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Enjoy Valletta: European Capital of Culture for 2018, with The Phoenicia

Valletta has been selected as a European Capital of Culture for 2018 and replete with stately homes, palaces, cathedrals and towers, forts and castles, as well as being home to “the world’s most beautiful floor” in St. John’s Co-Cathedral, it is not short of a bit of culture! The V18 Cultural Programme is built around four themes: Generations, Routes, Cities and Islands.
With more than a million people expected to attend the Valletta 2018 events, hotel rooms will be scarce and those culture-buffs ‘in-the-know’ have already snapped up most of the bargains. More than 400 events and 140 projects will keep Malta buzzing next year as Valletta begins its 12-month stint as European Capital of Culture.

The capital of culture official opening ceremony will be on January 20, Valletta will be transforming into a venue for spectacular international performances and street entertainment featuring local artists, musicians, singers and dancers, all contributing to a ‘festa for all’ atmosphere. Unofficially, a concert on Friday evening, January 12, at St. Paul’s Co- Cathedral will get the cultural activities underway with a special performance of Handel’s famous oratorio The Messiah, a reflection on Jesus as the saviour of humankind. The concert is being held in aid of the restoration of the St Paul’s Anglican Pro-Cathedral.

Valletta 2018 Foundation’s cultural programme involves over 1,000 local and international artists, curators, artist collectives, performers, workshop leaders, writers, designers, choirs and filmmakers with projects divided into different strands, from performances to visual arts, music, film, education or community projects; the cultural programme places a strong emphasis on international collaboration.

Its flagship exhibition, titled Dal-Baħar Madwarha, will be led by renowned Austrian curator Maren Richter. The exhibition will deal with Malta’s relationship with the sea, and how it shapes the country’s national identity. In addition, Malta’s Mediterranean identity and issues surrounding it are reflected through the inclusion of artists from the Middle East and Arabic world, while a major Picasso exhibition with four paintings and 100 etchings making their way to Malta for the first time.

The Phoenicia Malta, built on the fortifications of Valletta, will be one of the main hotspots during European Capital of Culture, hosting ‘The Star of Strait Street’ an original musical play by Philip Glassborow which tells the true story of the romance between Adrian Warburton, daredevil photo-reconnaissance flier and maverick known as “the most valuable pilot in the RAF” and Christina Ratcliffe, singer and dancer at The Morning Star in Valletta… indisputably, the Star of Strait Street.

In addition, the newly refurbished Triton Fountain has been chosen as one of the main venues for the opening ceremony on the 20th January 2018, expected to draw great crowds to the heart of Valletta. La Fura Dels Baus, the world renowned theatrical and acrobatical group from Barcelona, will be in charge of the opening performance that will be taking place in front of Café Phoenicia.

Other activities related to the opening ceremony will be taking place also in St George’s Square, St John’s Square and Castille Square, all within a 5-minute walk from The Phoenicia. We have also put together a great offer when you stay with us for 3 nights or more during 2018. View more details of this great offer here.

13th – 27th Valletta Baroque Fesitval
20th Valletta 18 Opening

9 – 13th Carnival

30th – 1st April Easter

13th George Cross Commemoration
13th & 14th Malta International Ground Fireworks
15th April – 1st May Malta International Music Festival
21st, 27th & 30th Malta International Fireworks

4th – 6th Valletta Green Festival

Isle of MTV
1st – 16th Malta Arts Festival
8th – 17th Valletta Film Festival
28th June – 1st July Music Week
29th June – 14th July Malta International Arts Festival

13th – 22nd Pope Joan
20th – 22nd Malta International Jazz Festival
21st – Joseph Calleja Concert

2nd – 5th Wine Festival
13th – 15th Santa Marija
23rd – 25th Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival

8th – Great Siege
21st – Independence Day & Guard of Honour
23rd & 24th Malta International Air Show
28th Science in the city

6th Notte Bianca
21st Rolex Middle Sea Race
7th – 10th Malta Classic
13th & 14th Malta Military Tatoo

16th – 25th Ziguzajg

15th Closing of Valletta 18

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