Gozo is a small island apart of the Maltese archipelago located within the Mediterranean Sea. Gozo is affiliated with the southern European country of Malta. Second only to the actual country of Malta, Gozo is the second-largest island within the archipelago.
Marked for its rolling hills and rural environment, Gozo is a very attractive island for visitors from around the world.
The island is populated with approximately 31,000 people, accounting for about seven percent of the population of Malta. The inhabitants of Gozo are known as Gozitans.
The island is rich in historical locations and culture, with a number of different temples such as the Ggantija temples and the Meglithic Temples of Malta. These are also the worlds oldest structures that are still free-standing and some of the worlds oldest religious structures as well. First inhabited in 5000 BC when farmers from nearby Sicily crossed the sea to inhabit the island. Pottery has been found on the island that suggests that some of the first colonist were from the area of Agrigento. The pottery found on Gozo and Agrigento both resemble pottery from the Ghar Dalam phase, which is the main indicator of this connection. The first inhibitors of the island are believed to have lived in caves near the area currently named Saint Lawrence, but this cannot be confirmed.
Throughout the Neolithic period, Ggantija temples were built and this began an important cultural evolution in Gozo. As mentioned before, the temples are some of the oldest isolated structures, as well as the worlds oldest religious structures. This marked Gozo as an important religious location for many. Although the mechanism by which the temples were built has not been determined, its name, Ggantija, is Maltese for “belonging to the giants”, because in Gozitan folklore states that giants built the temples.
The people of Gozo have a strong presence within Malta as a whole country, as Gozo is the only region of Malta that has a Minister that is responsible for the island. Compared to the rest Malta, Gozo is considered to be more conservative. Originally pegged as uneducated and primal by Maltese, more and more Gozitans are moving to Malta in order to attain a higher education and take part in the better economic opportunities. Despite this stereotype, there have been Gozitans throughout the years that have excelled in many areas, both locally and in the surrounding areas. While also, based on recent census data, Gozitans are actually wealthier and live in better neighborhoods than their neighboring Maltese.
The size of Gozo is similar to that of Manhattan. It is approximately six kilometers northwest of Malta and runs approximately fourteen kilometers in length. Gozo is also known for some spectacular beaches. One beach that lures in many tourists is San Blas, while Ramla Bay is also another frequently visited beach as well. Ramla Bay is known for its vibrantly colored sand and truly clear turquoise water. Not only is Gozo an area of religious history, it is also any area that attracts visitors from around the world for its beauty as well.