Michael Day

Italy Correspondent for The Independent

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The Independent around the web

Postcard from... Rome

It has all the ingredients for an Italian story – ice cream, a pretty woman, a Berlusconi-owned magazine and political scandal.

A post mortem exam of Stefano Cucchi revealed internal injuries, a broken spine and dehydration

An agonising death in custody that shames Italy

Rome's chief prosecutor, Giuseppe Pignatone, met the dead man’s family

Postcard from... Rome

To add to the list of church initiatives that have sunk without trace comes a plan by Catholic priests to turn Halloween into “Holyween” in order to stop young people being lured by the occult.

A scene from Franco Zeffirelli's production of 'Aida' at Milan's famed La Scala opera house

Franco Zeffirelli takes on La Scala: Legendary opera director in battle with theatre over sale of one of his 'greatest' productions to Kazakhstan

The prickly, 91-year-old claims the ploy by the Milan opera house was part of a plan by the institution’s managers to airbrush him from Italian opera history

Giorgio Napolitano was Speaker of Italy’s parliament at the time of the Mafia violence

Prosecutors grill Italian President Giorgio Napolitano over alleged Mafia-state talks held in the early 1990s

The head of state - who was parliamentary Speaker at the time - tells special hearing 'he had never known of any deals' aimed at halting Cosa Nostra's deadly 1992-93 bombing campaign

Postcard from... Rome

Pope Francis has sent a Vatican emissary to clean up the diocese of Albenga in Liguria, where tales of tattooed priests working as barmen and padres posing shirtless with their gay lovers on websites are said to have shocked some of the locals.

Another version of the subject by Caravaggio

Revolutionary lost Caravaggio painting 'Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy' identified

Several copies of Mary Magdalen in Ecstasy are thought to exist

The faithful gather at a papal Mass for the beatification ceremony of Pope Paul VI at the Vatican

Church should not fear change, says Pope after synod backlash against softening of stance towards homosexuality

For a synod on family issues that started so positively, the end came amid division over the issues of homosexuality and divorce – with Pope Francis stating that the Catholic Church should not be afraid of change.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi

Sex and drugs and cigarettes trigger Italy’s economic revival

The country has narrowly escaped a third recession in six years

Postcard from... Milan

Silvio Berlusconi, the three-time Italian Prime Minister, seemingly took on board the feelings of his fiancée, Francesca Pascale, who is part of the LGBT advocacy group Arcigay, by inviting a gay rights campaigner and former Communist MP, Vladimir Luxuria, to his mansion for dinner on Monday night.

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Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

So what must the red-rose do differently? They have to take the points on offer 
Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

Cameron, Miliband and Clegg join forces for Homeless Veterans campaign

It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?
Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game