- published: 21 Jan 2011
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Valletta is the capital of Malta, colloquially known as Il-Belt (English: The City) in Maltese. It is located in the central-eastern portion of the island of Malta, and the historical city has a population of 6,966. The name "Valletta" is traditionally reserved for the historic walled citadel that serves as Malta's principal administrative district. However, Valletta, like many historical city centres, forms part of a larger continuous urban agglomeration; this is often referred to as "Greater Valletta."
Valletta contains buildings from the 16th century onwards, built during the rule of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, also known as Knights Hospitaller. The city is essentially Baroque in character, with elements of Mannerist, Neo-Classical and Modern architecture in selected areas, though World War II left major scars on the city. The City of Valletta was officially recognised as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1980.
The city is named for Jean Parisot de la Valette, who succeeded in defending the island from an Ottoman invasion in 1565. The official name given by the Order of Saint John was Humilissima Civitas Valletta — The Most Humble City of Valletta, or Città Umilissima in Italian. The bastions, curtains and ravelins along with the beauty of its Baroque palaces, gardens and churches, led the ruling houses of Europe to give the city its nickname Superbissima — 'Most Proud'.
Amber Evangeline Valletta (born February 9, 1974) is an American actress and model. She began her career as a model for fashion agencies, and appeared on cover pages of internationally recognized magazines. She made her film debut in Drop Back Ten (2000). She then starred in the hit film Hitch (2005). She has since appeared in films such as Man About Town (2006), Dead Silence (2007), Gamer (2009), and The Spy Next Door (2010). She's also known for role as Lydia Davis on the ABC television drama series Revenge.
Valletta was born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Her mother worked at the post office. She attended Booker T. Washington High School. She got her start in the fashion industry when her mother enrolled her in modeling school at the age of fifteen at the Linda Layman Agency. She appeared on the cover of magazines and in advertisements for Louis Vuitton, Calvin Klein and Versace and hosted MTV's House of Style with fellow model Shalom Harlow.
She was presented on the November 1999 Millennium cover of American Vogue as one of the "Modern Muses". Valletta's first role was in the comedy film Drop Back Ten (2000); Later that year, she played a supporting role in the thriller film What Lies Beneath. The film was directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer. She appeared alongside Nicolas Cage in The Family Man. In 2003, she played as Celine in Danny DeVito's Duplex, starring Ben Stiller and Drew Barrymore, she also played as Meline in Raising Helen (2004), opposite Kate Hudson, Hayden Panettiere, Abigail Breslin, and Helen Mirren.
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