Villa Bonici

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Villa Bonici
Villa Bonici in a dilapidated state.jpeg
Villa Bonici in a dilapidated state; above balcony figure representing Emanuel Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq
General information
Architectural styleBaroque[1]
LocationSliema, Malta
Coordinates35°54′34.6″N 14°29′58.3″E / 35.909611°N 14.499528°E / 35.909611; 14.499528
Current tenantsAlfred Gera de Petri[2]
Named forBonici family
Technical details

Villa Bonici is a baroque 19th century villa in Sliema, Malta. It was built by Marquis Emanuel Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq (Asciak) as a country residence.[3]


Villa Bonici Arch

Villa Bonici is a large building that was built in the 19th century, some time before 1872, as a countryside house by aristocrat Marquis Baron Emanuele Testaferrata Bonici Ghaxaq (Asciak).[3][4] The villa has passed to his next generations of his family: first to Lino Testaferrata Bonici, then to Agnes Gera de Petri, and then to Alfred Gera de Petri.[2] Apart from the building of the villa the property has a separate farmhouse and the terraced gardens for what it is well known, making it unique in the overdeveloped areas of Gzira[5] and Sliema.[6] Originally the gardens were surrounded by a wall made of several arches. The garden used to extend to the seaside, but this side was developed with modern buildings.[7]


The villa had previously served as one of the few open air cinema theatres in Malta.[1][8] It also served as a school until 1969[9] and became an educational institute again as part of the St. Louis School.[8] Today Villa Bonici is in a dilapidated state.[8] It is surrounded by modern building development and had become an issue of development itself by its owners as being a high potential economic asset.[3][10]

Maltese heritage[edit]

The historic parts of Villa Bonici were scheduled as a Grade 2 by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) in 2010.[3]


The villa has one baroque archway designed for its large gardens. Other arches at the waterfront were demolished to build up the open air cinema. The cinema was converted into a commercial outlet. This building was eventually demolished to make way for a block of apartments. Most of the gardens are still intact but are subject to development.[11]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "NGOs call for scheduling of Villa Bonici gardens". Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  2. ^ a b "Sliema villa owner defends right to private property". Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  3. ^ a b c d "Villa Bonici owners to propose development brief". Retrieved 2015-09-19.
  4. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved December 26, 2015.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. ^ "Sliema council to uncover Prince of Wales street name - The Malta Independent". Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Sliema residents propose to create 'low-rise' area". Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  7. ^ "Lost Landmarks of Malta: Gardens no longer - The Malta Independent". Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  8. ^ a b c "MaltaToday". Retrieved 2 October 2017.
  9. ^ Education, Malta Dept of (2 October 1969). "Report of the Working of the Department of Education for the Year ..." Department of Information. Retrieved 2 October 2017 – via Google Books.
  10. ^ "MEPA turns down Villa Bonici development application", Times of Malta.
  11. ^