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
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones
Theme parks continue to draw in thrill-seekers despite the risks - so why are we so addicted?

Why are we addicted to theme parks?

Now that Banksy has unveiled his own dystopian version, Christopher Beanland considers the ups and downs of our endless quest for amusement
Tourism in Iran: The country will soon be opening up again after years of isolation

Iran is opening up again to tourists

After years of isolation, Iran is reopening its embassies abroad. Soon, there'll be the chance for the adventurous to holiday there
10 best PS4 games

10 best PS4 games

Can’t wait for the new round of blockbusters due out this autumn? We played through last year’s offering
Transfer window: Ten things we learnt

Ten things we learnt from the transfer window

Record-breaking spending shows FFP restraint no longer applies
Migrant crisis: UN official Philippe Douste-Blazy reveals the harrowing sights he encountered among refugees arriving on Lampedusa

‘Can we really just turn away?’

Dead bodies, men drowning, women miscarrying – a senior UN figure on the horrors he has witnessed among migrants arriving on Lampedusa, and urges politicians not to underestimate our caring nature
Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger as Isis ravages centuries of history

Nine of Syria and Iraq's 10 world heritage sites are in danger...

... and not just because of Isis vandalism
Girl on a Plane: An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack

Girl on a Plane

An exclusive extract of the novelisation inspired by the 1970 Palestinian fighters hijack
Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

Why Frederick Forsyth's spying days could spell disaster for today's journalists

The author of 'The Day of the Jackal' has revealed he spied for MI6 while a foreign correspondent