The stories of my life on a little island in the middle of the Mediterranean sea ... and my occasional adventures beyond these shores.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Palazzo de Piro Revisited

Mdina 107-001
“May I go upstairs?” I asked the young, foreign waiter as he cleared away our dessert plates. “This used to be my school,” I continued.
Mdina 121-001
“Of course,” he said and his eyes smiled. I could tell he’d had this request before.
Mdina 120-001
Leaving my husband and the  Mischief Maker in the courtyard downstairs, I slipped behind the cordoned-off area and slowly walked up the grand staircase. This was one trip down memory lane that I needed to take by myself. Twenty-five years earlier, my friends and I had gone down these same stairs for the last time. It was our last day of secondary school. We were sixteen. We were ready to face the world. Or so we thought.
Mdina 123
But today I went up the stairs alone. Or maybe not. In my mind’s eye I could see them still, those smiling faces of so many years ago. The intervening years have changed and moulded us. What we were then were mere shadows of what we have become. We couldn’t wait to discover what lay beyond the heavy red doors. If we only knew how safe and protected we were within those convent walls, we might not have been in such a hurry to find out.
Mdina 127-001
Slowly I went, up the familiar steps, my fingertips lightly caressing the smooth wall. I smiled as I passed the lion that had stood sentinel over the dreams of so many hundreds of girls. At the top of the stairs I stopped and hesitated for only a minute. Then I turned left and went into the first door on my left, into what used to be my last classroom. The roomed seemed bigger. It was bigger.
Mdina 129-001
I realised that two adjoining rooms had been joined into one. It looked so grand now. Gone was the cream paint, the desks, the blackboard and teacher’s platform. In their place were vibrant colours, brocade curtains ad huge, crystal chandeliers. Now it was a room worthy of a palace. And where had they hidden that fireplace?
Mdina 136-001
I continued to open doors and explore. The silence was uncanny. There were moments when I thought that I would surely hear giggles or whispers or even the shrill bell calling us to recess.
Mdina 141-001
But the only sound that disturbed the peace was the  clickety-clack of my heels on the stone floors. Whatever secrets  these walls had overheard, they guarded them well. Our teenage dreams were safe with them.
Mdina 145-001
This magnificent  palace that used to be my school is now a bistro and cultural centre. You can read about the history of Palazzo de Piro here.
Medieval Mdina (12)
A list of cultural events currently taking place at Palazzo de Piro may be viewed here.
Dwejra, Nadur &  Mdina (38)Dwejra, Nadur &  Mdina (39)
Palazzo de Piro may be found at 3 Bastions Street, Mdina.


  1. This was singular. Usually when we go back to a significant place of our youth, it isn't refurbished into something more grand. Typically, the hammer of time has worn it down to a husk of what was in our memory. I think this is telling. I think something in you is reaching and something of glory is clasping your hand.

  2. How many changes!
    Two of my cousins attended that same school you mention in your post... maybe you know them too.
    Some of my school friends also changed school and attended this school during their last school years.
    Very nice pictures.

  3. Beautiful school I can see in my mind from your description. Its like Harry Potter's castle feminine chic.

  4. Thanks for taking us with you Loree down this memory lane, it must have been a cozy feeling seeing it so grand : ) As usual so well told with great pictures!

  5. What a beautiful place to visit !

  6. Loree - this is such a nostalgic post. It was so wonderful to see where you went to school. I am sure it did feel so different from when you were young. I love the thought that they turned this old building into such a beautiful place. I wish they would do more of that here in America. Thank you for sharing. Have a great week-end.

  7. how lovely that you can still visit your old school (and that this wonderful old building has been preserved.)

  8. What a place in which to have been educated. You can bet those walls contain the laughter and memories of you and your classmates' past, still resonating to this day. How wonderful you can still take this trip down memory lane - thank you for sharing with us!

  9. You have an award, Loree, over at SC. :)

  10. How wonderful that the place is being maintained so beautifully. I love the lion on the stair rail!

  11. What a truly beautiful place!! I would love to visit and just sit - the history of the place beckons. Was the coffee good?


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