There are several historic forts in Malta, but only one is open to the public. So we took advantage of an embassy trip to Fort Ricasoli in Kalkara (across the bay from the capital of Valletta), when invited for a private tour of this closed fort this past weekend.
(above- family shot, view across toward Valletta, barracks from English during WWII)
(below- Ceti and Madame Ambassador, view from the point, steel reinforced bunker from WWII)
The fort is owned by the Maltese government, who primarily offers it out to the film industry for filming. They don't earn much from the actual location, but by the revenue the hospitality to the crews while on the island brings in to the economy. Some more famous films shot here: Troy, Gladiator, Argos, Game of Thrones. It was really pretty amazing to walk into areas and immediately recognize them from a movie... or know your feet were in the same place as Brad Pitt or Russell Crowe!
Many set props are still on location in storage areas. The facilitator also set up some props for our enjoyment. The kids enjoyed playing, and everyone took advantage of the great photo ops.
(above: the girls playing market, door from Gladitor?, wine from the market set)
(below: lovely archways, doorway to the tiger scene in Gladiator, playing around on the Gladiator set)
(above: Calesi's birdcage from Game of Thrones, playing pinchy lobster, wine)
(below: replicated statue, Miss Princess enjoying her throne, archways)
We spent about 3 hours at the fort, walking through beautiful historic rooms and trekking out to the end of the fort, seeing the sea and areas from battle so many years before. The weather was amazing, and an excited embassy bunch made for such a pleasant morning. The hosts and hostesses could not have been more friendly and accommodating, even helping clean up a muddy kid #2 and a bloody kid #1 from our usual family outing antics.
(above: Papa and Mini time... grape feeding and all)
(below: learning about the industry, storage areas, making new friends)
No surprise when we had two sleepy, slouched kids on the car ride home.