Qormi is the third largest locality in Malta, with approximately 16,500 residents out of a total population of about 500,000 living on the Maltese islands. The town occupies a stretch of low ground close to Grand Harbour, and is surrounded by a number of distinctive valleys. Historically, it has often played a pivotal role in Maltese history. In fact, during the Middle Ages, parts of neighbouring Ħamrun and Marsa – as well as the capital Valletta – were reliant on Qormi’s administrative and parish services. This distinguished past is reflected both in Qormi’s motto, “Rising from the low”, and in its coat of arms, derived from that of Grand Master Manuel Pinto de Fonseca, which depicts a silver shield with five red half moons facing upwards.
The town’s reputation as the centre of bread-making in Malta can be traced back to the times of the Knights of St John. The Knights used to buy their bread from the many bakeries in the area, and named the locality ‘Casal Fornaro’ (the bakers’ village), a title it still bears proudly today. Unsurprisingly, Qormi has changed over the years. But while it boasts various residential and industrial zones, at its heart the locality still displays the typical traditional characteristics of a Maltese village, with many winding lanes and enticing alleys.
Today’s lifestyles are often hectic and for many people time is at a premium. However, Qormi’s numerous cultural organisations ensure that activities such as ‘A Night in Casal Fornaro’ are not forgotten amidst residents’ busy daily routines.