Discover Unique Treasures from Malta: Must – Have Souvenirs for Travelers

Are you planning a trip to the beautiful island of Malta? Apart from immersing yourself in the rich culture and savoring local delicacies, why not take home something truly special? Finding unique items to commemorate your journey is always a delightful experience. So, before you bid farewell to this enchanting destination, let us introduce you to some unique treasures from Malta that will make for unforgettable souvenirs.

Ganutell: A Blossoming Artistry

Imagine delicate flowers meticulously crafted from threads, wire, and beads. This is Ganutell, an artistic tradition that found its way to Malta. Initially, seashells, paper, ribbons, and silk were used, but in the 18th century, Ganutell evolved into a distinct Maltese art form. Silver and gold wires adorned with pearls, glass beads, and gems transformed these flowers into true masterpieces. In the past, monks in monasteries honed their Ganutell skills, and remnants of their work can still be found in churches across Malta. Unfortunately, World War II took a toll on this exquisite craft, but now it’s making a triumphant comeback.

Bizzilla: Lace Woven with History

Malta’s lacemaking culture traces its roots back to the 16th century but faced near extinction during the 19th-century economic depression. Fortunately, Lady Hamilton Chichester intervened by bringing lace makers from Genoa to Malta, revitalizing the craft with new techniques. The cream-colored Spanish silk lace became the most recognizable, while black silk, once fashionable, faded in popularity during the 20th century. The commercial success of Maltese lace led British missionaries to introduce its patterns in China and India. Today, this ancient art thrives through teaching programs and special classes, ensuring its preservation.

Traditional Maltese Lace umbrellas and fans
Traditional Maltese Lace umbrellas and fans

Sleeping Lady: Ancient Pottery Revived

Pottery holds a significant place among ancient Maltese crafts. The Hypogeum, an underground sanctuary housing remnants of approximately 7,000 individuals, also revealed numerous pottery artifacts. Among them, the Sleeping Lady stands out—a remarkable piece depicting a large woman sleeping on her right side. This extraordinary artifact is proudly displayed at the National Museum of Archaeology, and replicas can be found in gift shops and souvenir stores all around Malta. Owning your own Sleeping Lady replica will connect you to the island’s profound history.

Mdina Glass: Shimmering Artistry

In 1968, Eric Dubson and Michael Harris, originally from the UK, founded Malta’s first glass company, Mdina Glass. Though they eventually departed, Joseph Said assumed leadership, and the business remains in the Said family today. Mdina Glass achieved international acclaim in 1987, winning the International Award for Tradition and Prestige. Their handmade glass creations, from candle holders and vases to perfume bottles and centerpieces, are truly distinctive. Visitors can observe the crafting process at their workshop in Ta Qali Crafts Village. With retail outlets scattered across the island and an online shop for global orders, Mdina Glass offers a wealth of shimmering delights. Explore the unique treasures from Malta at Mdina Glass!

Filigree: Exquisite Elegance

Filigree, a delicate craft found throughout the Mediterranean and Asia, bears a distinctive local touch in Malta—the eight-pointed cross. This symbol appears in various forms, embellished with gemstones or crafted from gold or silver, adorning bracelets, earrings, and brooches. While Filigree items can be found in most jewelry shops, witnessing the intricate process of creating this artistry is truly captivating. Modern Filigree pieces, featuring diverse motifs and materials, make excellent gifts. For expertly crafted Filigree, we recommend visiting Kevin Attard, a master of the craft. Explore his work on Facebook.

An elderly man making filigree by hand
An elderly man making filigree by hand

Whether you’re exploring ancient pottery, admiring shimmering Mdina Glass creations, or discovering the delicate elegance of Filigree, Malta offers a treasure trove of artistic heritage to explore and cherish. Each piece tells a story of craftsmanship and tradition, connecting you to the island’s rich cultural tapestry. Whether you’re seeking a unique souvenir or simply immersing yourself in Malta’s artistic legacy, these experiences promise to leave a lasting impression. Embrace the beauty and history of Malta through its exquisite crafts, and take home memories that will continue to inspire unique treasures from Malta.

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