On a walking tour of charming Rabat,I noticed a real House That Cleans Itself technique in action. For some reason that probably had nothing whatsoever to do with housekeeping, there were grates along the sidewalks, as you can see here:
Some of these grates were located directly in front of doors, as shown here:
What can I say? I wish everyone who came into my home had to do so by first walking over an open grate, because there would be far less dirt tracked inside—not to mention that I wouldn't have to shake out the floor mats nearly as often. Maybe someday, I'll talk my husband into constructing similar grates right outside my front and back doors!
On a side note, if you ever get to Malta, don't miss the catacombs in Rabat. Malta is full of sites of historical Christian interest—read Acts 28:1-10 to see how Paul spent his time there—but the highlight is definitely "St. Paul's Catacombs".
I'm usually claustrophobic and was afraid I wouldn't be able to handle the tight spaces, but it wasn't difficult at all. In fact, the entire site was fascinating and solemn and filled with a lovely sense of peace. All in all, our visit to Malta was a highlight of our vacation.