Landing in Beirut for the first time seated on the side of the aeroplane flying parallel to the sea, it is impossible to see the city and gain your bearings, a bit like in Genoa. Indeed, Italians immediately see Genoa and Liguria as the paragon of the capital of Lebanon, a country inhabited since time immemorial by merchant populations, squeezed between the mountains and a sea as deep as the Tyrrhenian. Fernand Braudel’s description still applies: “Phoenicia is a garland of small ports set close to the mountains on peninsulas and small islands, as if anxious to remain disconnected from an overly hostile continent.” 
1. La Méditerranée, sous la direction de Fernand Braudel, Arts et métiers graphiques, Paris 1977-1978.
2. Francesco Merlo, Stanza 707, Bompiani, Milano 2014.
3. Gabriele Basilico, Beirut 1991 (2003), Baldini Castoldi Dalai, Milano 2003/Le Point du Jour, Paris 2004.