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December 2, 2018 – Published in Design & Decor Winter 2018 issue
The renaissance of Cospicua
Words Jim Dunn Photography Alan Carville
A great deal of water has flown in and out and around the iconic Grand Harbour since we first moved to Malta’s Three Cities area over 10 years’ ago.
For a start the renaissance of the Island has almost known no bounds.
We are in Santa Margarita in Cospicua. Two Townhouses knocked together with a Roof Terrace and swimming pool on top giving us spectacular 180 degree views across the Harbour and all around the Island up to Mdina, the ancient capital.
The Noon Day Gun bellows across the Harbour at 12 and now at 4 as well and the cruise ships increasingly glide pass us like huge office blocks on the go to Ports around the Mediterranean and beyond. Tourists, unseen in the Three Cities area until recently, now flock to view the local museums, medieval buildings and the WW2 sites, cameras snapping as they go.
The refurbished parts of this area of Cospicua are almost unrecognisable now, but there is still a lot more work to be done. So far it is ‘gentrification’ (private money) and money from the coffers of Europe which is responsible for the major changes locally in Cospicua and the Three Cities area but it now looks like the Government now has the area next on its priority list.
Generally gone in the Three Cities area are the bomb sites, well a lot of them, the pot holes, well some of them and now we can look on the whole, particularly at night when the buildings are lit, at a most spectacular range of cleaned up ancient buildings, smart cafes, new boutique hotels and guest houses, a Planitarium and increasingly good restaurants.
Only recently there has been a discussion document published on what still has to be done and what further improvements are to be made. Good news.
The ‘gentrification’… horrible word… of the Three Cities area is racing ahead a pace helped also by the influx of European money. Even local Maltese who were stunned that we had bought in the Bormla area… ‘too rough and dangerous’ they said… are now so impressed with the sprucing up that is going on and the general smartness of the whole area that they are beginning to look closely at estate agents’ brochures to see what is available to buy.
Inside the house, the furniture and contents have been with us for decades. A lifetime of collecting and shopping around the world, as you can see from the photographs, has resulted in a home which definitely deserves the description of being ‘designed for and by a maximalist’. Minimalists do not apply!
Not for us drawing rooms and bedrooms looking like minimalist airport lounges! Let’s have some real character in a home. Acres of fabric, rugs from India and Morocco, ancient bedheads from France, art deco tables, furniture from Ireland and the UK, lamps from China, comfy sofas, good lighting and art collected from Spain, New Zealand, Ireland, the UK, Asia and of course Malta abounds.