                                                                                                              Malta not only has a beautiful nature, ancient structures and charm, but it is also a place where young people can have fun and where they can make many friends. In fact, boys from all over the world arrive on the island every month. I created numerous special bonds that never broke. My Turkish friends, fantastic people, whom I will never forget.                                                                                My Korean roommates, crazy but loving. Friends of Brazil, Spain, Holland and certainly Italy.                                                                     For you young kids who love fun, clubs and parties, I can’t fail to point you to Paceville (San Giuliano). Considered widely the heart of the Maltese nightlife, the long road characterized by the many clubs, restaurants, bars, pubs, will give you the opportunity to choose the right place for you.                                                                                                                                                                                Malta in all respects is a place worth visiting, I have lived it intensely for two months and will never forget the evenings, laughter, long walks in which I spent time with myself and friends. I greet you Malta, with an image of your breathtaking sunsets well imprinted in my mind. It is not a farewell but a goodbye.

Rita Bomboi

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