University of Malta
 

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The local VS-Games 2014 organising committee of the University of Malta is proposing the following tours for conference participants and their accompanying guests. These tours may be booked directly from the conference registration page. 


Mdina Tour - €22

Abstract: The tour starts with a visit to Malta’s old capital city, Mdina, built on a plateau in the centre of the island, with its cathedral and magnificent bastions dominating the skyline. We will take a stroll through the narrow streets of this medieval walled city to learn more of its history, which dates back to at least the Bronze Age, while admiring Mdina’s magnificent palazzos and churches and the spectacular panoramas from the bastion walls. Next, we will go the neighbouring town of Rabat, where we start with a visit to the Roman Domus, a Roman-era town house dating back to the 1st century BC, whose mosaic pavements rank among the best to be found in the western Mediterranean.


Valletta Ghost Tour - €15

Abstract: Valletta, Malta’s capital city, built by the Knights of St. John more than 400 years ago, has throughout the centuries witnessed death, murders, executions, plots and who knows what else. So it is perhaps not surprising that there are so many stories of ghosts haunting the city, perhaps still having unfinished business or seeking eternal peace or vengeance. This is a walking tour of Valletta after dark, when the thousands of people who visit the city during the day have gone home and the streets are empty and quiet. We will listen to some of the most well known ghost stories that have become a part of the local folklore, and to some that are not so well known. The tour also includes selection of Maltese platters and a drink.


Gozo Day Tour - €60

Abstract: Gozo is the most northerly island of the Maltese archipelago, reached by a twenty-minute ferry crossing from Malta. Though only separated by a mere 5km stretch of sea, it offers a completely different experience to visitors, being much more rural and simple. The Gozitan countryside is greener and more spectacular, with a rugged landscape and spectacular coastline. Our first stop will be at the ancient Citadel, which for centuries provided shelter and protection to the Gozitans against frequent pirate attacks. We will then visit Dwejra to admire the famous ‘Azure Window’ before stopping for lunch, consisting of a traditonal Gozitan ftira. We then proceed to Calypso Cave, overlooking the glorious red sands of Gozo's finest beach, Ramla l-Ħamra, and allegedly the cave referred to by Homer in TheOdyssey. Following a stop to learn about the salt pans and the traditional method of harvesting sea salt, we will also visit the picturesque Wied il-Għasri valley, before finishing off our tour with the chance for some swimming.  This tour includes ferry ticket, traditional Maltese lunch and a drink.


Sins in the City Tour - €15

Abstract: Lust, gluttony, greed, envy, pride and all sorts of sins are not the basis of a soap opera but they can be easily associated to the Knights, when the Order went into decline. Its finances, its military prowess and even its morals crumbed through the decades relegating the Golden Age of Malta under the Knights to a faint memory of the past. 

This process is perhaps best reflected in the lives led by some of the Grand Masters. The monastic vows of poverty, chastity and obedience where quickly replaced. "Poverty" was expressed in the lavish palaces and impressive baroque which adorns the city to this day. Chastity was replaced by orgies and eventually, by illegitimate offsprings. Obedience became useful only when it was time to overthrow an old Grandmaster from his throne. 

The truth is that in later years, when the Holy War against the Ottoman empire finished and there was no scope for crusades, many knights did not have any vocation or lost it as soon as they arrived in Valletta, a city full of temptations. Many of them succumbed, young and old alike, spending their free time gambling, duelling and chasing prostitutes.  This tour includes a drink.

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Last Updated: 24 July 2014

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