Arts and Entertainment Rome sweet Rome: Tony Servillo in 'The Great Beauty'

From its delirious opening montage of disco divas, ageing socialites and strippers at play – one imagines Berlusconi's bunga bunga in a nutshell – Paolo Sorrentino's Roman satire has its sights fixed on epic greatness. There's a touch of La Dolce Vita in its fluid portrait of the city as carnival, with its parade of nuns, tourists, freaks, hangers-on, performance artists and other jokers. It is overseen by the dapper, disenchanted Jep Gambardella (Toni Servillo), a journalist who once wrote a great novel but is now more famous for his roof-terrace parties and languid cynicism. The haute bourgeoisie circles Jep moves in turn a blind eye and a Botoxed pout to the depressed, debased society around them, preferring to dance themselves dizzy and drink themselves silly. (Sample dialogue: "What job do you do?" "Me? I'm rich". "Great job"). Nor is there any recourse to religion when Vatican prelates offer not spiritual succour but top cooking tips.

The Vatican's altar images

Peter Greenaway hopes to create a light show in the Sistine Chapel

CSI: Caravaggio: The cold case gripping the art world

400 years after one of Italy's finest artists vanished, DNA tests could finally solve mystery of his death. Michael Day reports from Milan

Michelangelo's Dream, Courtauld Institute, London

A breathtaking collection of drawings outlines the intriguing back story of the artist's dangerous desire

Travel Agenda: Rome's Caravaggio exhibition; Air Europa's new Lima route; Hangaroa Eco Village and Spa on Easter Island

Today: A major Caravaggio exhibition opens at the Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome. It marks the 400th anniversary of the baroque artist's death and continues – with accompanying lectures and workshops – until 13 June ( scuderiequirinale.it ).

48 Hours In: Rome

Italy's capital is easy to reach and hard to leave, with a wealth of antiquity, plus great gastronomy.

One Minute With: Raymond tallis

Vatican allows St Peter's 'black spots' to remain

Nails added to Michelangelo fresco will not be removed

Great Works: Leda And The Swan (circa 1515) after Leonardo

Wilton House, Salisbury

Great Works: Judith beheading Holofernes (1612-13), Artemisia Gentileschi

Museo di Capodimonte, Naples

Great Works: The Bean Eater (1580/90) Annibale Carracci

Galleria Colonna, Rome

Observations: Lucky seven are in the frame for Threadneedle Prize

The £25,000 Threadneedle Prize – a rival to the Turner Prize and now in its second year – is the most valuable art prize awarded by the public in the UK for contemporary figurative painting and sculpture.

Michelangelo (by Michelangelo): Self-portrait discovered hidden in his final painting

A self-portrait by the Renaissance genius Michelangelo has been discovered in his final painting, the Crucifixion of Saint Peter in the Vatican's Pauline Chapel, it emerged last night.

The Oxford Companion to Italian Food, By Gillian Riley

In entries from "bitterness" ("Fernet Branca is... a weird and wonderful way of mitigating a robust meal") to "offal" ("the ritual sequences of feast and fast connected with pig killing is... a glorious argument against the tyranny of the 'balanced diet'"), Gillian Riley shows that a hefty, authoritative work on the world's greatest domestic cuisine can also be personal, entertaining and readable.

Instant karma: The V&A's Buddhist Gallery

You don't have to share religious belief to appreciate art. The V&A's new gallery is more than a spiritual experience, says Tom Lubbock

Glover's Mistake, by Nick Laird

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