Classic Italian Bruschetta

Gino D'Acampo makes classic Italian Bruschetta.

Surprises in store at Boutique Luisa Via Roma

Boutique Luisa Via Roma has long been Florence's fashion hub. Now it has opened its doors to the next generation of stylists, says Rebecca Gonsalves

Something to declare: Interruptions in Italy; Southern California; Paris Gare du Nord; travel riskmanagement

Our Traveller's Guide last week featured Tuscany, and recommended Pisa as the main gateway by air. But John Wright warns of "lengthy roadworks on the autostrada from Florence to Pisa, which is severely affecting the Terravision coach service".

From Basra to Bari, Britain's diplomats to close their doors

Britain's representation in Europe is to be scaled back dramatically in a restructuring of its embassies and consulates around the world.

The Pursuit of Italy, By David Gilmour

From outer space Italy looks more like a country than any of its neighbours, but Metternich's jibe that it was purely "a geographical expression" has infuriated Italian nationalists for generations. The reason is that Metternich was right. In this well-researched and engaging canter through the peninsula's history, David Gilmour claims that only two Italians between ancient times and the 19th century entertained the idea that Italy was, or might be, or ought to be a unified country: Virgil, the myth-making epic poet, and Machiavelli, some 14 centuries later.

The heart of a capital city beats in Turin

This place likes to fuss over anniversaries of the unification of Italy. This year, the 150th, is no different. Adrian Mourby reports

After 5,000 years, the iceman shows his face

The naturally mummified body of Oetzi, the 5,000-year-old "Iceman" discovered on the border between Italy and Austria in 1991, and an impression of his face created by experts Alfons and Adrie Kennis. Both feature in the exhibition "20 years of Oetzi", which opens in Bolzano, Italy.

Where all roads lead to the dome

City Slicker: Florence - A new flight makes it easier to reach the city of the Medicis. Kate Simon has some tips for new and returning visitors

From Morandi to Guttuso, Estorick Collection, London

You would never guess that Italy was in the grip of fascism and war by looking at the works of Morandi and his cohorts – which is strange...

Government rules prevent baby Cameron accepting gifts

Somewhere in Downing Street is a pile of babygrows, nappies and toys worth hundreds of pounds.

Fausto Sarli

Fausto Sarli, who died on 9 December aged 83, was one of Italy's leading high fashion designers, known for his artisan touch and elegant gowns.

Assaggi, 39 Chepstow Place, London W2

In an unlikely room above a London pub is an Italian so authentic you need to be a native to read the menu

Back out of the vault: secret life of the skull

Hirst's £50m creation is on display again. But where for the love of God has it been hiding?

Rugby round-up: Kicking king Davis keeps Leeds bottom

Exeter secured a 15-9 win in the Aviva Premiership at Sandy Park to leave Leeds still looking for their first success of the campaign. On a bitterly cold afternoon Ryan Davis, in his first season with the Chiefs, landed five penalties from his six attempts to take the Devon side up to sixth place.

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Emergency call 'started off dumb, but got pretty serious'

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Britain First criticised for using actress's memory to draw attention to their 'hate-filled home page'

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JK Rowling is releasing a new Harry Potter story about Dolores Umbridge
booksJK Rowling to publish new story set in wizard's world for Halloween
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Benedict Cumberbatch has refused to deny his involvement in the upcoming new Star Wars film
filmBenedict Cumberbatch reignites those Star Wars rumours
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Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
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Thought you'd seen it all after the Jeremy Paxman interview?

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On The Apprentice, “serious” left the room many moons ago and yet still we watch
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Greatest mystery about the hit BBC1 show is how it continues to be made at all, writes Grace Dent

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Funds raised from the sale of poppies help the members of the armed forces with financial difficulties
voicesLindsey German: The best way of protecting soldiers is to stop sending them into conflicts
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A scene from David Ayer's 'Fury'
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"History is violent," says the US Army tank commander Don "Wardaddy" Collier

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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker