On Sunday 14th April, Wirt iż-Żejtun has organised its first cultural tour for this year. This tour focused on the period of the French occupation of Malta. The main personality who featured throughout this tour was Michele Cachia, the personality who is being commemorated by Wirt iż-Żejtun during this year.
The tour was based on historical research and every detail described was taken from documented evidence and not just folk or hearsay. Along the tour, the audiance witnessed marks and mementos of this hactic period in the history of Żejtun.
The tour started through the narrow streets of Il-Gwiedi, an urban area which was mostly built during the mid-18th century. The audiance were asked to use their imagination and understand how Żejtun would have looked like at the end of the 18th century when the village was visited by two consecutive Grand Masters, De Rohan and Hompesch, with the latter giving the title of Citta Bylandt to Żejtun after he was invited by the villagers to the feast of St Catherine on the 25th November 1797.
Almost six months later, Malta was under the French after their landing in Marsaxlokk Bay. The first urban area on the south east of Malta to be occupied by French soldeirs, was Żejtun, with soldeirs living almost for a whole week within the parish church, undoubtly leaving behind them a lot of damage.
The military strategies planned by Michele Cachia, the person chosen by the people of Żejtun as their leader during the French blockade, were explained to the audience during the tour, whilst walking through and around the key historical places used during this period. These included the parish church, the Cross found at the main square, Michele Cachia’s residence, Cassamento 77 (or Villa Arrigo), St Gregory’s Church and Luqa Briffa Garden.
This tour was attended by a considerably large group of people, this confirming the interest generated through these type of activities organised by Wirt iż-Żejtun.