Malta

Malta Travel Guide

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© Jack Malipan Travel Photography / Alamy

Until it earned its independence in 1964, the island of Malta had been conquered by nearly all of its neighbors, from the Carthaginians to the Romans to the Saracens. Today, the 122-square-mile country between Sicily and Libya is being invaded by Hollywood directors, who use it as a double for 1960's Beirut, 19th-century Genoa, and ancient Troy at a fraction of the cost of other European resorts. Film stars (like Brad Pitt, who recently played Achilles here), location scouts, and everyday travelers take advantage of very un-Hollywood prices in Valletta, the fortified capital city, which sits on the sandy north coast, and Mdina, the old medieval capital, nicknamed the Silent City for its traffic-free streets and tiny population (377). Both are best explored on foot, allowing you to slip into the slow rhythm of the place that seems to sit on the edge of the world. —Andrea Bennett

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