Behind a cherry tree

Summer could start there, climbing up a tree, wicker basket in hand, to pick juicy red cherries, but we decided to go later in August. Nevertheless, under Hammana’s red roofs and pine trees summer lives on.

A first step into the village will reveal the Brahimiyé fountain dating from 1923, the 700 years old Mezher palace where Alphonse de Lamartine once stayed, and an old movie theatre left unchanged. But beyond the obvious path, at the turn of a road, up a little slope, behind a traditional house or an old silk factory, you may also come across a garden shed by a vine and sit on an old stone to listen to stories, find a terrace with an unlimited view of the Lamartine valley where sometimes a musician will play the piano, or enter an old house and lie on the outdoor patio to gaze at the stars all night.

The list of magical hidden spots scattered around Hammana could go on a while and the Hammana Artist House with its performances that take over one of those secret gems every now and then has shed light on a village that to date remains bustling with life. Next to its glamorous neighbours Sofar and Bhamdoun, that attracted socialites in pre-war years, Hammana was the place to gather at cafes for some delicious mezzes while listening to the sound of waterfalls, a douceur de vivre still characteristic of that village where nostalgia remains a thing of the past.  (and the fascination made us forget to take pictures)