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Villa Bighi: a historical venue

Villa Bighi: a historical venue

With breath-taking views of the Grand Harbour, charm, majestic architecture and spacious event settings, Villa Bighi is a unique venue. It is also one of the finest examples of 17th to 19th century neo-classical buildings in Malta.

Located in the southern coastal village of Kalkara and perched on a promontory, Villa Bighi has been given a new lease of life as one of the most popular event venues in Malta. Its spirit of grandeur and unbeatable views are highly sought after for memorable weddings, private functions, conferences, tailored and corporate events, as well as impeccable gala dinners.

The main palace was designed in 1675 by renowned Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafa. It was originally intended to be the summer residence of the Italian Knight of the Order of St John and Prior of Capua, Fra Giovanni Bichi, who was the nephew of Pope Alexander VII. Upon his death, it passed to  his nephew, Knight Fra Mario Bichi. Henceforth , it had a succession of owners until, in the early 19th century, it was taken over by the Government after the British took over.

The Palace is said to have housed Napoleon Bonaparte, in 1798, before his triumphal entry into Valletta.

In 1827, King George IV gave permission to the Royal Admiralty to transform the building into a state-of-the-art naval hospital. The construction of two extra wings, on the left and right hand side of the palace, started in 1829 and Royal Naval Hospital Bighi started operating in 1832.

For years, it contributed to the medical care of most of the British casualties in major Mediterranean campaigns in the Crimean War, World War I and World War II – amongst other major conflicts. This earned Malta the reputation of being the ‘Nurse of the Mediterranean’.

Today, Villa Bighi features an impressive array of event spaces – including meeting rooms and conference halls – as well as indoor and outdoor areas. These can cater for a wide range of group sizes, be it for sit-down or stand-up events. Capacities vary depending on the choice of venue, with some areas – such as the Plaza – accommodating up to 1000 standing and 600 seated.

With the restrictions imposed over the past year due to the global pandemic, Villa Bighi was still able to host large events due to its ample outdoor space. The package also includes the latest in audio-visual technology.

In addition, the dedicated Villa Bighi Team are always prepared to ensure that meetings run seamlessly and on schedule. At Villa Bighi clients will find a superior level of quality service coupled with an exclusive venue.