A recent letter to Gozo News asked a question that I’ve often wondered about myself. Why, when every island group from the Bahamas to the Canaries to the Maldives is known collectively, are the Maltese Islands effectively still just Malta?
There are four Maltese islands. Malta is the biggest, Filfla is uninhabited and Comino is tiny. But Gozo is a vibrant, captivating place as distinct from Malta as San Salvador and Green Turtle Cay are distinct from Grand Bahama.
Even the “British Isles” manages, in a single name, to capture the full gamut of locations, from Stornoway to Sark, without managing to cause too much offence.
But Gozo is ‘lumped in’ with Malta as a bit of an afterthought.
Does that really matter, you might ask? Actually, I’d argue that it does, because I’ve lost count of the number of conversations where I’ve been waxing lyrical about the attractions of Gozo before finding myself backpedalling to address the simple question, “Er, where is Gozo?”
Of course, renaming the Maltese Islands “the Maltese Islands” still doesn’t namecheck Gozo, but it does at least give a strong hint that Malta isn’t the only destination worth visiting in our particular corner of the Med.
Visit Gozo and you’ll quickly discover that there’s no lack of local identity here. Perhaps it’s time that was reflected in the name.
Ready to discover Gozo for yourself? Book the very best Gozo villas and farmhouses by calling 01430 626 061.
photos courtesy of Wikimedia