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I also spent two nights in the 5H Palace Hotel in Sliema, a short taxi ride up the coast from Valletta.
The rooftop swimming pool is terrific while the bars and restaurants were packed with satisfied, relaxed holidaymakers.
Dating back to 1572 as a church for the Knights of St John, it is a masterpiece of Baroque art and architecture.
The dizzying, flamboyant ceiling took six years to paint and depicts scenes from the Bible, while the walls of its nine chapels are decorated with gold and silver.
EIGHTIES snooker player Tony Drago, World War Two heroics and a football team that makes even England look good.
GETTING/STAYING THERE: Three nights’ B&B at the 4* Saint John Hotel in Valletta costs from £364pp, based on two adults sharing, including return flights from Luton in May.
Marble tombstones add yet more colour, while an audio tour brings the vivid artwork to life.
It is a lot to take in, even before you reach the room housing the huge Caravaggio canvas The Beheading Of St John The Baptist.
They offer a tantalising idea of how the island’s earliest communities lived and worshipped.
Nearby was a chance to hop on a boat and explore the magical Blue Grotto, formed by sea caverns along the coastline from Qrendi.