Vintage Bus Tour
Visiting Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea on a vintage wooden bus, you will learn about the history of the Three Cities, sitting in an authentic vehicle.
Step back through the mists of time as you drive to the fortress of Cottonera which is widely known as the Three Cities, these being Vittoriosa, Cospicua and Senglea. These cities were built and fortified by the Knights of Malta. You first start with an informative drive through Cospicua, known as Bormla since before the 18th Century. In 1722, Grand Master Marc Antonio Zondadari declared Bormla a city and in view of its strong bastions named it Citta Cospicua.
You will then visit Vittoriosa, ideally situated for safe anchorage and over time it has developed a very long history with maritime, mercantile and military activities. Vittoriosa is now a location of several tourist attractions. The historic waterfront contains the former Palace of the General of the Galleys and the Order of St John's Treasury. The area was refurbished in the early 2000s.
The third city is Senglea, used by a hunting area in the time of the Knights of St John, and it was known as L'Isola di San Giuliano. In 1522 the foundation stone of Fort St Michael was laid. The fort was completed in 1533, and the construction of the walled town of Senglea took place in the following decade. The area was given a city status by Grand Master Claude de la Sengle and was named after him.
A detailed English commentary by the driver will help you unfold the history of Valletta and the Three Cities connected with two great Sieges of 1565 and 1942. The tour is operated by one of the first two wooden bodied buses purchased in 1921 by the Cottonera Motor Bus Company. These buses were licensed to operate routes between Cottonera and Valletta and were made by local carpenters and mechanics. Tour leaves from Sliema Ferries.