History

When you step inside Palazzo Castelletti, you become part of the long and great legacy that is Maltese history. This noble building, built in the 17th century, bears witness to 200 years of turbulent, often dangerous, times that shaped the fate of this island.

A stone throw’s away from the ancient capital of Mdina, Palazzo Castelletti has recently been restored and renovated to its former splendour. The Palazzo’s exquisitely converted interior befits the site where dignitaries assembled to pass the keys to the fortress-city of Mdina to Malta’s former rulers, the Knights of St John.

It was recently discovered that the building rests on the remains of an ancient Roman village that were unearthed and are open to viewing by the public.

The Palazzo was originally constructed for an aristocratic Maltese family, the Theuma-Castelletti family, who built a residence consisting of several interconnected rooms in keeping with the stately architectural style of that period, with high-vaulted rooms and ubiquitous use of arches.

The function of these rooms has changed throughout the years: from housing nobility to being used as a school and shelter for children during World War II as well as briefly being the residence of a holy woman, the venerable Adeodata Pisani. Although she was born in Italy in 1803, she moved to Malta in 1825 since King Ferdinand of Naples ha deported her father out of Naples. Tradition is that they settled in the Palazzo just before she became a nun.

Altar Room

The Altar Room is so called because of the Altar ensconced under the arched niche within this room. For many years, the Palazzo used to be the formal residence of Monsignur Grima, a very high-ranking Catholic cleric. The bishop allowed the Monsignur to celebrate the Holy Mass in his own residence. For this purpose, this room used to serve as a Chapel. It now offers patrons a quiet place to enjoy at any time of day or treating themselves to a special evening with friends and family at San Andrea Restaurant.

 


The Fresco Room

The Fresco Room boasts a mural painted by Maltese painter Mikiel Fsadni in the 1950’s. This work of art was recently restored by Fr Charles Vella, revealing once again its rustic views of Maltese countryside and important buildings adorned with intricate floral motifs and elaborate designs. This room is one of the inner dining rooms of San Andrea Restaurant and can be reserved for private dinners by patrons who want a more intimate dining experience

The Courtyard

The Courtyard offers patrons of San Andrea Restaurant the possibility to enjoy dining al fresco under the watchful gaze of St Andrew, who stands in the courtyard with his right arm lifted in a gesture of blessing. This imposing sculpture, which lends its name to San Andrea Restaurant, was crafted by the hands of local sculptor Paul Muscat.

The Shelters

In 1941, the Palazzo was rented to the nuns of St Joseph School, when they had to leave their premises in Paola, since it was taken over by the British forces to be used as a hospital. When World War II broke out, the nuns decided to dig a shelter beneath the basement, with a separate exit on St Paul’s Street. The nuns and the students, together with some neighbours, used to take refuge in these shelters during air raids.

The Cellars

In older times, it was common practice that cellars used to be excavated under the buildings as they used to serve as a good supply for most of the limestone requirements in building the upper parts above ground level. In fact Palazzo Castelletti was actually built from the stone cut and extracted from the cellars underneath.

Interestingly the cellars always keep the same 16 Degree temperature all year round making the cellars a cosy place in winter and cooler in summer.

It now offers to RedWhite patrons the opportunity to dine in a unique atmosphere.