Valletta Waterfront

Valletta Waterfront
Xatt ta' Pinto

View of the Pinto Stores or Pinto Wharf, at night
Former names Valletta Marina
General information
Status Partially intact
Type Wharf, stores
Architectural style Baroque
Location Floriana, Malta
Opened 1752
Owner Government of Malta and private property
Technical details
Material Limestone
Floor count 3
Design and construction
Architect Andrea Belli (attributed)

The Valletta Waterfront, is a water front in Floriana, Malta, mainly featuring three prominent buildings; a church in the middle, the Pinto Stores or the Pinto Wharf on the left, and the Forni Stores or the Forni Shopping Complex on the right. The buildings were originally stores and warehouses, built in the 18th century, and design attributed to Andrea Belli. The area now plays a role in Malta's cruise liner business as the Forni Cruise Passenger Terminal, and hosts a concentration of bars, retail outlets and restaurants. The area was and remains a venue for several concerts and events.


The Valletta Marina was extensively developed in 1752, that included 19 imposing stores and a church, by Grandmaster Manuel Pinto de Fonseca.[1] The buildings, including the stores and the church, have a Baroque design attributed to Andrea Belli.[2]

The car park behind the rebuilt facades

The area was devastated by aerial bombardment in World War II, due to its proximity to the Malta Dockyard and the British naval forces in Grand Harbour. Some of the stores were completely destroyed during the war.[3][4]

The area was thoroughly restored and renovated. Some buildings, which had been completely or partially destroyed in the WWII, the facades were rebuilt at the exclusion of the interior. The area behind these rebuilt facades is now a car park. The doors of the buildings are painted with different colours, symbolising the different types of goods that were once stored in them; blue represents the storage of fish, green for agricultural products, yellow for wheat and red for wine.[5]

The Valletta Waterfront is run by a private consortium who offers management overseeing Malta's cruise liner business. The waterfront hosts roughly twelve restaurants, a number of bars and retail outlets. Various events are held at the area and the close vicinity,[6] such as the Malta Jazz Festival, the Malta Fireworks Festival and the Perfect Wedding Fair.[7]

The Church of the Flight into Egypt was built in 1752, along with the stores, was bombed in the Second World War and the damaged parts have since been faithfully rebuilt similar to the original and the original remains were restored. Mass is celebrated at the church every Saturday evening.[8]

The Pinto Stores were included on the Antiquities List of 1925,[9] are a grade 1 national monument[10] and they are listed on the National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands (NICPMI).[11]

Further reading


Wikimedia Commons has media related to Valletta Waterfront.
  1. Buhagiar, Mario (2009). Essays on the Knights and Art and Architecture in Malta, 1500-1798. Malta: Midsea Books. p. 210. ISBN 9993272469.
  2. Thake, Conrad (16 May 2008). "The Architectural legacy of Grand Master Pinto (2)". The Malta Independent. Archived from the original on 1 August 2016.
  4. Psaila, Christian (8 December 2005). "The Floriana Waterfront". Times of Malta. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  5. "Pinto Stores" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 28 December 2012. Retrieved 17 October 2015.
  6. "Spend some quality time". Times of Malta. 7 November 2014. Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  8. Scerri, John. "Floriana". Retrieved 15 November 2014.
  9. "Protection of Antiquities Regulations 21st November, 1932 Government Notice 402 of 1932, as Amended by Government Notices 127 of 1935 and 338 of 1939.". Malta Environment and Planning Authority. Archived from the original on 20 April 2016.
  11. Anon (30 December 2012). "125 properties on National Inventory of the Cultural Property". The Malta Independent. Retrieved 10 March 2016.

Coordinates: 35°53′24″N 14°30′29″E / 35.89000°N 14.50806°E / 35.89000; 14.50806

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