Malta: Valletta (Revisited)

Valetta is an incredible city – in fact it is the first planned city in Europe. It was built in 16th century by the Order of St. John (Knights Hospitaller). Built on sea cliffs and heavily fortified against the Ottoman Turks, the city has buildings that are 5-6 floors high as to provide shade at all times and in a perfect grid as to allow sea breeze to cool the city. The entire Valetta is a UNESCO World Heritage Site as it consists almost entirely of old Baroque buildings. The covered balconies are also a typical Maltese things as are sloping streets and staircases. Many palaces and Baroque churches are in the center of the grid, like the immense Grand Master’s Palace, once the residence of the Knights.