An evening in the gut of Valletta

Strait Street, Valletta, March 2019

An early evening stroll down the lower end of Strait Street, was quiet but gave me the chance to find some lovely bars for a pre-dinner cocktail.

This area has had an interesting history. It is a long, very narrow street that runs through the heart of Valletta, down to the harbour, the ideal spot for rest and relaxation for American and British military men. It was a pretty raucous area between the 19th and mid-20th century, full of popular bars, jazz clubs and overnight accommodation. It was multi-cultural area with few restrictions, a strong contrast to the normally strict Catholic norms on Malta. Local musicians and drag artists, plus prostitutes, made a good living in the area, and it was a haven for the service men, and was named “The Gut” by the English.

After the war, and as military forces withdrew from the island, life on Strait Street slowed down and buildings fell into disuse and disrepair. But projects have been set up to bring heart back to the area, and it is now a great spot for a drink, bite to eat and some music, full of energy as late evening sets in.


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Copyright Debbie Smyth, 23 April 2019

Posted as part of Tuesday Photo Challenge

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