Giuseppe di Stefano: Tenor who sang alongside Callas

Giuseppe di Stefano, with his dark, Sicilian good looks, and warm, velvet-toned tenor voice of an exquisite natural beauty, was liberally endowed with all the gifts an opera singer could hope to possess.

My Life In Travel: Cherie Lunghi, actress

'The Chinese harp sent me into a world of cherry blossom and bamboo'

Patrick Hamilton: Itinerant writer and painter

Asked to leave theological college in the late 1940s after a sudden extinction of his faith, Patrick Hamilton soon came to make a habit of losing his job. He was sacked first by BP, then by the publishers Longmans, and finally, at the pinnacle of his salaried career, in 1969, he achieved dismissal by Robert Maxwell. But he discovered creativity and, aged 46, found his path in life, as a writer and painter.

24-Hour Room Service: Riva Lofts, Florence

The peach-hued buildings, artisan shops and Renaissance landmarks begin to peter out as you follow the River Arno from the historic centre of Florence to Riva Lofts. But with them go the crowds; they are soon replaced by Florentines going about their daily business. After a day milling around the sights of the often claustrophobic streets in the centre, Riva Lofts feels like a sanctuary.

Plans for a new airport bringing cheap flights to Tuscany provoke furious opposition

Eight kilometres from the city of Siena, in the heart of Tuscany, is an airport. One of dozens in Italy that have never made any money, it consists of a 1,500m runway, a squat control tower and a terminal building out of a Tintin book. If you check the airport's website you will find that no flights are scheduled, either today or next week. One small, single-engine plane sits on the runway. Airport facilities consist of a pizzeria.

Has 'David' got too big for Florence?

A proposal to move Michelangelo's most famous sculpture from its home in a Florentine gallery has provoked uproar among the art elite. Peter Popham reports

Renaissance Siena : Art For A City, National Gallery, London

By Michael Glover

The Forgotten Renaissance

The National Gallery’s new show recognises Siena’s unsung role in the cultural rebirth. Ciar Byrne reports

Why Renaissance Siena is finally on the art map

It's the Renaissance, but not as you know it: a new exhibition at the National Gallery is finally putting Siena in the spotlight. It's about time, says the show's curator Luke Syson

Femi Kuti: 'We are in a state of anarchy'

Femi Kuti says he has cut down on interviews because they get him so worked up. But ask him to comment on Nigerian politics and there's instantly a venomous tirade, says Alex Hannaford

The Derby: Sir Percy wins the race of races

Tregoning's bargain usurps aristocrats in closest finish since 1913 as disaster strikes Horatio Nelson

Milder than forecast winter aids acquisitive Homeserve

The emergency repair group Homeserve unveiled a better than expected 28 per cent jump in its annual pre-tax profits yesterday, boosted by a milder than forecast UK winter.

Candida Crewe: The weigh-in could become a weapon in the war against fat

At the beginning and end of each term we were ordered into a queue for our turn at the stake: a step up in front of everyone on to the old-fashioned scales in the school hall. They closely resembled the outsized ones in the school kitchen, daily employed to weigh large slabs of meat or dough.

Caesar by Adrian Goldsworthy

At least he cut their throats first
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas