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Don't touch the exhibits! American tourist accidentally snaps finger off priceless 600-year-old statue in Florence

The unnamed man was reportedly trying to measure the 14th century sculpture's finger

For the first time since it was built in the early 1500s, the Tour Saint Jacques is opening to the public this summer

Tower at heart of Paris opens to the public for the first time

Gothic edifice that has inspired writers and scientists alike has just undergone a restoration

Book review: Holy Sh*t: a Brief History of Swearing, By Melissa Mohr

Noxious verbal refuse, or a creative safety-valve? Make up your own bleeping mind

In 1215 the Magna Carta forced the English King (at the time King John) to respect the laws of the land and guaranteed rights and protections to his subjects

Magna Carta: Four surviving copies to be united for first time in history to mark 800th anniversary

The British Library is to bring together four surviving copies of the original Magna Carta for the first time in history to mark the 800th anniversary of King John's royal charter.

Book of the week: The Divine Comedy, By Dante, translated by Clive James

A lifetime's practice of poetry equips James, as translator and interpreter, to scale this summit

1966 British actor Christopher Lee in his most famous role, that of Bram Stoker's Dracula.jpeg

‘Vampire' graveyard? Heads placed between legs of decapitated skeletons found in Poland

Rearrangement indicates ancient execution rituals designed to ensure the dead do not return to life, say archaeologists

Officials said four people had been injured, including a Briton aged 44

Four hurt including one Briton in Pamplona bull run

Several thousand thrill-seekers tested their bravery on Sunday by dashing alongside six fighting bulls through the streets of the northern Spanish city of Pamplona on the first day of the running of the bulls.

The opposition politician Alexei Navalny says a “feudal system” runs Russia

Alexei Navalvy on trial: blogger denounces regime of 'scumbags'

The judge in embezzlement case has retired to consider the verdict and sentence

Postcard from... Hitzacker

Hitzacker is one of those idyllic red-brick, north German towns that seem to have been purpose built for the tourist trade. Its 18th-century timbered houses and narrow streets attract thousands of visitors each year.

Team UK in action during the Full Contact Medival Fighting World Championships

Coat of aarghmour: Welcome to medieval fight club

Two Lithuanian television installers known as the “brothers of Beckton” have emerged as perhaps Britain’s greatest fighters since medieval times.

Indyplus video: Medieval fightings tournament

Books, films and TV shows have brought back to the 21st Century the medieval era of fights and knights, but ever wondered how exactly a medieval fighting would be today? Watch a video below of a medieval fighting:

The Football Association chairman, David Bernstein, has hit back at Rio Ferdinand’s claim that a new coaching strategy is needed to help English youngsters

Rio Ferdinand launches attack on standards in bid to help English youngsters

The Football Association chairman, David Bernstein, has hit back at Rio Ferdinand’s claim that a new coaching strategy is needed to help English youngsters.

Then... Panel from the modern Battle of Fulford tapestry produced by campaigners

The Battle of Fulford: War breaks out over 'forgotten' Yorkshire battlefield

Local historians say it's the site of the curtain-raiser to Hastings in 1066. The council wants to build hundreds of houses on it

A blagger's guide to... Game of Thrones

A handy reminder of who's who ahead of the third series

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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
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 20 February 2015
Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable
Living with Alzheimer's: What is it really like to be diagnosed with early-onset dementia?

What is it like to live with Alzheimer's?

Depicting early-onset Alzheimer's, the film 'Still Alice' had a profound effect on Joy Watson, who lives with the illness. She tells Kate Hilpern how she's coped with the diagnosis
The Internet of Things: Meet the British salesman who gave real-world items a virtual life

Setting in motion the Internet of Things

British salesman Kevin Ashton gave real-world items a virtual life
Election 2015: Latest polling reveals Tories and Labour on course to win the same number of seats - with the SNP holding the balance of power

Election 2015: A dead heat between Mr Bean and Dick Dastardly!

Lord Ashcroft reveals latest polling – and which character voters associate with each leader
Audiences queue up for 'true stories told live' as cult competition The Moth goes global

Cult competition The Moth goes global

The non-profit 'slam storytelling' competition was founded in 1997 by the novelist George Dawes Green and has seen Malcolm Gladwell, Salman Rushdie and Molly Ringwald all take their turn at the mic