Spend Your Sunday Exploring The Ruins Of A Fancy Maltese Villa

The views are still spectacular

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Have you ever wondered what it would be like to step into the life of  diplomat, classicist and philanthropist John Hookham Frere during the late 1830s? Nor have we, but seeing as The Friends of Villa Frere are organising an open tour within the ruins of his estate this Sunday, there seems to be very little reason not to get a taste of his affluent lifestyle.

The organisation has been established since 2013 with the sole aim of preserving what survives of the once magical estate created by Hookham Frere. We reckon joining them on an open tour might make for a perfect Sunday afternoon.

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Crowd-pulling gardens

Back in the day the Villa Frere gardens immediately became a public attraction and rendezvous of many famous personalities including monarchs and celebrated artists like Edward Lear and the Caruana Dingli brothers. By the 1930s the Villa Frere gardens were the closest thing the islands had to an English landscape garden. There's nothing like walking in the footsteps of celebs while immersed in gorgeous greenery.

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A gem worth saving

Villa Frere is one in a number of architectural gems that have been on the development hit-list n the islands, but over the last four years cleaning, reconstruction, planting and research has been invested into conserving what remains of this former stunner. 

Later this year the Friends of Villa Frere will formally apply to the Government of Malta for guardianship of the upper gardens – it's worth checking out first-hand what they're fighting to preserve. 

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Here come the details

Okay, this is eventing you need to know about joining the Villa Frere open day:

Date: Sunday 21st May 

Tour details: Two guided tours will be conducted by project leader Edward Said 

Times: 11:00 / 16:00. 

Attire: Comfortable footwear 

Children and pets: allowed under strict supervision

Entrance: St Luke’s Hospital, then follow the sihns to Villa Frere

Tickets: The event is free of charge but donations are welcomed by the charity – it'll help them cover the restoration expenses for this unique heritage asset

Plants and light refreshments will be on sale throughout the day. Visitors will also have the opportunity to get their hands on Josephine Tyndale-Biscoe’s seminal publication about the estate “Villa Frere - A lost Maltese garden rediscovered” which is a limited edition, proceeds of which all go to the upkeep of the historic site. 

Tag a friend who would love to join you on this historic and posh AF tour!

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Written By

Ann Dingli

Ann Dingli writes mostly about art and design. She enjoys friendly debates and has accepted that she's a small person.