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Italian luxury notebook maker Moleskine has picked Canary Wharf and Covent Garden for its first standalone UK stores.

A new serif in town

You might not notice them, but the fonts used on signs and shops can define a city, discovers Simon Usborne

Trajan-style typeface

A new serif in town: The fonts used on London's signs and shops have an army of fans

It's the dots that do it, on the "i's". Except that they're not dots at all, but diamonds. The adornments on an otherwise beautifully simple typeface are an identifying quirk of Johnston Sans, a font that is as synonymous with London as Big Ben. It has become known as the "handwriting" of the city, but can you identify it? Did you even know its name?

The Barber of Seville, English Touring Opera, Hackney Empire

English Touring Opera shows often embody the old adage about necessity and invention. Portability is the key: their sets must fit in the back of a van, and be shoehorned into a wide variety of spaces.

Marcus du Sautoy (left), Craig Revel Horwood, Josie Lawrence and Trevor Nelson at the Royal Opera House in London today, where it was announced they would be the new contestants of the BBC show Maestro at the Opera

Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood to face opera challenge

Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood is swapping the ballroom for the baton - as he learns to become a classical conductor.

Marcus du Sautoy (left), Craig Revel Horwood, Josie Lawrence and Trevor Nelson at the Royal Opera House in London today, where it was announced they would be the new contestants of the BBC show Maestro at the Opera

Strictly judge Craig Revel Horwood to face opera challenge

Strictly Come Dancing star Craig Revel Horwood is swapping the ballroom for the baton - as he learns to become a classical conductor.

Elizabeth Connell: Mezzo and soprano acclaimed for her Verdi and Wagner interpretations

The opera singer Elizabeth Connell enjoyed 10 successful years as a mezzo before becoming a soprano and enjoying over two decades more of international acclaim.

Dvorak's dark side set to light up the stage

I'm all for cats at the opera – a fuzzy feline will always raise a smile. But isn't there something alarming about it when a mermaid meets one? We all know what cats do to fish. It looks as if that might happen to the unfortunate Rusalka, the eponymous heroine of Dvorak's post-Wagnerian take on The Little Mermaid, in the opera's first-ever production at the Royal Opera House.

John Browett will take up his new position Stateside with Apple in April

A genius career move ... the man who went from Dixons (in Hemel) to boss of Apple stores (in California)

The chief executive of Dixons Retail is to swap Hemel Hempstead and an arduous retail turnaround for the Californian sunshine and highly coveted role of running the global stores of the technology giant, Apple.

The Enchanted Island, Everyman Belsize Park

Our new-style night at the opera took place in a cinema with five-star comfort, drinks being brought as we lounged on our sofas.

Food shop creates inhouse treats

Hotel Chocolat will today open the UK's first shop that sells and makes chocolate under one roof.

Back to La Source: Opera National de Paris breathes new life into a forgotten hit

In these straitened times a new full-length classical ballet is a rarity, so the Opera National de Paris deserves praise for breathing new life into a forgotten hit from the 19th-century. With music by Delibes and Minkus, and costumes by Christian Lacroix, La Source – the spring – is a version of the Rusalka legend set in what is now Chechnya. When it premiered in 1866, its exotic locale was part of its appeal.

Gary Dobson bragged about knife threat

Gary Dobson was seen swaggering around his flat bare-chested and holding a knife in police surveillance footage.

La traviata, Royal Opera House

Three years ago the Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho was virtually unknown in Britain.

A certain smile: Vanessa Kirby

Vanessa Kirby: A Dickens leading lady with a dark side

Kirby had a small part in The Hour but made a big impact. Now, she's starring as the heartbreaker from Great Expectations.

Appeal over 1991 police killing

Metropolitan Police commissioner Bernard Hogan-Howe appealed for information today about the murder of a "courageous" officer on the 20th anniversary of his death.

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Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
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Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 17 April 2015
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions