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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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
Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
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