The Maltese Islands are two islands, Malta and Gozo, lying in the Mediterranean Sea between Sicily and North Africa. They are so close to Sicily, that Italian TV programmes can be received. The inhabitants speak Maltese, a language containing numerous influences, Arabic, English and Italian.
On both islands, limestone and karst is very common, many caves are known, several caves have been used since prehistoric times. In the middle ages various natural caves and abris and a number of tombs were converted into cave houses. And the usage of caves continued until nineteenth century.