Floriana, is a fortified town in the South Eastern Region area of Malta, just outside the capital city Valletta. It has a population of 2500. It is the birthplace of many famous Maltese, amongst which the composer of the national anthem, of Bishops, poets and writers.
The Floriana Lines are fortifications surrounding the town, built in 1636, when construction commenced. The line of fortifications was built outside the fortifications of Valletta as an outer defensive line for the capital city.
Places of interest include St. Publius Parish Church, St. Publius Square, including the Granaries, The Mall Gardens, The Floriana Lines, including Porte des Bombes, Wignacourt Water Tower, Sarria Church, Robert Samut Hall, The Valletta Waterfront, including the Church of the Flight into Egypt, the War Memorial, Malta Memorial, King George V Recreational Grounds, Argotti Botanical Gardens, St. Philip’s Garden, Herbert Ganado Gardens, Jubilee Grove (which demarcates the town from Ħamrun and Pietà) and the Msida Bastion Historic Garden amongst others. Also located here is the Hydrofoil terminal offering daily departures to Sicily.
Floriana’s famous Granaries are pits dug into the ground and covered by circular stone slabs. They were primarily used for the storage of grain. These were built by the Knights to provide for storage within the fortifications in case of a siege. It is also known as Pjazza San Publju and is also one of the largest urban open spaces in Malta, therefore used for mass gatherings like the Popes’ visits in 1990, 2001 and 2010. The Isle of MTV summer festival is among other major events held here.
Floriana is a leading administrative centre, hosting the Ministry and Dept of Education, the Ministry for Resources and Rural Affairs, Police Headquarters and the Public Works Dept, The Licensing and Testing Office, and Land Transport Directorate of Transport Malta, as well as other financial and commercial companies. It is also home to the Hotel Phoenicia, one of the oldest and most prestigious hotels on Malta, as well as the 5 star luxury Grand Hotel Excelsior. The area has a large number of boutique hotels and is also the location of the Maltese Carnival in February.