Palazzo Marina is located at 143 St Christopher Street in Valletta, corner with St Frederick Street. Today this prestigious building houses the offices of Bianchi Group, but the history of the building begins as a residence from the earliest days of Valletta in the late sixteenth century, when the city was planned and built by the knights of the Order of St John.
On 9 May 1686 the Grand Master of the Order, Fra Gregorio Carafa (1680-90), Prince of Roccella, privately purchased this palazzo for 6,000 scudi. It had been put up for sale after the death of its owner, the knight Commendatore Fra Gio. Francesco Ayroli.
Grand Master Carafa then left this property to the Priory of Roccella within the Order of St John, and in 1778 the Priory sold it to the Maltese Count Baldassare Sant. In the nineteenth century, it was the residence of Bishop Publius Sant.
In the 1980s the palazzo was acquired by Vivian Bianchi, former chairman of Bianchi Group. Due to the company’s long-standing interest in shipping, it was named ‘Palazzo Marina’. In the 1990s the building was extended to incorporate an adjoining house along St Frederick Street.
Today Palazzo Marina is the head office of Bianchi Group.