Malta, with fewer than half a million residents, is the smallest country in the EU. Situated between Sicily and the North African coast, its strategic location has historically attracted conquerors from the Romans to the English to the Arabs, which has created the unique culture of the Mediterranean island nation.
CLASSIC RED BOXES
THE COLOR PURPLE
THE MEDITERRANEAN IS ALWAYS CLOSE
NEVER A DULL CITY
Wandering through Malta's tiny towns, travelers can't help but notice the vibrant wooden balconies that front the otherwise sand-colored streets. The most celebrated of all dot the historical city of Valletta, the country’s tiny capital of 6,500 residents. The origin of the balconies? That's still passionately debated, with some saying they were part of the growing baroque movement that took over the island in the 17th century, and others claiming the rich colors were brought by slaves from North Africa. Either way, the balconies offer a window on the cultural melange that is Malta.