Michael Day

Italy Correspondent for The Independent

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Intensive wine-growing in the picturesque hills of Tuscany is causing erosion and pollution, according to authorities

Tuscan wine-makers up in arms as authorities attempt to make viniculture more sustainable

Local councils are already enforcing the plan aimed at protecting the water supply and reducing the threat of soil erosion, but growers claim the administration is 'taking agriculture back to the 1800s'

‘The Deposition of Christ’ by Raphael is in the Borghese Gallery in Rome; a dehumidifier has reduced the damage to it

Raphael's Deposition: Renaissance masterpiece warped by Rome museum’s faulty air conditioning

Damage to painting follows mounting concerns over the poor maintenance of country's heritage such as Pompeii and the Colosseum

Roberto Calderoli has suffered a series of health scares since the video of the curse

Italy's Deputy Senate Speaker who compared country's first black minister to an 'orang-utan' claims he is 'cursed' by African spirits after spell of bad luck

Roberto Calderoli claims video evidence from the Congo shows Cécile Kyenge’s father - a tribal leader - putting a 'macumba' on him as punishment for the insult

The cost so far of the outbreak, in terms of lost trees alone, is £200m, but this figure is set to rise sharply

Alien bacteria threatens southern Italy’s most prized olive groves

The cost so far of the outbreak, in terms of lost trees alone, is £200m, but this figure is set to rise sharply

The two horses, Oracle Force and Golden Storming, were quickly destroyed by vets. The riders suffered only minor injuries

Future of Italy's Tuscan palios in doubt after horses put down following race

Animal rights activists scream abuse and spectators watch in stunned silence as the injured animals are carted off to be destroyed during the race in Pistoia

Pope Francis meets Meriam Ibrahim, with her daughter Maya, in his Santa Marta residence at the Vatican yesterday

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag’s release and safe arrival is a diplomatic triumph for Italy

Meriam Yahia Ibrahim Ishag’s safe arrival in Rome, en-route to the US, is also a diplomatic triumph for Italy – a nation that strongly opposes the death penalty and one that has historic ties with the Horn of Africa.

A handout photo released by the Osservatore Romano and taken on July 24, 2014 shows Pope Francis greeting Sudanese Christian Meriam Ibrahim and her daughter Maya during a private audience at the Vatican

Pope Francis holds 'very affectionate' meeting with Sudanese apostasy woman Meriam Ibrahim after she arrives in Rome

Ms Ibrahim and her family fled Sudan for Italy only this morning

Malaysia Airlines MH17 crash: Pro-Russian rebel 'admits to shooting down plane'

A pro-Russian militiaman has said his forces shot down Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17, according to a report in an Italian newspaper.

Education Minister Stefania Giannini wants an inquiry

Outcry in Italy after teacher says she was sacked for being a lesbian

Education Minister promises inquiry into ‘discrimination’ by nuns at state-funded school

Silvio Berlusconi leaves the Fondazione Sacra Famiglia on May 9, 2014 in Milan, Italy.

Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi cleared of underage prostitution charges

Surprise verdict sees ex-Premier cleared of paying 17-year-old girl for sex

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Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?