Postcard from... Naples

In Italy, particularly in the southern city of Naples, it might make sense swapping the greeting “buon anno” – happy new year – for “lucky new year” or “safe new year”, as the ritual, idiotic use of DIY fireworks brings an avalanche of serious burns, mutilations and general chaos.

Simon Calder's Holiday Helpdesk, Thursday 3 January

Volcano visit

Napoli deducted two points in relation to match-fixing

Napoli have issued a formal denial of wrongdoing after the Serie A club were handed a two-point deduction by the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) for a former player's involvement in match-fixing.

Roberto Saviano

Anti-mafia campaigner Roberto Saviano sues gangsters who ordered his death

Gomorrah author confronted Camorra bosses Francesco Bidognetti and Antonio Iovine via video link

Mafia hitmen kill rival in Naples nursery playground

Gangster is shot dead as four-year-olds  practise Christmas carols just yards away

Falcao has been at the centre of much transfer speculation

Atletico Madrid yet to make move for Cavani to replace Falcao

Atletico Madrid are yet to make a move for Edinson Cavani amid claims they are sizing up the Uruguayan as a replacement for their sought-after striker Radamel Falcao.

Edin Dzeko scores Manchester City’s winner yesterday

Edin Dzeko sends a message to his manager

Edin Dzeko told his Manchester City manager that "the goals are my message, that's the only thing" as his seventh strike of the season – and sixth as a substitute – pressed his case for a starting place.

Juventus manager Antonio Conte is currently serving a ten-month ban

Investigation begins into allegations of match fixing at Serie A side Napoli

Napoli face the prospect of heavy sanctions after the Italian football federation (FIGC) confirmed it is investigating allegations of match-fixing at the Serie A club.

Deals of the week: Aberaeron, Sorrento, South Africa

Less than £200... The Harbourmaster is an upmarket B&B in Aberaeron, Wales. In October, it has two-night short breaks with dinner, bed in one of its 12 individually styled rooms and a full Welsh breakfast each morning for £160pp, based on two sharing, for midweek stays. Harbour-master.com

Edin Dzeko celebrates scoring City’s late winner on Saturday

In the Red: What's your car really worth? Italy provides a crash course

Today, I discuss not the monetary value of your car, but rather the emotional worth you place on it; how much you treasure it and pamper it with soft cloths. Because not everyone in Europe is as reverential with their jalopy as we Brits.

Italian Institute for Philosophical Studies faces an uncertain existence as austerity begins to bite

As a further sign that Italy's priceless cultural heritage is under threat from stifling bureaucracy and government bean counters, one of the world's most important philosophy libraries is facing oblivion.

Postcard From...Naples

In Italy even the oldest profession needs a helping hand during hard times. With more and more women turning to the sex industry and levels of violence against prostitutes on the rise, the mayor of Naples has proposed an experimental red light district modelled on that in Amsterdam, so the authorities can gain some measure of control.

Modesto Pellino was shot seven times in a busy square in the town of Nettuno

Tit-for-tat Mob killings spark fears of new turf war in Rome as Neapolitan gangster Modesto Pellino is gunned down

Fears of a Mafia turf war in Rome and the surrounding areas have being re-ignited after a Neapolitan gangster was gunned down in busy square in front of dozens of people.

Giovanni Venosa had terrorised businesses in Castel Volturno

Amateur actor, serious mafioso: Gomorrah star jailed for crime links

Cinema's ambiguous relationship with organised crime has been dramatically underlined after the jailing of an actor from the hit film Gomorrah for Mafia links.

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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Dubrovnik, the Dalmatian Coast & Montenegro
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Lisbon, Oporto and the Douro Valley
Lake Garda, Venice & Verona
Spain
Prices correct as of 23 January 2015
Isis hostage crisis: Militant group stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

Isis stands strong as its numerous enemies fail to find a common plan to defeat it

The jihadis are being squeezed militarily and economically, but there is no sign of an implosion, says Patrick Cockburn
Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action

Virtual reality: Seeing is believing

Virtual reality thrusts viewers into the frontline of global events - and puts film-goers at the heart of the action
Homeless Veterans appeal: MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’

Homeless Veterans appeal

MP says Coalition ‘not doing enough’ to help
Larry David, Steve Coogan and other comedians share stories of depression in new documentary

Comedians share stories of depression

The director of the new documentary, Kevin Pollak, tells Jessica Barrett how he got them to talk
Has The Archers lost the plot with it's spicy storylines?

Has The Archers lost the plot?

A growing number of listeners are voicing their discontent over the rural soap's spicy storylines; so loudly that even the BBC's director-general seems worried, says Simon Kelner
English Heritage adds 14 post-war office buildings to its protected lists

14 office buildings added to protected lists

Christopher Beanland explores the underrated appeal of these palaces of pen-pushing
Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Human skull discovery in Israel proves humans lived side-by-side with Neanderthals

Scientists unearthed the cranial fragments from Manot Cave in West Galilee
World War Z author Max Brooks honours WW1's Harlem Hellfighters in new graphic novel

Max Brooks honours Harlem Hellfighters

The author talks about race, legacy and his Will Smith film option to Tim Walker
Why the league system no longer measures up

League system no longer measures up

Jon Coles, former head of standards at the Department of Education, used to be in charge of school performance rankings. He explains how he would reform the system
Valentine's Day cards: 5 best online card shops

Don't leave it to the petrol station: The best online card shops for Valentine's Day

Can't find a card you like on the high street? Try one of these sites for individual, personalised options, whatever your taste
Diego Costa: Devil in blue who upsets defences is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

Devil in blue Costa is a reminder of what Liverpool have lost

The Reds are desperately missing Luis Suarez, says Ian Herbert
Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Ashley Giles: 'I'll watch England – but not as a fan'

Former one-day coach says he will ‘observe’ their World Cup games – but ‘won’t be jumping up and down’
Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness