Movie tourism in Malta

Especially thanks to the movie production of the last decades, Malta has become one of the main European countries for filmmaking. Not by chance, the Maltese islands of Malta, Gozo and Comino have been providing amazing filming locations for several producers. Between these, we find Steven Spielberg, Ridley Scott, Guy Ritchie, Wolfgang Petersen and other famous directors, who chose for their movies some of the most renewed celebrities of the world, such us Madonna, Russell Crowe and Brad Pitt.
Taking the Maltese case as an example, we can make a remark about the relevance of the phenomenon of movie tourism today. That is, appearing in movies which become popular after their release, Malta, and the other countries for sure, get the opportunity to grow their business. In an international perspective, Malta is the “the Mediterranean’s mini-Hollywood” as “The Times” wrote (It is one of the most important English newspaper).
The easiest proof of its reputation is represented by the “Games of Thrones”, that got a huge success after being released. In July 2010 the filming of the first season started primarily in Belfast, Northern Ireland. However, you may recognize several settings in Malta where HBO has shot the television adaptation of George R.R. Martin’s book series. It could be unbelievable for someone, but there the epic fantasy continent of Westeros is turned into reality. Here you are some places that have been chosen for the shooting:

Mdina Gate

It is the major gate into the city of Mdina. It was built in the XVIII by Chales François de Mondion, and it has been used as one of the gates of King’s Landing in the third episode of the first season of Game of Thrones, but not only… If you are a big fan of GOT, you will remember that it is also where Ned and Catelyn shared their last kiss!

San Anton Palace

Today it is situated in Attard, a few miles East of Mdina, and it functions as the official residence of the President of Malta. Despite this, this Palace, with its fantastic gardens and fountains, appears frequently in Season 1 as part of the Red Keep. Moreover, the gardens that surround the building are in part open to the public; by visiting them, you will revive that scene in which Joffrey forces Sansa to look at her father’s decapitated head.

The Azure Window

Personally, I believe that one of the most romantic scenes, that is the wedding of Daenerys Targaryen and Khal Drogo, was shot at the Azure Window. It was a natural arch on the island of Gozo, which is collapsed on 8 March 2017 because of a storm. Clearly, the producers created a desert-like effect employing a mesh-covered in the sand, so that is why it looks a bit different from how it was really.

Elvira Donato

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