In ancient Greek times the island of Gozo was known as Ogygia, the island where Ulysses met the nymph Calypso, who promised him immortality if only he would stay with her for eternity. Well, Calypso still lives today in the form of one Maria Bugeja, whose cooking is so wonderful that it took me four days to pull myself away from Ogygia.
Maria and her husband Joseph own the Maria Giovanni Guest House which they run along with their twin daughters Anna and Sonya. Their hospitality extended to us even before we arrived. Marsalforn, where their place is located , is on the opposite side of the island from the port where we arrived by ferry from Malta. Anna's (or was it Sonya's) husband Victor (the local banker) drove across the island and picked us up. Affable and congenial, he shared his extensive knowledge of Gozo's history while pointing out some of the sights of the island. Once settled into our rooms, Maria offered several suggestions for dinner (she needed to know early so she could go buy fresh ingredients). Maria cooks exclusively for her guests; you cannot just walk in off the street and dine there. How to capture the essense of her meals? Have you ever lived so far from your parents, that it is an uncommon event for you to see them? And when you do make it home, your mother prepares all of your favorite dishes? I felt that way with every meal that Maria prepared. I felt the urge, after dinner, to carry my dirty dishes into the kitchen and clean them myself. The first taste I had of her cooking was rabbit (traditional Maltese fare) and I knew instantly that it had been simmering on the stove for hours. Everything she made was lovingly prepared. No matter where I was on the island during the day, I always made it home for dinner.
It is rare to stay at a place where you don't feel like you are "staying at a place". The Bugejas don't offer the comforts of home, they provide home itself. Maria, Joseph, Anna, and Sonya, thank you for sharing your lives with me during my brief stay.
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Maria Giovanna, a typical Maltese town house, elegantly furnished 15-bedroom guest house offering a warm yet family atmosphere. It is run with care just like a personal home. Antique furniture, modern design and comforts melt to create this peaceful atmosphere. All bedrooms are set in a rustic style with romantic brass/iron beds. Each bedroom enjoys a fresh shower equipped with a hairdryer. Situated in an excellent location in Marsalforn. ... more less
- Reservation Options:
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- Also Known As:
- Maria Giovanna Guest House Hotel Marsalforn
- Maria Giovanna Guest House Island Of Gozo, Malta - Marsalforn