Meet your private guide in central Valletta and set out into the honey-stoned streets to uncover one of its darkest chapters — the years between 1940 and 1943 during WWII.
Malta’s part in the war began in 1940 when Italy's leader, Mussolini, declared war on the island and it became a stepping stone for Hitler and the Axis forces to gain control of North Africa. From then on, Valletta endured sustained bombardment as the Axis powers aimed to bomb or starve the population into submission.
Over more than two years, the island became one of the most intensively bombed areas in the war, and her survival against the odds was an inspiration.
Learn about the Siege of Malta between 1940 and 1942, and see sites associated with Malta’s bravery in the face of destruction. View the imposing Siege Bell Memorial overlooking the Grand Harbour, and hear about the tunnels built under Valletta to shelter residents. Learn, too, about the ‘Victory Kitchens’ set up to feed people, and how locals tried to maintain their daily lives throughout the bombardments.
See the gutted shell of the Royal Opera House, destroyed in a 1942 German bombing raid, and pay your respects at various commemorative statues and memorials.
As you walk, hear details of key events, including the Battle of Grand Harbour and Illustrious Blitz, when the Axis powers repeatedly bombed the HMS Illustrious aircraft carrier in Valletta in 1941.
Along the way, enjoy a guided visit to the National War Museum (own expense) at Upper Fort St. Elmo. View the exhibits and audio-visuals illustrating Malta’s ordeal during WWII, including the struggle to get supplies to the island, and see the 1942 George Cross medal awarded to the population for their courage.
After three hours, your tour finishes in central Valletta.