A Visit to Palazzo Parisio in Malta

Behind the thick, limestone walls of the Palazzo Parisio in Naxxar lies a stunning visual escape from the staggering heat and dusty winds of the island of Malta.

A Visit to Palazzo Parisio in Malta travel tips for women Malta gardens Europe

Often described as a miniature Versaillies, the 18th century Palazzo Parisio was once home to a Grand Master of the Knights of St. John. It was purchased from the Parisio family in the 19th century by Marquis Giuseppe Scicluna and has been in the family ever since. The Marquis was Malta’s foremost philanthropist and is responsible for the enrichment of the palazzo, transforming it from a grand house into an opulent country home for his noble family.

A Visit to Palazzo Parisio in Malta travel tips for women Malta gardens Europe

Although its facade is simple, the interior of the Palazzo Parisio is a study in flamboyant exuberance, a jaw-dropping exhibit of eminent craftsmanship. It has been painstakingly restored to the exact designs of the Marquis Scicluna and visitors can view marble staircases, mirrored walls, fine frescoes, trompe l’oeil, delicate dishes, rare paintings, and lavish amounts of gilding.

A Visit to Palazzo Parisio in Malta travel tips for women Malta gardens Europe
I highly recommend taking the Audio guided tour of the Palazzo Parisio. It turns this beautiful building into a stage for centuries of Maltese history. Private tour guides are also available, but you must call ahead to book one.

The Maltese palace provides a grand entry to its magnificent walled gardens, the only privately-owned gardens open to the public in Malta. They are exquisitely beautiful, a mixture of Italian design and Mediterranean scents and colors. I adored the lavish festoons of brilliant bougainvillea tumbling over stone walls and providing blissful shady relief from the searing Maltese summer

A Visit to Palazzo Parisio in Malta travel tips for women Malta gardens Europe

The gardens are classically Baroque in style and feature vivid blooms such as jacaranda, oleander, cinerarias, freesias, agapanthus, and over 65 species of hibiscus. It is a place designed for meditative strolls along wide pathways or pleasant meanderings along trails that twist through the Orangery and lead to the fern filled grotto.

The Marquis’ granddaughter, the Noble Mrs. Christiane Ramsay Scicluna, Baroness of Tabria, carries on his legacy through her personal management of the gardens.

A Visit to Palazzo Parisio in Malta travel tips for women Malta gardens Europe

Restoration and conservation are also close to her heart, and she works closely with her daughter, Justine Pergola, to ensure the Palazzo Parisio thrives for generations to come. They receive no subsidies or grants, and the palace and gardens are maintained solely through revenue generated by tours, events such as weddings and parties, the Luna Lounge, and two of Malta’s top restaurants, Caffé Luna and Luna di Sera. Every time we asked locals where to eat, they directed us to one of these two restaurants.

If you go:

The Palazzo Parisio Palace and Gardens are open daily throughout the year (except New Year’s Day) from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. Audio Guided tours of the Palace are available on a daily basis. You can collect your handheld and map of the grounds at the front desk with last admissions at 5:30pm from Monday to Sunday. Tickets are €12.00 for adults (this includes a €2.00 voucher to spend at either Caffe Luna or La Boutique), €7.00 for students over 16 years, €5.00 for children between 5-15 years, and free for children under 5.

A Visit to Palazzo Parisio in Malta travel tips for women Malta gardens Europe
I am a wood-burning artist, goat farmer, writer and photographer of all things food, travel, and lifestyle. Born in Canada, raised in the USA, and shaped by my European roots, I now live on a goat farm in Queensland, Australia with my husband Bear where I celebrate anything that leads to healing, thriving, and loving.
A Visit to Palazzo Parisio in Malta travel tips for women Malta gardens Europe

@ramblingtart

rebuilding a beautiful life with food, travel, and photography on a goat farm in Australia. Also at http://t.co/4UgZRnx2ml
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A Visit to Palazzo Parisio in Malta travel tips for women Malta gardens Europe
A Visit to Palazzo Parisio in Malta travel tips for women Malta gardens Europe

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Comments

  1. says

    I love Malta with the blue skys and golden-hued buildings. One of my favorite books is set there in World War II – The Kappillan of Malta by Nicholas Monsarrat. Some scenes are set in a palazzo that I envision being similar to the one you write about.

  2. says

    I think I would get dizzy in a room with so much gilding. I might have to don my sunglasses. Your photos are beautiful Krista. I love the clarity and beauty of the table setting photo. The Bougainvillea look fantastic against the austerity and Moorish looking squareness of the building. The blue of the sky in the first photo makes me wants to be there in person.

  3. says

    I’m with you, Jan! :-) It’s fun to see but it would be WAY too much on a daily basis. :-) You described what I love best about Malta – the lush natural beauty against the austere severity of the buildings. :-)

  4. says

    It’s nice how the place passes through the generations. It sounds like a family that values tradition, yet it’d be interesting to explore how each generation sees the place, and what the granddaughter’s daughter will do with it once it’s her turn to manage it.

  5. says

    I really liked that aspect as well, Ayelet. :-) I can’t imagine having a home in the family for that long, but I think it’s wonderful, and so nice that each generation cherishes and enhances it in some way. :-)