Even the group of islands is located very near - just off the coasts of Italy, Tunisia and Libya - I never before went to Malta. Pre-history started in Malta about 5200 years ago, with hunters from Sicily. Since then it had a lively history, which is exciting to study. And nearly anywhere in Malta you see its history and culture at such high density, that it would take you ages to explore the small country really in depth. I had the honor and pleasure to give a research seminar at the University of Malta, which itself was founded by Jesuits in 1592. The seminar itself, I enjoyed very much, and more so the hospitality and good humor of my kind hosts. Malta has an indigenous breed of bees which gave the islands the nickname "Land of Honey", and actually there are a lot of aspects which make the lands biblical. Powers have changed often, and the last scares of siege (but not invasion) are from the attacks of Italy and Germany.
I was very much surprised by the size of the fortification of Valletta. It is an amazing city and current construction activities are developing it into a perfect blend of history and modernity. It took me a long time to make my first trip to Malta. But it won't take me long to come back.