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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Mickey Rourke celebrates his victory against opponent Elliot Seymour
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Gordon and Tana Ramsay arrive at the High Court, London
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Actor Burt Reynolds last year
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Johnny Handle, Northumberland, Ted Relph, President of Lakeland Dialect Society, and Sid Calderbank, Lancashire, founder of the National Dialect Day
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The data shows that the number of “unlawfully” large infant classes has doubled in the last 12 months alone
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Arts and Entertainment
The starship in Star Wars: The Force Awakens
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Rio Ferdinand returns for QPR
sportRio Ferdinand returns from his three-game suspension today
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The Speaker of the House will takes his turn as guest editor of the Today programme
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Day In a Page

Independent Travel
Burgundy
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Lake Garda
Lake Como
Bruges
Paris
Prices correct as of 28 November 2014
Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: ‘We give them hope. They come to us when no one else can help’

Christmas Appeal

Meet the charity giving homeless veterans hope – and who they turn to when no one else can help
Should doctors and patients learn to plan humane, happier endings rather than trying to prolong life?

Is it always right to try to prolong life?

Most of us would prefer to die in our own beds, with our families beside us. But, as a GP, Margaret McCartney sees too many end their days in a medicalised battle
Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night - is that what it takes for women to get to the top?

What does it take for women to get to the top?

Thomas Cook's outgoing boss Harriet Green got by on four hours sleep a night and told women they had to do more if they wanted to get on
Christmas jumper craze: Inside the UK factory behind this year's multicultural must-have

Knitting pretty: British Christmas Jumpers

Simmy Richman visits Jack Masters, the company behind this year's multicultural must-have
French chefs have launched a campaign to end violence in kitchens - should British restaurants follow suit?

French chefs campaign against bullying

A group of top chefs signed a manifesto against violence in kitchens following the sacking of a chef at a Paris restaurant for scalding his kitchen assistant with a white-hot spoon
Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour War and Peace on New Year's Day as Controller warns of cuts

Just what you need on a New Year hangover...

Radio 4 to broadcast 10-hour adaptation of War and Peace on first day of 2015
Cuba set to stage its first US musical in 50 years

Cuba to stage first US musical in 50 years

Claire Allfree finds out if the new production of Rent will hit the right note in Havana
Christmas 2014: 10 best educational toys

Learn and play: 10 best educational toys

Of course you want them to have fun, but even better if they can learn at the same time
Paul Scholes column: I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season

Paul Scholes column

I like Brendan Rodgers as a manager but Liverpool seem to be going backwards not forwards this season
Lewis Moody column: Stuart Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

Lewis Moody: Lancaster has made all the right calls – now England must deliver

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It's in all our interests to look after servicemen and women who fall on hard times, say party leaders
Millionaire Sol Campbell wades into wealthy backlash against Labour's mansion tax

Sol Campbell cries foul at Labour's mansion tax

The former England defender joins Myleene Klass, Griff Rhys Jones and Melvyn Bragg in criticising proposals
Nicolas Sarkozy returns: The ex-President is preparing to fight for the leadership of France's main opposition party – but will he win big enough?

Sarkozy returns

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Is the criticism of Ed Miliband a coded form of anti-Semitism?

Is the criticism of Miliband anti-Semitic?

Attacks on the Labour leader have coalesced around a sense that he is different, weird, a man apart. But is the criticism more sinister?
Ouija boards are the must-have gift this Christmas, fuelled by a schlock horror film

Ouija boards are the must-have festive gift

Simon Usborne explores the appeal - and mysteries - of a century-old parlour game