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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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 17 April 2015
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