Cycling: Corsican start for 2013 Tour

The 100th staging of the Tour de France will start from Corsica in 2013. It will be the first time the Mediterranean island has hosted a stage in the prestigious three-week race. Corsica is the only metropolitan region of France never to have hosted a stage and more details are set to be revealed next month.

Vanishing kingdom: Byzantium under siege in 1204

History: Countries of the mind

Hands up anyone who can find Burgundia, Borusia or Etruria on the map. You can't. Neither they nor the dozen other mostly forgotten European countries in Norman Davies's Vanished Kingdoms (Allen Lane, £30) exists.

Simon Calder: The company remains a robust and going concern

Suppose, at the start of the year, you had 100 shares in Thomas Cook. At £2 each, you could have made enough for a package holiday to the Med. While there are still plenty of £199 deals, selling the shares at yesterday's price would not even buy a one-way ticket on the Gatwick Express.

Album: Hespèrion XXI / Jordi Savall, La Sublime Porte: Voix d'Istanbul (Alia Vox)

"Dialogues between East and West, between two worlds and two seas" is the apt subtitle of this fascinating CD, which reflects the cultural melting-pot which Istanbul was in its medieval heyday.

Elegant: Massimo is a sepia-tinted tableau of steam-age glamour

Massimo Restaurant and Oyster Bar, The Corinthia Hotel, 10 Northumberland Ave, London WC2

It happens sometimes in a foreign city. You leave the tawdry, neon-lit sprawl of the main drag and wander down an unpromising side street, only to stumble across The Perfect Restaurant – golden and gorgeous and oozing relaxation and low-key glamour. Emerging hours later, as though from a dream, you forget to note the name of the restaurant or the street, and when you return, you never manage to find it again.

Flower power: Salvador Dali in Cadaques in the 1970s

Costa Brava: The coast that keeps it surreal

After 50 years, has the Costa Brava fallen off the map for British travellers? Simon Calder returns to the place Salvador Dalí once called home

The 10 Best cooking pots

Serve up delicious dishes with these top choices

Stay The Night: Hotel Lone, Istria

The classic Istrian hotel of the Seventies was the unlikely cue for this high-design property. Karen Glaser explains

Simon Kelner: Would we be so calm if it was snowing in summer?

This is supposed to be the season of mists and mellow fruitfulness. What would Keats make of this autumn, sweltering in the unremitting sunshine, reading newspaper headlines that proclaim Britain is hotter than Barbados, or Hawaii, or Mars? He, like most of us, might not be a climatologist, but I think he'd recognise there's something weird going on.

Phew, what a record-breaking scorcher...

With beaches packed, barbecue sales soaring and warnings of traffic jams on the roads, Britons look set to enjoy summer's last hurrah in style this weekend – even if it is officially autumn.

British-based Rán win Audi MedCup in Barcelona

Victory was sweet for the British-based Rán winning the Barcelona Trophy finale of the Audi MedCup series. It crowned a debut season for Skype founder Niklas Zennström in his 52-footer and completed the treble of back-to-back Fastnet Race wins and the Mini-maxi division of the world series in Porto Cervo.

Zennstrom continues upward march

Is Skype founder Niklas Zennström on a roll? Having won the Fastnet Race, he jetted his crew across to Sardinia and Porto Cervo to win the mini-maxi division of the maxi worlds and then to Catalunya.

Turkey expels Israel envoy over flotilla raid row

Turkey announced the expulsion of Israel's ambassador yesterday and the freezing of military relations in response to the Netanyahu government's refusal to apologise for the lethal raid it authorised on a Gaza-bound flotilla 15 months ago.

Corsica: Beach bliss on a wild isle

After the summer crowds have dispersed, Corsica's idyllic coastal campsites are free to enjoy in perfect peace, says Tristan Rutherford
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German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

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