ago it was planned to connect the islands of Malta and
Gozo by a bridge and Japanese engineers were called
in to carry out a feasibility study. The project was
considered technically possible but as the expense involved
would have been considerable the plan was shelved. Any
many people in Malta, and many more in Gozo breathed
a sigh of relief.
Should the Island of Gozo become too accessible there
is a real danger of the island losing the old-word
which Gozo has so far retained, and which Malta possessed
and, unfortunately, lost some half century ago. The
sister island of Malta is different from the larger
island in that it is more fertile, more picturesque,
and far more unspoilt; but what makes Gozo so markedly
different from Malta are the Gozitans.
Rustic, and living in the past, Gozo may be, but that
does not make Gozitans in any way backward: opera stars
of international repute are invited to sing in the two
theatres in Gozo’s capital, Victoria (renamed
from “Rabat” in honour of Queen Victoria).
For the younger generation, pop singers and music festivals
provide the more modern equivalent. Moreover, some of
the best brains in Malta have come out of Gozo. Like
rustic communities elsewhere, but especially where economic
conditions are hard, Gozitans are thrifty, but their
husbandry never encroaches on avarice, and their generosity
towards worthy causes is always unstinted.
The citadel in Victoria is a museum in itself; it is
here that the rich Medieval families of Gozo had their
own quarters in which to spend the night. In the esplanade
below, in the square known as It-Tokk, one can see the
more colourful side of Gozo. In the open market and
in the souvenir shops around it are exposed for sale
such local handicrafts as crocheted woollen dresses,
the wool spun from the local sheep and the dresses worked
but the island’s women as is also the famous Gozo
Lace, a traditional, but still a very much flourishing,
art. Even if the Malta-Gozo bridge has not been built,
communication between the islands is easy and frequent
as car-ferries, hovercraft and yachts crisscross the
six kilometer wide Gozo Channel.