Trying to understand the role of the auberges is not always easy, particularly because much of the archival evidence is dispersed or lost. Fortunately, the archives of the Langue of Italy, unlike those of its Langues, have survived relatively intact and may be found in different seats including the National Library of Malta and the Magistral Archives of the Order in Rome. These sources allow researchers to look beyond the building shell and explore the Auberge’smultiple roles and activities and recreate the complexities of the Italian Langue between the 16th and 18th centuries.
This exhibition The Langue of Italy: building an Identity delves into the life of the Langue of Italy, using the Auberge as the medium through which a broad reconstruction and definition of the Langue’s functions can be examined. This exhibition forms part of a wider project entitled Stories of the Auberge d’Italie: faces, facets, façades. The scope of the project is to explore a key historic institution in Malta during the Hospitaller period-the Langue of Italy-and its headquarters within a contextualised historic urban and institutional landscape.
This project originates and combines the individual research carried out by the project members to provide a new multidisciplinary perspective to investigate the building, its uses and functions, the institutional and archival context, and the social narratives. The main goal is to outline a multidisciplinary methodology that can serve to explore the other Langues and Auberges in an innovative way.