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Villa Francia, initially named as Palazzo Francia, then named as Villa Preziosi, and officially known as Palazzo Francia and Francia Estate, is an 18th-century palace in Lija, Malta. The palace was built circa 1757, by Francesco Preziosi, with baroque architecture that gave a sense of pride and power to noble people at the time. The first ambitious owner became bankrupt with the expenses of the palace, to make it an outstanding building and incomparable with others, and because of this he was pressured to sell his possession by the Order of St. John to pay his accumulated debts.The street where the palace is found is named after the initial name of the palace, as Preziosi Street. The palace was bought by the Francia family and later passed to the Government of Malta. It is currently the official residence of the Prime Minister of Malta. The building should not be confused with formerly named Palazzo Francia, today Palazzo Ferreria.DescriptionThe palace has two floors with a one front garden and other back gardens. The villa is situated in the northern part of Lija. The palace was inspired by Villa Palagonia, at Bagheria in Sicily.HistoryHunting lodgeThe building of Villa Francia was initially a one-storey building used as a hunting lodge when most of Lija was undeveloped. People living in the countryside feared attacks from the Ottoman Empire. When these attacks stopped Lija became a village on the demand for noble people and later for modern buildings. The place may no longer be used as a hunting site.