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It’s not easy for professional football players to acquire a reputation for being more stupid or badly behaved than common opinion already holds.

RICHARD EHRLICH'S BEVERAGE REPORT: PICK A WINE, ANY WINE

M&S wines won't make you break into song but you sure can rely on them

Artists fume as opera chief is jailed for arson

ON 27 OCTOBER 1991, Bari's Petruzzelli opera theatre was gutted by fire. This week, Fernando Pinto, the flamboyant impresario who managed the theatre at the time, was sentenced to six years in prison for commissioning the blaze.

A passable attempt at passata down among the olives

Sarah Gracie packed her apron, set off on a one-week, al fresco cookery course deep in the Italian countryside and found there was life after sun-dried tomatoes

A complete guide to the regions of Italy

The Regions of Italy have evocative names which induce such reveries that nobody can remember where they are. Well, we know Tuscany, Sardinia and Sicily, but what of the rest? Apart from Umbria, covered in detail on this page, here is a quick run-down:

Berisha sacks army chief as rebellion continues

The state of emergency imposed in Albania two days ago has exacerbated fear in the capital, Tirana, but has done little to quell the anti-government rebellion in the south, where several towns have fallen under the control of angry citizens.

Rugby Union: Bari dazzles brave Bath

Bath 18 Otago 31

Into the heel of Italy

After the frenetic summer crowds have departed, Apulia relaxes and basks in the autumn sun. Diana Constance explores a private paradise of Baroque cities and natural wonders

Menotti: profit without honour

Gian Carlo Menotti is a composer who leads the double life of the successfully out-of-favour. On my desk is a press release telling me that "somewhere in the world, virtually every day of the year" someone stages a Menotti opera; and it's very likely true. There are 22 Menotti operas to choose from and they include the deathless Amahl and the Night Visitors, which is to the American Christmas what Dickens, Carols from King's and Morecambe & Wise are to ours.

FOOD & DRINK: NOT LIKE MAMA USED TO MAKE

British supermarket shelves are groaning with long-life pastas, dyed pastas, dried pastas, filled pastas. The Italians must be bemused. For them, simplicity and quality are what counts.

Colour is the key

Brindisi Quartet/ Barry Douglas Wigmore Hall, London

Obituary: Professor A. D. Trendall

A. D. Trendall was one of the great classical art historians of this century.

French board protest ship in Brindisi

Brindisi (AP, Reuter) - French commandos boarded a Greenpeace ship yesterday after anti-nuclear activists from the group tried to block a French warship in Brindisi harbour.

SETTING OF THE SUNDRIED

FOOD & DRINK In Britain, sundried tomatoes, once the height of foodie r efinement, have declined into a joke. And all this time, sophisticated Italians didn't even eat them. Now they do. Michael Bateman reports

LETTERS; Tigers, sheep and wolves

IT IS ironical that in this week of all weeks one reads of the wide currency given to the slogan "It is better to have lived one day as a tiger than a thousand years as a sheep" (Quotes of the Week, 20 August). On entering Taranto harbour in September 1942, almost the first large building we saw bore the massive black lettering: "Meglio vivere un giorno di leone che cento anni di peccora". It was Mussolini's favourite exhortation to his Fascists.
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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 15 May 2015
Greece says 'No': A night of huge celebrations in Athens as voters decisively back Tsipras and his anti-austerity stance in historic referendum

Greece referendum

Greeks say 'No' to austerity and plunge Europe into crisis
Ten years after the 7/7 terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?

7/7 bombings anniversary

Ten years after the terror attacks, is Britain an altered state?
Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has created

Versace haute couture review

Beautiful evening dresses are some of the loveliest Donatella has ever created
No hope and no jobs, so Gaza's young risk their lives, climb the fence and run for it

No hope and no jobs in Gaza

So the young risk their lives and run for it
Fashion apps: Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers

Fashion apps

Retailers roll together shopping and social networking for mobile customers
The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
Compton Cricket Club

Compton Cricket Club

Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

It helps a winner keep on winning
Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

Is this the future of flying?

Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

Isis are barbarians

but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

Call of the wild

How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate