Got a spare million or three running around? A 444-year-old palazzo in the heart of Valletta is up for sale, and it’s already getting everyone dreaming about what they’d do if they owned it.
Palazzo Valdina was built in 1576, a mere 10 years after the Great Siege of Malta (when the whole city hadn’t even been completed yet).
The massive 1,200 square metre palace has over 20 rooms spread out over three floors… and that includes a courtyard and rooftop with insane town and sea views, because of course it does.
If those walls could talk, they’d surely have a lot to say… and it’s one long ride spanning four centuries that even features exile.
Back in 1632, the palace was bought by Fra Carlo Valdina, Balì of Santo Stefano, from none other than the Grand Master de Paule for the sum of Sc. 6,000. But Valdina, whose namesake survives to this day within the many walls of the palace, had come a long way way before that.
In 1599, Fra Carlo Valdina was involved in an incident which caused widespread commotion in his convent and ended up with him being exiled from Malta for a whole year.
While in the yard of Birgu’s old hospital, Valdina had felt himself provoked by some indecent remarks made by the Inquisitor’s Secretary. His reaction? Valdina boxed the secretary’s ears… which obviously didn’t go down too well with the Inquistor, Monsignor Antonio Hortensio, who wanted to punish the knight. Soon enough, all the Langues got involved, with the Grand Master himself sending three Balìs and even the Bishop to appease the Inquisitor.
Hortensio would not chill, though, and the whole thing even escalated to the Grand Master having to refer the matter to Rome and a representative of His Holiness (yes, His Holiness).
Long story short, the whole thing was resolved by only one decision; Valdina being exiled from Malta for a year.
The following years were a bit kinder to Valdina, though, with the Grand Cross “ad honores” being given to him by his good friend… Grand Master Antoine de Paule.
Throughout the 16th and 17th century, the palace went on to be occupied by a number of notable people, including Comm. Fra Gio Batta de Semesons (1687-1719) and Balì Fra Sextio de Ricard (1719-1728).
Fast forward to 2020, and this could be yours.
The price tag for all of this? €3.35 million.
Being sold with the current suggestion of “an ideal property for a boutique hotel or large office building”, the unique palazzo has already gotten Maltese people’s minds racing… and it’s very easy to see why.
“You can still feel all the history and grandeur within the walls, even if it needs a whole lot of TLC,” one person commented, with many going on to daydream about living in a palace like this.
“It would be great to turn this into something other than a hotel or office, maybe a museum or a children’s story centre!” others retorted.
Whatever it might become in the future, though, let’s hope that the end result retains the splendour and uniqueness of this glorious palazzo.