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Angelina and Brad mix family fun and filming on Malta

Malta, the beautiful filming location of 'World War Z', Brad Pitt's latest movie, has tempted the couple to change base for a while, and the whole Jolie-Pitt family is now installed on the lovely Mediterranean island.

July 6, 2011
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It's not the first time Brad has visited Malta: back in 2004, Troy, the big-screen adaptation of Homer's epic, in which Brad played Achilles, featured a number of different locations around the island. Now, though, he's taking a leading role in the more modern World War Z, based on the novel by Max Brooks. The book tells the story of the world in the aftermath of the war against the zombies, and Brad's sons Maddox and Pax have already been to visit their famous dad on the set.

The family is clearly enjoying their time together and have set up temporary home in the fantastic Guarena Palace, an eighteenth-century building, originally destined to protect against attack by Arabs and pirates. Not only is the erstwhile fortress equipped with all the modern facilities required by an A-list family such as the Jolie-Pitts, but it's the kind of place any family of children would delight in exploring and is just minutes from the sea. The family already seems to have adapted to the pace and style of Mediterranean life and the adults have been spotted along with friends and colleagues sampling the local cuisine at Trattoria Da Pippo, in Valletta.

The enchanting Mediterranean island with its classical buildings make it a perfect setting for historical epics and it has attracted the attention of other film makers before Pitt. It has featured in such global blockbusters as Ridley Scott's Gladiator, where Russell Crowe took on the Roman Empire, as well as being the main shooting location for Agora, the dramatic love story starring Rachel Weisz.

The historic centre of Valletta, the capital, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, dotted with monuments that evoke the days of the Knights of the Order of St. John. The Roman and Phoenician heritage of Mdina and Rabat, now practically a single city, is evident in the patrician villas and charming cobblestone streets under which runs a veritable labyrinth of underground catacombs.

With its bustling terraces and summer tourist ambience, the coast to the north of Valetta, between Sliema and St. Julian's, may be a little too busy if you are looking for privacy. In that case, you can turn to some of the quieter haunts such as Dingli, set on a plateau on the opposite side of the island and offering a marvellous view both out to sea and back across the island.

Alternatively, there's the neighbouring island of Gozo, the second largest of the Maltese archipelago and legendary home of Calypso, the nymph who detained Odysseus on his travels. Access is easy with regular car ferries from the main island. The view from the top of the citadel of Victoria, the capital, which lies at the heart of the island, is spectacular, and the clear waters of the Med lap at the many inlets along the coast. Gozo, too, has had its share of silver-screen fame, with the Azure Window, a strange natural arch rock formation featuring in such classics as Clash of the Titans, and more recently in the TV series Game of Thrones. The island is not so monumental as its bigger sister, but it boasts more than its fair share of picturesque churches and its delightful scenery and air of tranquility make it an ideal destination for those who wish to escape the summer crowds.

The third inhabited island of the archipelago is the tiny isle of Comino, which lies between Malta and Gozo. A hundred metres to the north-west lies the even smaller and uninhabited isle of Cominotto. Between the two are the beautiful waters of the Blue Lagoon, a picturesque setting popular with divers, snorkelers and swimmers.

Further information: Malta Tourism

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