Ta' Qali Crafts Village
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Tourists have a well-earned reputation for shunning the century-old traditional crafts when on a Mediterranean holiday and snapping up some unbelievably crass tat as a memento of their trip. The Ta’ Qali Craft Village is hell bent on ending that trend when it comes to visitors.
Whether it’s desperation, a lack of local knowledge, or simply having no taste that makes someone think it’s a good idea to carry home a stuffed donkey from Spain, a stuffed camel from Tunisia or a large plastic knight statue from Malta is not clear. But the truth is that it happens … a lot.
So instead of hitting the tourist traps on the main drag, why not escape the searing heat of the sun one lunch-time and head for the place where skilled craftspeople produce genuinely attractive objects that will live forever in your home.
Most countries in the Mediterranean have local and distinctive crafts – whether it is glassware, leather, fabric, carpets or foodstuffs – and Malta is certainly no exception.
The Craft Village, which is next to the National Stadium near Attard has brought together a group of Maltese artisans. Here, they create a wide range of objects and art from hand-blown glassware in all shapes and sizes to the internationally renowned Maltese lace, and from pottery to the finest filigree jewellery.
Whether you're looking for a gift for friends or family, or want something for your own mantelpiece then this is the place. At the very least you’ll get to spend some time watching skilled craftspeople at work.
Besides the traditional Maltese favourites there are also: artists and sculptors, producers of ceramics and stone, local producers of food and drinks, furniture makers and metalworkers on site.
Across the sea on the sister island of Gozo, there is another Craft Village but you’ll find typically Gozitan crafts throughout the island. It’s hard to understand why there are so many hefty, hand-knitted jumpers for sale as you stand sweating in the summer heat but these are a particular favourite. Basket making and lace also have a long history in Gozo.
The two main centres to buy crafts on Gozo are: the Crafts Centre in the Citadel of Rabat (Victoria) and Ta' Dbiegi is the name of the designated Crafts Village at San Lawrenz.
If you have a car then getting to the Ta’ Qali Craft Village is easy. It sits between Mosta, Mdina and Attard from any of these places look for a sign to one of the others and look out for the Ta’ Qali signs. Alternatively, look for the floodlights at the National Stadium.
There are direct bus routes to the village so check out the Arriva site for routes and times.
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