Mdina, Malta

Malta, a small island country consisting of an archipelago in the Mediterranean Sea, is 50 miles (80 km) south of Italy and 176 miles (283 km) east of Tunisia. Its position has made it an important strategic base for a number of different powers spanning centuries, such as the Moors, Spanish and British – each leaving a distinct effect on the nation’s culture, architecture and food. Mdina, Malta’s capital from antiquity to the medieval period, also known as the “silent city,” is a fortified medieval town in the northern region with a unique blend of Baroque and Norman architecture. While it has a population of less than 300, it is contiguous with the town of Rabat, which has over 11,000 people. Mdina’s St. Paul’s Cathedral is said to be where St. Paul converted the Roman Governor Publius to Christianity, which led to Malta being the first Christian nation in the region.