Back when it was being built in the mid 16th century, Valletta was regarded as one of the world’s most modern cities. Planned to be a perfect grid, travellers from all over the globe revelled in Malta’s capital for centuries. Now, as the city gears up for its big year as the European Capital of Culture, it’s been given an upgrade to match the 21st century.
As part of a public-private partnership with iCity, Valletta’s streets are now hosting a number of interactive screens. First announced back in December and inaugurated by Valletta 2018 Chairman Jason Micallef and Big Exhibits director Jean Pierre Mizzi, the project saw 10 screens being gradually set up around the city.
The interactive touchscreens are completely free to use, but some people might be a tad confused as to what they actually do. Well, the answer is ‘quite a lot’!
1. Finding your way around the city is now way easier
Valletta isn’t particularly big as far as capital cities go, but with brand new places opening up all over the place, finding your way around can still prove to be a challenge. And with Sciberras Hill’s steep ups and downs, getting to know the shortest way to your destination couldn’t be more important.
Google Maps is used for the basis of the screens’ system, letting users know exactly how to get to wherever they need to go.
2. And so is choosing where to go
If you’re new to Valletta and you’re not particularly sure which spots to visit first, the screens have a menu with all the places of interest already lined up for you. All the information is available in six different languages, so don’t worry if you still need to brush up on your English.
Then, it’s just a matter of selecting the most appealing one and repeating the first step. Voilà, you’re on your way!
3. You can get updated with all the latest news
During the unveiling of the first screen at Castille Place, more information was provided about Valletta’s latest street-tech. And while navigational information was perhaps a given for the interactive guides, it was announced that the screens would also be providing passers-by with news updates.
4. Weather updates? Yes please
Fine, Malta’s famous for having 300 days of sunshine, but you can never know when a strong Mediterranean gust or a sudden round of rain will hit while you’re touring the capital city. Well, now you can, on frequent corners of the actual place you’re walking around.
5. Take all that useful information with you on your phone
All of the above can be sent straight to your phone, so you won’t be absolutely lost until you find another screen.
That way, you can use the waypoints as guides, but take it all to the next level with your trust pocket companion
6. Take a selfie to remind yourself just how beautiful Valletta is
Castille, the new Parliament building, Hastings Gardens, the Law Courts, the Upper Barrakka lift, the Waterfront Cruise Port, the Mediterranean Conference Centre, the Triton Fountain square… if there’s one thing these places have in common, it’s their sheer, monumental beauty. So why not take a selfie to commemorate it all while you’re at it?
All these sites around Valletta will act as a backdrop for some of the coolest photos