I’ve been to my share of Roman ruins throughout Italy and the rest of Europe, but other than Rome itself, the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Baalbek takes the baklava as the most spectacular. Located in eastern Lebanon’s Bekaa Valley just over an hour’s ride northeast of Beirut, the country’s most important farming region and settled for 5,000 years, its name dates to the ancient Phoenicians, whose main god was Baal, and later in the 1st century BCE under the Romans it became the city of Heliopolis. The remains of their magnificent temple complex, with its temples of Jupiter, Venus, and Bacchus are nothing short of jawdropping.


Read more about this and the country's many other attractions in my post The Arab World's Most LIberal Country, Lebanon Is an Under-the-radar Gem (written before the disastrous events of the past couple of years).




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