Marsaxlokk parish church, southern Malta

Parish church of Our Lady of Pompeii, Marsaxlokk, southern Malta. Like most churches on the island of Malta, this local parish church has twin spires, a dome, an arched entrance, and thick stone walls. Despite its solid, imposing exterior, it’s surprisingly light and airy inside.

Even more impressive than its size is the fact that it was constructed by the residents of a town with only 3,500 inhabitants. According to the website of the Archdiocese of Malta, the church is “the venue of a national pilgrimage every year on the 8th May and the Parish Church is a Marian Shrine [a shrine dedicated to the Virgin Mary and visited by pilgrims].”

To get to Marsaxlokk by bus from Valletta, head to the main bus terminal by the Triton Fountain. Board bus #81 at Platform A6. During winter months, the cost is 1.50 euros; in summer, it’s 2 euros. The trip takes approximately 50 minutes.