Strait Street has become popular as a new touristic destination. People are interested in discovering not only famous museums, but also places like this narrow street, telling a different part of Maltese history.
If you get there by incidence, you would never guess that once it was a notorious place. You will see only bars and restaurants. Just few modern graffiti will give a hint about the past of this hub of hedonism.
In old stereotypes Strait Street is depicted as a dark place, attracting prostitutes and drunk sailors. But the story is not only about sex and booze, but also about art, love and music.
Known to locals as Strada Stretta it has been called “the Gut” by the British sailors.
British period in Malta has become a Golden Age for Strada Stretta.
This venue has become very prosperous, feeding the families of the Maltese barmaids and attracting various musicians, entertainers and artists from different countries.
Strada Stretta was a melting-pot of various social classes, nationalities and cultures. It was a theatre of barmaids, show girls, drag-queens, musicians and artists. American sailors brought the latest jazz vinyl records. People were coming from different parts of the world sharing latest news, trends and gossips.
The Golden Age couldn’t last forever and it was coming to end when the British left the islands. The amount of sailors diminished considerably and at the 1970-s Strait Street became deserted. Only the disappearing names of the bars were reminding for the vanishing burlesque.
But nowadays we see the reincarnation of a Strait Street. During the season you will see many tourists looking for fine dining and those who are interested in discovering the secrets of its past.
(This information was provided to us by Mr. Denis Galea Vella Maslennikov – an MTA licensed Tour Guide – Follow his stories on https://www.facebook.com/BestinMalta (fb & instagram)