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Other Peoples Properties – Casa Rocca Piccola, Valleta, Malta

Other Peoples Properties – Casa Rocca Piccola, Valleta, Malta

Indeed, I set my arms up. I confess it. I have an insatiable urge for food for searching into other peoples residences.

No. I am not a “Peeping Tom”. When I looked up the definition of “Peeping Tom” in my Collins Concise Dictionary and Thesaurus I am instructed that Peeping Tom is a male who furtively observes women undressing. That is absolutely not me. But, sure, I do confess to glancing furtively sideways when out going for walks to see how a great deal I can see by any home windows not shrouded with window nets. I prefer to assume I am inquisitive, owning a organic curiosity to discover out what places the soul into a house… what, inspires folks and what treasures (or often not) are concealed driving the entrance doorway.

Fortunately I can, legitimately, indulge my curiosity, because there are so quite a few wonderful residences and gardens open to the public to check out both of those in this nation and abroad.

On a current summer months vacation to Gozo with my husband we decided to just take the ferry again to Malta and push into Valetta. There I found the Casa Rocca Piccola, at 74 Republic Avenue, the 16th century home of a Maltese nobleman. It is now the house of the 9th Marquis de Piro and his household. Frances, the Marchioness is English and it is her who greets you as you wander via the front doorway. The heritage of Casa Rocca Piccola goes back again in excess of 400 decades to an period in which the Knights of St. John, having efficiently fought off the invading Turks in 1565, determined to build by themselves a prestigious metropolis to rival European capitals. The household is named immediately after the 1st operator, Don Pietro La Rocca, Admiral of the Order of St. John in the Langue of Italy. It was, in later on yrs, enable to a succession of Italian aristocratic knights and sold to a Maltese nobleman in the 2nd fifty percent of the 18th century.

Casa Rocca Piccola is not a museum: it is, in a sense, more than that. It is a residing relic of a earlier way of existence burdened with the pretension and aspirations of Maltese lineage. There are many items of memorabilia to be witnessed, not only for their inventive merit, but also due to the fact they add fact to the total scene.

Climbing the ornate marble staircase you will see, dominating the top rated landing a carved wood de Piro coat of arms. This was the previous do the job of the Maltese artist Edward Pirotta. Hanging higher than is an enormously intricate chandelier from Bohemia. The to start with area to be visited on your tour is the Chapel in which the walls are painted to simulate damask. There are two crosses on the alter: an ivory crucifix that was granted two hundred times indulgence by Cardinal Godfrey in 1960. The second cross residences a particle of the True Cross guiding a tiny pink curtain. Its authenticity is confirmed by no much less than seven Vatican seals on the reverse. As was the circumstance with most European noble families it was the customized for the youthful son to turn out to be a priest and for that explanation in certain, numerous patrician households ended up specified the privilege of preserving a chapel in the household. The Marquis’s grandfather represented George VI and his medals are retained listed here collectively with an exquisite pair of footwear recognized as Papal buskins and a pair of silver filigree earrings, a current from the Bishop of Gozo to Nicolina de Piro soon after her partner donated land to develop the well known Ta’Pinu church in Gozo.
On subsequent to the Eco-friendly Space where the walls are indeed green! Here there is a spectacular marquetry bookcase that in particular caught my eye. Designed in about 1640 all through the reign of the French Provencal Grand Learn Lascaris it bears his arms on the doorway. The panels are inlayed inside of and outside. A interesting perform of artwork. I was told that the veneer was a blend of olive and orange wooden. There are a lot of portraits hung on the walls and proudly put is a photograph of the 8th Baron and Baroness who attended the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953. Transferring on to the Four- Poster bed room, the only room in the house not in use, the mattress is a showpiece reputed to be wonderful-grandmother Orsola’s matrimonial bed. Married in 1867 she produced 9 young children: 7 boys and 2 women. They all survived childhood and so the mattress is deemed blessed!

The future place is the Porphyr Space so named since the walls were at a person time painted to imitate porphyry marble then the Blue Home or petit salon with modern day photos collected by the spouse and children. Between them will work by Annigoni, The Rathmells, Rowley-Clever and Durer. The design and style of the Eating Place that once experienced an open terrace overlooking the little yard contrasts with the relaxation of the property and is viewed as a “folly”. Crafted by the existing family’s Grandfather in 1918 its white pillars and light-weight factor surely make it really unique to the rest of the household. It presents the perception of getting a conservatory simply because of its lightness and airiness.A trompe l’oeil of a Spanish lady taking part in a harp on a black and white tiled flooring generates an exaggerated point of view that provides the perception that the room is longer. The past place is the Carriage Place that was at the time a stable for a mule but, going back, potentially my favourite room is the Library. Listed here I discovered what can only be explained as the most excellent piece of furniture imaginable. A moveable chapel. When shut it appears for all the environment like a significant black lacquered bureau nonetheless, it opens up to come to be a absolutely operating chapel with it possess tabernacle, relics and the Way of the Cross. It is richly decorated with pics of unique birds and flora and panels depicting St. Francis Zavier in Japan and Goa. The strategy was that you could have a Chapel in any room of your house and then it could be shut up to seem like a secular piece of furnishings. An unquestionably breathtaking piece.

A person of the treasures of the home I must not forget to point out though is a golden sedan chair built for the Knight of Malta, Fra Victor Nicolas de Vachon Belmont reputed to be a passionate determine who led his men personally, oh, and finally “April” the spouse and children tortoise to be observed in the tiny garden. Interestingly Casa Rocca Piccola was a single of the few houses at the time of the knights to be authorized a yard. It was a good privilege for its homeowners as water was scarce and gardens have been technically forbidden.

So, if you ever find by yourself strolling down Republic Road in Valletta, Casa Rocca Piccola offers you a scarce option to see inside of just one of the previous personal unconverted Valletta palaces however lived in currently. It will come highly advisable to anybody like myself, with a curiosity and inquisitive appetite to see inside of other peoples residences.