Unless you go to Valletta in a taxi and it takes you around the ramparts for some reason, you will enter Valletta, a fortress city built in the 1500’s, through the main gate.
You might arrive by cruise ship and take the elevator up for 1 euro and bypass the main gate. You can cross the waters via the ferries from Sliema or the Three Cities and walk up the streets to the center.
As I mentioned earlier, Valletta is a peninsula with water on three sides. The fourth side is a deep deep trench.
The main gate into Valletta after crossing the deep deep trench was the last formidable task that invaders would have to overcome in order to enter the city. That gate has gone through five incarnations: “The last fortified gate was demolished in 1964, replaced by a Futurist gate designed by Alziro Bergonzo. This gate was then demolished in 2011, and it was replaced by Piano’s gate which was completed in 2014.” (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail.)
Off to the left and right beyond the gate are symmetrical steps that lead off to other buildings or to some apartments. But wait, there’s more!