Gozo’s fortified old city, known as the Cittadella – visible from almost all over the island – has been given a new lease of life. After decades of neglect, natural dilapidation and lack of resources, a massive project supported by EU funds between 2012 and 2016 resurrected the Cittadella to its former glory.

  • Victoria, Gozo

    Location

    Victoria, Gozo

  • European Regional Development Fund

    Fund

    European Regional Development Fund

  • Promoting Sustainable Tourism

    Programme

    Promoting Sustainable Tourism

  • €10,867,996

    Cost of Project

    €10,867,996

  • €8,800,000

    Total EU Allocation

    €8,800,000

The ancient, fortified city has now become a major tourist attraction on its own right and one of the most sought-after areas in Gozo, attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors every year.

Gozo’s old capital, the bastion of all those who occupied the Maltese islands for hundreds of years, was totally transformed through a four-year long project.

Hundreds of restorers cleaned and refurbished kilometres of imposing high bastions; facades of the city’s former palaces were restored, some even re-built and enhanced; inaccessible paths were made user friendly and a massive unused water reservoir was turned into an impressive visitors centre, complete with a 3D show experience, winning numerous international recognitions.

The 17th century ‘city’ now also includes a multi-lingual interpretation centre and its accessibility to wheelchair-bound visitors and those with reduced mobility has more than doubled, through a massive investment in replacing stairs with ramps and the installation of passenger lifts.

From an economic perspective, this project has left a massive impact. The EU investment in this project has helped the island regain its attractiveness with tourists who choose Gozo as their main holiday destination, as the new Cittadella has become a cultural hub, with concerts, plays and re-enactments, hosting an array of cultural activities around the year.

Businesses also mushroomed inside and around the perimeter of Gozo’s ‘new’ attraction, with many investing in new restaurants, bars and cafes and small boutique hotels to serve the ever-growing visitor population.

According to the latest statistics, the EU’s funding into this massive project has increased visitors to the site by 30 percent only in its first year since its inauguration. The project was awarded the prestigious Prix d’Honneur 2016 for the superb architectural intervention.

www.visitgozo.com

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