The Maltese Islands are a group of small, barren rocks, jutting out of the middle of the dark blue Mediterranean sea. In these conditions, they would have been relegated to the footnotes of history. Yet, ever since the archipelago was first colonised thousands of years ago, they have never been far from the centre of events and have often played a crucial role in the making of history. Their strategic situation in the centre of the Mediterranean Sea makes up for all the lack of resources that nature endowed the rest of the globe. Malta, the largest island, and her sister islands of Gozo, Comino, Filfla and other very small islands, are strategically placed in the narrow channel joining the eastern and the western basins of the Mediterranean. Or if you like, a bridge between Southern Europe and North Africa, or between Western Europe and the Middle East.
This had landed the Maltese Islands right in the middle of the most important historic events: the wars between Rome and Carthage, the rise of Islam, the Crusades, the wars between Christians and Moslems, the rise and fall of Napoleon, the rise and fall of the British Empire, the fight for democracy against Fascism and Nazism, the Cold War, the rise of a United Europe and the challenges of the Third Millennium.