I spent most of my recent visit to Malta on one of the Mediterranean nation’s smaller islands, Gozo. I only had one full day to spend on the big island, the one they call simply, “Malta.” There was lots to see on Malta, so I had trouble deciding how to spend my very limited time. Reading something about a big weekly fish market that just so happened to fall on Sundays–the day I was there–so I decided to take a gamble and spend my time exploring an unpronounceable little fishing village called Marsaxlokk.
I think I made the right decision.
As soon as we arrived, I noticed the colorful fishing boats that fill the Marsaxlokk Harbor.
These traditional Maltese boats are called luzzus and they have high, pointed tips at one or both ends. They are often painted in bright, primary colors.
Many times, the boats have a set of eyes painted on the front. This is an ancient tradition dating back to the Phoenecians that was believed to protect the fishermen when they were out at sea.
When we arrived in the late morning, most fishermen had already docked their boats for the day and left, but there were a few still out untangling their nets.
The Marsaxlokk town square (pjazza) is just steps away from the harbor. The Catholic church on the square is dedicated to Our Lady of Pompeii…
Because of the importance of fishing to this small community, the patron saint stands on a luzzo fishing boat!
At the market there were fish vendors selling all manner of creepy and crawly sea life.
Some of it was still alive, in the case of these cephalopods — octopus and squid.
Capers and other assorted pickled vegetables are common in Maltese cooking so there were several vendors selling their homemade pickles
There were fruits and veggies, of course…
And delicious prepared foods. The guy at this cart made imqaret, a typical Maltese pastry filled with dates and then deep-fried. It was so delicious!
There were a few vendors selling marinated vegetables, olives, cheeses, and seafood salads that were so brightly colored and beautiful that Valentina and I decided to just buy an assortment…
and have a Maltese picnic on the waterfront.
My visit to Malta was organized by Iambassador and sponsored by the Malta Tourism Authority. All photos and perspectives are my own.