I only went here because it was included on the multisite pass I purchased at Lascaris War Rooms. Although that and the shelters at the Malta at War Museum had been high on my Malta to do list, I didn't expect to enjoy Fort Rinella much because guns hold little appeal for me. However, the people running the site made their presentations with such enthusiasm that I couldn't tear myself away.
The Fort Rinella reenactors pride themselves on running things as authentically as possible, which includes performing the tasks and drills that would have taken up a soldier's day. After looking around the site and watching the video in the morning, I figured I would leave after the first presentation, but who knew signaling could be so interesting? Then I decided to leave after the next presentation, only it turned out to be so fascinating that I just had to do one more. And so on. The presentations lasted about 20 minutes (live demo, short talk, then Q & A) followed by a break of 5 - 15 minutes before the next one. This ran all the way up until lunchtime after which came the reenactment with live firing of guns after which there is a horsemanship display followed by a guided tour of the fort's defenses. All talks are in English, but an audio guide is available in several languages.
The gentlemen who serve as reenactors have infectious enthusiasm, but they also have great knowledge about the technological and tactical developments through history that led up to Fort Rinella. They're also friendly and charming when "off duty" in between sessions. It's like they're thrilled to see people express an interest in their baby. They're quite proud of what they've done there, as they should be.
One thing not noted in their literature (or at least not prominently) is that a ticket to Fort Rinella is good for a week. This gives visitors a chance to have the full experience broken up over a couple of days, although it's possible to do it all in one day as I did (though it certainly wasn't my plan). If you want to do the full day, there is a small cafe where you can grab lunch. The menu isn't large, but prices are very reasonable and the food will keep you full.
Presentations are all outdoors with limited shade, so plan accordingly. There are some things to see indoors including a 20-minute video about Fort Rinella's history. Unfortunately, indoor areas are not fully accessible to the mobility impaired. Most indoor areas including the video are downstairs. If you can handle one flight of stairs, you should be okay, though the floor is uneven in spots. Most downstairs areas are well lit. Most outside areas are paved but some spots are very dusty -- choose good footwear for the terrain.
In terms of value for money, this is the best thing I've done in nearly six weeks in Malta -- and I have to say it's the most entertaining. I would recommend it to anyone, and I'll visit again if I ever return to Malta. If the full day is too much for you, try for later in the afternoon. You don't want to miss the tent pegging.
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