Situated on an abandoned WW2 airfield, Ta’Quali occupies a series of seemingly ramshackle Nissan huts – plans to spruce up Ta’Quali rear their heads from time to time, but so far no funding has been raised for the redevelopment. Don’t be put off by their tattiness as they hide the best selection of authentic Maltese crafts found on the island.
This is the place to find delicate filigree silverware, handmade lace, hand-blown glass, leather, linen and cheery painted ceramics, all created by local artisans. Expect to pay a little more for your purchases, but be happy in the knowledge that you are buying a genuine piece of Maltese treasure. Even if you don’t buy, there’s the chance to watch skilled craftsmen at work in their stores.
Two standout stores are the glassworks, Phoenician Glassblowers and Mdina Glass; both produce highly colored quality glassware. Another of Malta’s best buys is gold and silver work, and the making of intricate filigree jewelry is a national specialty. All Maltese silver and gold products should be certified and hallmarked. A design found across the island is the delicate interlaced Maltese cross, symbol of the Knights of St John who occupied Malta between 1530 and 1792.