Above: The pool at The Norman in Tel Aviv, Israel

The 4,000-year-old Israeli city of Jaffa has suddenly acquired a new and youthful persona. Built up the side of a low hill overlooking the Mediterranean, the city and its natural harbor have been of strategic and commercial importance for millennia. In the 10th century B.C., King Solomon imported the cedars of Lebanon for the construction of Jerusalem’s First Temple through the port of Jaffa, while in the 1920s and ’30s the famous Jaffa oranges exported by Zionist pioneers provided the primary economic foundation for their expanding settlements. With the birth of the state of Israel in 1948, Jaffa was largely depopulated and the old Arab city, with its narrow alleys and closely packed houses, became an extension of southern Tel Aviv, or Tel Aviv-Yafo, as the conurbation is known. But today, after decades of comparative decline, Jaffa is suddenly buzzing and fashionable, with a rapidly expanding roster of restaurants, cafés, galleries, boutiques and hotels.

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