Casa Rocca Piccola

If you’d like to see something different to the usual museums when visiting Valletta, why not visit Casa Rocca Piccola? Often described as a ‘living museum’ Casa Rocca Piccola has won a much coveted “Best Kept Secret” award from the UK Independent Newspaper Travel Award and is rated by Trip Advisor as one of Valletta’s top attractions.
 
This beautiful palace is the only privately-owned property open to the public in Valletta and has a fascinating variety of different things to see. Originally built in the 16th century for Don Pietro La Rocca, a Knight of Malta, it is now the family ancestral home of the 9th Marquis de Piro and his family. 
 
On your visit, you will be able to walk through twelve rooms including the two dining rooms (one for summer and one for winter), as well as the four-poster bedroom. Since the rooms at Casa Rocca Piccola are still full of the genuine family furniture and furnishings of each period, they offer visitors a unique chance to feel what it must have been like to live in those times.
 
Casa Rocca Piccola’s welcoming guides point out the interesting things to see such as an 18th century golden sedan chair which was once carried around Valletta by Turkish slaves, and the glass tumblers used to hold ice which had to be rowed all the way from Mount Etna in Sicily! Moreover, visitors can see the private family chapel and an archive room housing family documents of the de Piro family which go back to the 17th century. An unrivalled collection of modern paintings collected by the present Marquis vies for attention with the ancestral portraits of the Marquises de Piro and the Barons of Budach. There are literally hundreds of magnificent objects and many visitors come back year after year as there’s always something new to see.
 
Another very popular part of Casa Rocca Piccola is the network of underground passages and tunnels cut out of the rock over its 400-year history. One particular tunnel takes you into a huge cavern that was used during World War II to shelter over 100 people from the heavy bombing. Another tunnel takes you to a small room used as a private family shelter. The rock tunnels that were all cut out by hand, saved hundreds of lives and many of Valletta’s older residents remember running to them when the air-raid sirens sounded.
 
Casa Rocca Piccola also has a walled garden planted with orange trees, typical of Valletta’s finest houses, where Vulcan, a red-eared terrapin, and Kiku, a blue & gold macaw parrot, live. Kiku tweets regular updates about Casa Rocca Piccola on https://twitter.com/kiku_casa_rocca 
 
The old kitchens of the palace have been converted into a charming and highly-rated Sicilian restaurant called La Giara.
 
Casa Rocca Piccola might look like all the other buildings in Valletta from the outside but one of the most often repeated comments from visitors is that they “had no idea that there was so much to see!”
 
Casa Rocca Piccola is open for Guided Tours from 10:00 until 16:00 hrs every day except Sundays and Public Holidays. Special Champagne Tours are held on Friday evenings at 19:00 hrs for which pre-booking is required.
 
Casa Rocca Piccola, 74 Republic Street, Valletta, VLT1117, Malta.
Tel: +356 21221499
Web: www.casaroccapiccola.com
Email: enquiries@casaroccapiccola.com