The first building regulations in Valletta stipulated that every Auberge of the knights was to have an open square in front of it. With time, under the pressure of an increasing population, some of these open spaces were built up, including this piazza, which was only cleared of buildings again in the new millennium. Some argue that the façade of the Auberge d’Italie originally faced onto this space, which may now be enjoyed again as a public open space.Another argument is that the original entrance could not have faced this space, because the entrance on South Street would not have been in the centre of the building but offset to the left, and because this entrance does not lead into courtyard like in Cassar’s other auberges – as the even wider entrance in Merchants Street does. It is therefore possible that the entrance on South Street always served as a side entrance. For more information:Bonello, Giovanni. Valletta : Lost City : Memories of Places and Times : Vol. 1 / 1. Ed. Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti., 2015. https://vassallohistory.wordpress.com/auberges-in-malta/
A statue of the founder of Valletta, Grand Master Jean de Vallette occupies the centre of the square on a pedestal formed in the shape of a segment of the Maltese Cross. De Valette is shown wearing armour and holding the city’s plan in one hand and the sword of victory in the other.The 2.5-metre-high statue was made of silicon bronze by sculptor Joseph Chetcuti for the inauguration ceremony of the square in November 2012. Joseph Chetcuti (24 May 1960 – 31 March 2019) was an artist and sculptor who provided foundry services in Malta from the mid-1990s until his death.For more information on the inauguration of the square; https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/new-de-valette-square-opened-in-valletta.446320
- Bonello, Giovanni. Valletta : Lost City : Memories of Places and Times : Vol. 1 / 1. Ed. Fondazzjoni Patrimonju Malti., 2015.
- Schiro Joseph. “A newly-discovered map of Valletta with Manuscript additions”. Humillima Civitas Vallettae : From Mount Xebb-Er-Ras to European Capital of Culture. Eds. Cunningham, Margaret Abdilla, et al. Valletta: Valletta : Heritage Malta, 2018. 139-147