Michael Day

Italy Correspondent for The Independent

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The Independent around the web

Postcard from... Rome

Alessandra Mussolini, the granddaughter of Italy’s Fascist dictator, usually has something to say about everything. This might entail bombarding the Senate with her right-wing opinions or telling journalists how the arrival of a daughter meant that her husband had to leave his job in the police for a cushy number with the state railways.

Disgraced former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi has been advising the US ambassador in Rome

Disgraced Italian ex-PM Silvio Berlusconi - and friend of Vladimir Putin - asks US ambassador to Rome not to isolate Russia

Italy’s disgraced ex-premier Silvio Berlusconi has put on his "elder statesman" hat to advise the US ambassador in Rome on how American should handle the crisis in the Ukraine, is has emerged.

Postcard from... Rome

Italy is justly proud at having won a coveted Oscar for best foreign film at Sunday’s Academy Awards ceremony. But thanks to the hysterical headlines and non-stop TV coverage here, it’s felt more like Victory-in-Europe Day.

Bad weather was blamed for damage to the Porta Nocera cemetery

Pompeii: A Hollywood blockbuster may attract more tourists but can the crumbling archaeological site withstand them?

An increase in visitors could cause irreparable damage to one of the world’s great heritage sites, experts warn

Activists from the movement ‘Housing Rights’ demonstrate in Rome for better housing conditions

The fall of Rome? Mayor claims cash-strapped city will shut down unless it is bailed out

The Eternal City is eternally in debt, and has to be bailed out by the government – just as it has done every year since 2008. Can a new mayor and new Italian president change entrenched attitudes?

Postcard from... Milan

Italy still has major problems dealing with racism in football. So you can imagine how unreconstructed its fans are regarding sexuality.

Italy’s Prime Minister Matteo Renzi won a confidence vote in the lower chamber on Tuesday, but his support there was a given; he has to convince sceptical senators and the country at large

A triumph of style over substance? Italy’s new PM, Matteo Renzi, pledges €100m in tax cuts and more generous unemployment benefits, but can he can deliver?

Mr Renzi also promised the repayment of billions of state arrears owed to private suppliers, but did not clarify how he would fund these plans

Matteo Renzi must tackle a weak economy as premier

Charity begins at home for recession-stricken Italians

Charity Auitare i bambini allows Italians to 'adopt' children to make sure they have enough to eat

A picture from La Mafia’s marketing campaign

Leave the gun, take the cannoli... Spain's 'La Mafia' restaurant chain mobbed by diners despite complaints from Italy

A popular group of Mafia-themed eateries in Spain has led to protests from its Italian neighbours

Matteo Renzi has a mountain to climb if he is to sort out the country’s crippling problems

Italy’s ‘Tony Blair’: Can Premier-in-waiting Matteo Renzi deliver on his youthful promise?

He will need all of his much-vaunted energy and political skills to stop Italy looking like the basket case of the major Western economies

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Day In a Page

Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone
Amazon is buying Twitch for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?

What is the appeal of Twitch?

Amazon is buying the video-game-themed online streaming site for £600m - but why do people want to watch others playing Xbox?
Tip-tapping typewriters, ripe pongs and slides in the office: Bosses are inventing surprising ways of making us work harder

How bosses are making us work harder

As it is revealed that one newspaper office pumps out the sound of typewriters to increase productivity, Gillian Orr explores the other devices designed to motivate staff
Manufacturers are struggling to keep up with the resurgence in vinyl records

Hard pressed: Resurgence in vinyl records

As the resurgence in vinyl records continues, manufacturers and their outdated machinery are struggling to keep up with the demand
Tony Jordan: 'I turned down the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series nine times ... then I found a kindred spirit'

A tale of two writers

Offered the chance to research Charles Dickens for a TV series, Tony Jordan turned it down. Nine times. The man behind EastEnders and Life on Mars didn’t feel right for the job. Finally, he gave in - and found an unexpected kindred spirit
Could a later start to the school day be the most useful educational reform of all?

Should pupils get a lie in?

Doctors want a later start to the school day so that pupils can sleep later. Not because teenagers are lazy, explains Simon Usborne - it's all down to their circadian rhythms
Prepare for Jewish jokes – as Jewish comedians get their own festival

Prepare for Jewish jokes...

... as Jewish comedians get their own festival
SJ Watson: 'I still can't quite believe that Before I Go to Sleep started in my head'

A dream come true for SJ Watson

Watson was working part time in the NHS when his debut novel, Before I Go to Sleep, became a bestseller. Now it's a Hollywood movie, too. Here he recalls the whirlwind journey from children’s ward to A-list film set
10 best cycling bags for commuters

10 best cycling bags for commuters

Gear up for next week’s National Cycle to Work day with one of these practical backpacks and messenger bags
Paul Scholes: Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United

Paul Scholes column

Three at the back isn’t working yet but given time I’m hopeful Louis van Gaal can rebuild Manchester United
Kate Bush, Hammersmith Apollo music review: A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it

Kate Bush shows a voice untroubled by time

A preamble, then a coup de théâtre - and suddenly the long wait felt worth it
Robot sheepdog technology could be used to save people from burning buildings

The science of herding is cracked

Mathematical model would allow robots to be programmed to control crowds and save people from burning buildings
Tyrant: Is the world ready for a Middle Eastern 'Dallas'?

This tyrant doesn’t rule

It’s billed as a Middle Eastern ‘Dallas’, so why does Fox’s new drama have a white British star?