The Casa Rocca Piccola is a private palace, built in 1580. It is open to the public and served as a prime example of how a Maltese family of distinction lived at that time. It is one of the few remaining houses in Valletta which have retained their original style. The 9th Marquis de Piro, who was born in 1941, resided in this house. It is named after Don Pietro La Rocca, Admiral of the Order of Saint John in the Langue of Italy. In 1788 the house was sold to a Maltese nobleman.There are ten principal rooms on the piano nobile, including the Grand Salon, a chapel, a winter dining room, an archive room, a cabinet room, two bedrooms and a library. Downstairs is the summer dining room, an art nouveau addition to the house, with French windows leading into a courtyard.Amongst its many treasures, Casa Rocca Piccola also houses a collection of costumes and it is possible to visit the underground shelters in which around 180 people could seek refuge during the bombing of Valetta in the Second World War.
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