Urban Conservation Area in Siggiewi
Siġġiewi, Città Ferdinand, or Siggieui, is situated on a plateau in the South Western part of Malta, a few kilometres away from Mdina,the ancient capital city of Malta, and 10 kilometres away from Valletta the capital city. It is the home of 7903 inhabitants (Nov 2005) who, up to several decades ago, worked mostly in the fields which surround the village. The meaning of the word "Siġġiewi" is not confirmed; some say that the place was named after the Sageyo's, rich family which had large estates in this area. Others argue that the Semitic roots of the word mean 'prosperous' or calm; two virtues which the villagers still cherish today. In fact the motto of Siġġiewi is "Labore et Virtute"(Work and Virtue) Siġġiewi has a lotto offer to the hundreds of tourists who visit each year. The view from the Inquisitor's summer palace, built by inquisitor Onorato Visconti in 1625 and renovated by inquisitor Angelo Doriniin1763, is impressive. Siġġiewi is also blessed with natural beauty. In the hot summer season, many flock to the picturesque bay of Għar Lapsi to enjoy peaceful atmosphere in a place which has changed but a little since the dawn of creation. From here the islet of Filfla can be seen on the horizon. The village stands on a flat plateau flanked by two relatively deep valleys (Wied il-Hesri and Wied Xkora)which give this locality a secluded feel - a rare aspect in Malta where almost all nearby villages are gradually being engulfed by Malta's only conurbation also known as Valletta's metropolitan area. There are countless niches in practically every corner of the old part of the city. Some date back to the middle of the 17th century and are a sign of devotion, a tangible manifestation of faith, as well as an architectural decoration. The narrow, winding streets, the alleys branching off from them, the churches and the friendly and helpful people which one encounters are the distinctive features of an old city with a lot to give.