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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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Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
John Palmer: 'Goldfinger' of British crime was murdered, say police

Murder of the Brink’s-MAT mastermind

'Goldfinger' of British crime's life ended in a blaze of bullets, say police
Forget little green men - aliens will look like humans, says Cambridge University evolution expert

Forget little green men

Leading evolutionary biologist says aliens will look like humans
The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

An Algerian scientist struggles to adjust to her new life working in a Scottish kebab shop
Bodyworlds museum: Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy

Dying dream of Doctor Death

Dr Gunther von Hagens has battled legal threats, Parkinson's disease, and the threat of bankruptcy
UK heatwave: Temperature reaches 39.8 degrees on Central Line - the sweatiest place in London

39.8 degrees recorded on Tube

There's hot (London) and too damn hot (the Underground). Simon Usborne braved the Central line to discover what its passengers suffer
Kitchens go hi-tech: From robot chefs to recipe-shopping apps, computerised cooking is coming

Computerised cooking is coming

From apps that automatically make shopping lists from your recipe books to smart ovens and robot chefs, Kevin Maney rounds up innovations to make your mouth water
Jessie Cave interview: The Harry Potter star has published a feminist collection of cartoons

Jessie Cave's feminist cartoons

The Harry Potter star tells Alice Jones how a one-night stand changed her life
Football Beyond Borders: Even the most distruptive pupils score at homework club

Education: Football Beyond Borders

Add football to an after-school homework club, and even the naughtiest boys can score
10 best barbecue books

Fire up the barbie: 10 best barbecue books

We've got Bibles to get you grilling and smoking like a true south American pro
Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power

Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

Junk balls and chop and slice are only way 5ft 1in Kurumi Nara can live with Petra Kvitova’s power
Ron Dennis exclusive: ‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

‘This is one of the best McLaren teams ever – we are going to do it’

Ron Dennis shrugs off a poor start to the season in an exclusive interview, and says the glory days will come back
Seifeddine Rezgui: What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?

Making of a killer

What motivated a shy student to kill 38 holidaymakers in Tunisia?
UK Heatwave: Temperatures on the tube are going to exceed the legal limit for transporting cattle

Just when you thought your commute couldn't get any worse...

Heatwave will see temperatures on the Tube exceed legal limit for transporting cattle
Exclusive - The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Swapping Bucharest for London

The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

Meet the man who swapped Romania for the UK in a bid to provide for his family, only to discover that the home he left behind wasn't quite what it seemed
Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Cheaper energy on the way, but it's not all sunshine and rainbows

Solar power will help bring down electricity prices over the next five years, according to a new report. But it’s cheap imports of ‘dirty power’ that will lower them the most