Michael Day

Italy Correspondent for The Independent

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Postcard from... Rome

To fight dirt you have to fight dirty. That’s the Rambo-esque reasoning behind the Mafia’s most notorious Godfather suggesting he be allowed out of jail early to fight Isis infiltrators in Italy.

Postcard from... Florence

The picturesque Firenze Fiera exhibition centre in Florence resembled London’s über-trendy Hoxton this week, as 30,000 visitors – mostly in skinny jeans – packed out the world’s biggest men’s fashion event, Pitti Uomo.

Aid workers Greta Ramelli (left) and Vanessa Marzullo arrived at Ciampino airport in Rome early yesterday after being held captive in Syria since July 2014

The price of freedom: Did Italy pay a €12m ransom for the release of aid workers in Syria?

Two young aid workers held hostage in Syria have been released, but suspicion is growing that the Italian government broke international convention and paid the kidnappers a €12m ransom

The EMA has declared the EllaOne pill safe

Italian pharmacists likely to defy EU's ruling on over the counter morning-after pill

Powerful Catholic groups have decried the European Medicines Agency's call to make EllaOne available without a prescription

Georgio Napolitano has been President since 2006

Giorgio Napolitano resigns: Italian politics bids farewell to the President who gave Silvio Berlusconi the boot

The 89-year-old's departure poses a headache for beleaguered PM Matteo Renzi

Pope Francis baptises a newborn during a solemn mass in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican January 11, 2015

Pope Francis tells mothers to feel free to breastfeed their children during Sistine Chapel baptism

Pontiff baptised 33 infants, saying: 'You mothers give your children milk and even now, if they cry because they are hungry, breastfeed them, don't worry'

Milan is struggling to keep out organised crime while it hosts the expo

Expo World Fair 2015: Italy's bid for a Mafia-free event already looks doomed

Milan, the host city, is struggling to keep out organised crime, lured by the scent of money

Britain is the world’s number one market for Prosecco

Prosecco on tap? Assolutamente no! Italian producers in dismay over British pubs serving their fizz like warm beer

Italian politicians call for massive EU fines 'to help the consumer'

Vanessa Marzullo and Greta Ramelli are aid workers

Al-Qaeda affiliate terror group's video raises fears for Italian hostages

A short video of the two women appeared on YouTube on Wednesday

Berlusconi with his girlfriend, Francesca Pascale; they have not been seen together publicly recently

Silvio Berlusconi's romance with 28-year-old member of his fan club reportedly hits trouble

Speculation that the former premier was ready to settle down and adopt a less prominent role in public life following a series of humiliations seem wide of the mark

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Day In a Page

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Climate change key in Syrian conflict

And it will trigger more war in future
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My life as a Jew in wartime Berlin
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Women like cuddly creatures whilst men like creepy-crawlies
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From #VOTESELFISH to Bite the Ballot
Poldark star Heida Reed: 'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'

Poldark star Heida Reed

'I don't think a single bodice gets ripped'
The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

The difference between America and Israel? There isn’t one

Netanyahu knows he can get away with anything in America, says Robert Fisk
Families clubbing together to build their own affordable accommodation

Do It Yourself approach to securing a new house

Community land trusts marking a new trend for taking the initiative away from developers
Head of WWF UK: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

David Nussbaum: We didn’t send Cameron to the Arctic to see green ideas freeze

The head of WWF UK remains sanguine despite the Government’s failure to live up to its pledges on the environment
Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Author Kazuo Ishiguro on being inspired by shoot-outs and samurai

Set in a mythologised 5th-century Britain, ‘The Buried Giant’ is a strange beast
With money, corruption and drugs, this monk fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’

Money, corruption and drugs

The monk who fears Buddhism in Thailand is a ‘poisoned fruit’
America's first slavery museum established at Django Unchained plantation - 150 years after slavery outlawed

150 years after it was outlawed...

... America's first slavery museum is established in Louisiana
Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

Kelly Clarkson: How I snubbed Simon Cowell and become a Grammy-winning superstar

The first 'American Idol' winner on how she manages to remain her own woman – Jane Austen fascination and all
Tony Oursler on exploring our uneasy relationship with technology with his new show

You won't believe your eyes

Tony Oursler's new show explores our uneasy relationship with technology. He's one of a growing number of artists with that preoccupation
Ian Herbert: Peter Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

Moores must go. He should never have been brought back to fail again

The England coach leaves players to find solutions - which makes you wonder where he adds value, says Ian Herbert
War with Isis: Fears that the looming battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

The battle for Mosul will unleash 'a million refugees'

Aid agencies prepare for vast exodus following planned Iraqi offensive against the Isis-held city, reports Patrick Cockburn