The Maltese Islands, an archipelago in the central Mediterranean between Sicily and the North African coast, are comprised of three islands; Malta, Gozo and Comino. Malta’s capital city, Valletta, boasts a unique attraction: Casa Rocca Piccola. The 16th century palace is a “living” museum home to a Maltese noble family.
Built in 1580, the palazzo has been the residence of many nobles since its birth. Today, Nicholas de Piro and his wife, Frances, reside in the palace. The family originated from the Greek isle of Rhodes and, following an exodus to the islands of Malta, they were welcomed by the local nobility receiving high recognitions by the Knights of Malta for their contributions to education, the arts and the promotion of authentic Maltese costumes and lifestyle.
Nicholas de Piro and Frances were the first members of the Maltese aristocracy to open their house to the public. Today, the couple usually host the private tours. The palazzo contains 50 rooms with 12 or so open to the public. Within the entire structure, visitors can walk through 400 years of Maltese history. Visitors have even seen the youngest children of the De Piro family playing from one room to the next, in and out of the garden. Each of the palace rooms offer a wealth of culture and history of Malta: from family portraits, original dishware and silverware made of pure silver and paintings to antiques from Sicily, Italy, Spain, the UK, and Asia brought back by friends and family members from their travels across the world. The summer dining room set in art nouveau with its plentiful light is particularly beautiful. Other fascinating corners of the palazzo are its bomb shelter, a chapel inside the Palace, the garden, the kitchen, and the library.
This much-loved family home welcomes all who are interested in being part of Maltese history.