Named after a reputable designer
It is named after Piju Cellini, a reputable designer and painter born in 1863, the designer and maker of the town’s parish church door, the first bronze door in Malta at that time.
But why name it after Pio Cellini? This house was built by Vincenzo Bonavia towards the middle of the 19th century and the coat of arms on the entrance door shows the griffon, a symbol of Christ representing the right road (‘Bona’ + ‘Via’). Dun Salvatore Bonavia, only son of six children of Vincenzo, lived here till he died in 1946.
Local & Foreign Goodness
Selective but not limited, Cellini gets all the prime under one roof
The 20th Century Vibe
Dun Salv had served on the committee set up in the early years of the 20th century to make plans and oversee the works on the widened church façade which now cried out for a much larger door. Seeing the friendship that developed between him and Cellini, one would be forgiven for thinking that Dun Salv had had a big say in the choice of the artist. Cellini was in fact a regular visitor to this house where he spent many hours with his priest friend.
He did not sit in the same chair you are sitting on now, but he probably often sat in the same spot. You may wish to imagine what topics turned up in those long, relaxed and pleasant conversations; ones we wish you too are having now.