This miniature stately home was built in the 1680s for a Knight of St John and has subsequently been occupied by many aristocratic Maltese families. Today it is open daily for guided tours that showcase both the architectural development of the mansion and the archive of fabulous wealth held by the current owner, the Marquis de Piro. In addition to the wonderful collection of 18th- and 19th-century costumes, the 50-room (around 12 are open to the public) palace contains priceless silverware, great paintings and antique furniture alongside private photos and other signs of family life.
The interior of the palace is surprisingly light and airy; a tour includes the Palladian family chapel, an Art Nouveau dining room laid out for a banquet with marble floors, bedrooms with carved four-poster beds and a series of themed rooms exhibiting porcelain and major artworks. Also on the itinerary are the cramped bomb shelters carved out of the old cisterns during the heavy bombardment of Malta in World War II.
Casa Rocca Piccola is found on Republic Street in pedestrianized Valletta and is a 5-minute walk from the bus terminus. For drivers, there is designated parking outside the City Gate.
The palace is open from Monday to Saturday for guided tours, which take an hour. Friday evening Champagne tours kick off at 7pm and are usually led by Marquis de Piro himself.