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A Late Night Photo Tour Through Malta’s Romantic Valletta


People always ask me if I get lonely on the road while traveling for weeks on the solo. It’s true that chatting with a bread basket and half-sipped glass of champagne every night provides limited conversation…but it’s my much loved camera that provides the longest lasting company.

While most tourists on holiday snap photos during jam-packed day tours, photo-fans in-the-know opt to wake up at the crack of dawn, or stay up painstakingly late, to capture a destination when its streets are silent.

When looking to capture Europe’s romantic architectural charms, I like to set my alarm for the crack of dawn. I’ll never forget exploring Florence on a Sunday morning at 5am, tip toeing in front of the city’s famed cathedral and snapping photos at it’s baptistry doors. Early morning shadows creeped along the cobblestone piazza, offering a brilliant contrast as early mornings first breaks of sun splashed across the stoic facade. I couldn’t help but giggle as I was entirely on my own…finding comfort knowing that in just a few hours the place would be packed with an army of onlookers.

On a recent visit to Malta I was offered a romantic late-night tour of Valetta by celebrated local photographer Kris Micallef. The award-winning fashion, architecture and fine arts photographer is one of Malta’s most-followed and respected photographers thanks to a string of critically-acclaimed photographic exhibitions, as well as his prolific work in the fashion industry.

Kris and I skipped past the city’s jaw-dropping historical gates at the stroke of midnight, spending an hour photographing Valletta as the city slept. “Long exposure photography at night is always interesting to play with – Valletta offers a somewhat haunting experience for photograph’s as most streets are empty of pedestrians and are lit up with warm yellow lights, adding drama to the streetscape,” says Micallef.

Explore Valletta at night and you’ll discover the city’s best kept secrets: brilliantly lit frothing fountains, a quiet calm on the steps of St. John’s Co Cathedral, flickering reflections off the city’s iconic balconies, and a handful of petite bars serving one last nightcap to a choir of cooing couples.

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