Being in the middle of something means that many other things are likely to intersect with you. That is the case of Malta. Malta's location has historically given it great strategic importance as a naval base, and a succession of powers, including the Phoenicians, Carthaginians, Romans, Moors, Normans, Sicilians, Spanish, Knights of St. John, French and British, have ruled the islands.
Today, Malta provides some of the most popular harbors in the Eastern Mediterranean. Ships from all over the world passing through the Mediterranean find it a convenient place to put in, re-provision, and sometimes do important repairs.