Travel
 

The Big Six: from outdoor Jacuzzis and inky interiors to views of the Eiffel Tower

How the French do flash-mobs

Obliged to dress in white and summoned by text message, phone call or email to a secret location 15 minutes beforehand, the participants in Paris's Big Open Air White Dinner more than earn their supper.

Carla Bruni 'vetoed Louvre rock concert'

Even the Mona Lisa may find it hard to keep her smile. France's other Italian-born icon of enigmatic female beauty has denied La Joconde a free rock concert. Plans for the first open-air gig in the courtyard of the Louvre have been squashed by the pop-singing French first lady, Carla Bruni-Sarkozy, according to a French investigative newspaper.

Twombly hits new heights at Louvre

The Louvre's ceilings already abound with paintings: There are plenty of frolicking maidens, epic battles and racing chariots, not to mention cherubs holding cornucopias. American contemporary artist Cy Twombly had something different in mind, however – something a bit simpler.

'They have tried to destroy me' says rising star of Parisian art world

In two years, Marc Restellini has shaken up the Parisian art scene. The popularity of his shows far exceeds that of his rivals but his success has created enemies within the establishment.

The joy of sex - an ancient guide

They may be centuries old, but the erotic artefacts on show at an Athens exhibition still inspire passion

Triangle may beat Paris skyscraper ban

Modernist block would be first in 20 years to break 37m height limit

'Frustrated' Russian throws cup at Mona Lisa

A Russian woman frustrated at failing to obtain French nationality hurled a ceramic cup at the Mona Lisa but did not damage Leonardo da Vinci's famed portrait, a spokesman for the Louvre Museum said today.

Art of staying home: The world's greatest artworks online

Leave the queues behind – the world's greatest artworks look almost as good online. Rob Sharp takes a virtual tour

To St Cecilia, Musiciens du Louvre/Minkowski, Barbican, London

Reviewed by Michael Church

The Beggar's Opera, Linbury Studio, London<br>Skin Deep, Grand Theatre, Leeds<br>Les Musiciens du Louvre-Grenoble, Barbican, London

Britten's bloodless take on Gay's gutsy depiction of London lowlife will have the opera police round in a trice

To St Cecilia, Musiciens du Louvre/Minkowski, Barbican

Not much fun being Saint Cecilia – semi-suffocated, half decapitated, still singing as she died – but much delight has accompanied her name.

The art of love: Jean-Antoine Watteau

Classical summer of love

Magic results: Euro Disney plans new hotels

Euro Disney's Paris theme park is on track to set a record for visitors this year and may see more guests than its US counterparts. The park is set to beat last year's 14.5 million guests and business is so good that new hotels are being planned, said its chief financial officer, Ignace Lahoud. The existing seven hotels had occupancy rates of 89.3 per cent last year, up again this year. Disneyland Paris is now Europe's most popular attraction, with more visitors than the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre combined.

The Ten Best Nail Varnishes

You won't 'varnish' into the background with our choice of nail polish.
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 15 May 2015
Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
12 best olive oils

Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
Rafa Benitez Real Madrid unveiling: New manager full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

Benitez full of emotion at Bernabeu homecoming

There were tears in the former Liverpool manager’s eyes as he was unveiled as Real Madrid coach. But the Spaniard knows he must make tough decisions if he is to succeed
Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?