Our story - 64-gun

Our story

Welcome on board

Our story

How it started

The Order of St. John, established in circa 1099, developed its navy and started to own its ships around the mid-12th century. These galleys were used as warships, but in 1700, the Knights suffered two disasters. The galleys San Paolo and Capitana were both wrecked and as a result, the Order suffered considerable losses.
Since at any given time, the full squadron was of around 6 galleys, this heavy lossmotivated the Knights, then led by Grand Master Ramon Perellos, to start building square-rigged warships.

Unlike the galleys, these warships depended solely on sail propulsion rather than people using oars. They were equipped with three masts and a bowsprit, which is a pole extending forward from the vessel’s prow (front). Between 1700 and 1798, 25 of these ships were commissioned by the Knights, and 13 of them were third rates.

A third rate ship was around 45 metres long and carried between 50 and 64 guns on board. It was considered to be a very versatile ship since it had good firepower, and was relatively fast. In fact, it was also considered to be the eyes of the fleet, since it had the ability to monitor the surroundings, and then communicate the information to the rest of the ships.
The largest of the third rate ships had 64 guns and between 350 and 450 crew members on board. These members formed part of more than 50 roles on the ship. The Knights ensured that depending on one’s rank, a different menu was served, with the menu varying on each day of the week. Portions of food and wine were also based on the rank. There were 8 food portion classifications and 6 wine portion classifications.

One of these third rate ships had something special. Firstly, it was built by one of the greatest master shipwrights of the time, Giuseppe Maurin. More particularly though, this ship that served from 1796 to 1806, was the only third rate ship that formed part of the navy of the Order of St. John (1530-1798), the French fleet (1798-1800) and the British Navy (1800-1967). This 64-Gun was called San Giovanni (V).
Its name was changed to Athénien by the French and then HMS Athenienne by the British.

Our restaurant is named to honour the 64-Gun ship, particularly the San Giovanni (V), that was commissioned by the Knights and proudly built in Malta more than 200 years ago. In many ways, we find that our restaurant has a series of analogies with the 64-Gun ship. On board, our talented international crew is versatile and able to welcome the discerning guest. Just like the Knights we have a joy for food. We have the drive to explore ingredients that will be used to create dishes that deserve to be in this historical building.

We are located in St. John’s Street (San Giovanni) in Valletta, which is another analogy, considering this was the first name that was given to this third rate ship.

Welcome on board our story. We look forward to seeing you enjoy your experience at 64-Gun.


Our wine list has been carefully compiled to give our guests their deserved choice when visiting 64-Gun. Our team will be glad to assist you to pair a wine to your chosen food or vice-versa.


Scottona fillet of beef with a dark chocolate and a Marsala wine reduction sauce


Chocolate sphere with a strawberry heart.


Our online reservation gives you the opportunity to book a table online without having to wait for a confirmation.
We look forward to seeing you at 64-Gun.