Arts and Entertainment

Adam Foulds’s last novel, The Quickening Maze, was a truly superb study in madness and early psychiatric methods, combining the intellectual and the visceral in often startling ways (few will forget his description of the “dismantling” of a deer). In this latest work, he retains that powerful blend and focuses on another kind of madness: the madness of war.

Traveller's Guide: Sicily

In the second of a six-part series produced in association with Footprint Travel Guides, <b>Mary-Ann Gallagher</b> celebrates an epic island

Cycling: Contador takes the lead on Mount Etna

Alberto Contador powered to his first stage victory of this year's Giro d'Italia yesterday to take overall control of the race. The Spaniard, the 2008 Giro winner, completed the ninth stage in four hours, 54 minutes and eight seconds after an impressive attack up to the finish on Mount Etna in Sicily.

There's No Home, By Alexander Baron

It's 1943 and the Allied invasion of Sicily is at full tilt. In a lull in the fighting, a British battalion marches through the heat into the heavily bombed city of Catania to be met by the women, children and old men, many of them emerging into the light after several weeks in hiding.

Album: Rufinatscha, Orchestral Works Vol 1 &ndash; BBC Philharmonic / Noseda (Chandos)

Johann Rufinatscha slipped into obscurity a decade before his death.

Libya action hits Ryanair flights

Budget airline Ryanair has had to alter its flights to Sicily due to the air strikes against Libya.

Ricotta with honey and balsamico

Years ago in Sicily I experienced freshly made ricotta and I have remembered its unique flavour ever since. So during our recent trip to Modena, we made time to visit Matteo Panini who produces 12 wheels of cheese a day from his organic herd of cattle, and were lucky enough to try his ricotta, which is made from the whey after the Parmesan has been made – and it evoked the buttery, creamy memory of that fresh ricotta all those years ago.

Travel challenge: A spring break in Sicily

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a one-week holiday in Sicily in early April. Prices are per person, based on two travelling together on 9 April.

Palermo sack Delio Rossi following 7-0 defeat

Palermo sacked coach Delio Rossi today following Sunday's 7-0 home humiliation by Udinese and have drafted in former Livorno boss Serse Cosmi.

Album: John Renbourn, Palermo Snow (Shanachie)

Not really "folk" at all but a programme of music for solo guitar (and occasional clarinet) drawing on three centuries of complex harmony; or at least the harmony which appeals to the gruff old Pentangle picker.

The Winter's Tale, Roundhouse, London

Now that we know that the Royal Shakespeare Company will present their Stratford-upon-Avon productions in the Roundhouse from 2012, we can start to get used to the occupation with this taster season.

All the President's MythBusters

It's the TV show that's encouraging people to think about physics, history and things that go boom. Plus, says Nick Harding, Barack Obama is a big fan

Javier Pastore likely to leave Palermo

Palermo president Maurizio Zamparini has given his strongest hint yet that Argentinian playmaker Javier Pastore will leave the club next summer.

Pope's address disappoints anti-Mafia campaigners

To the disappointment of anti-Mob campaigners who had hoped that he would deliver a rousing call for unity against organised crime, Pope Benedict XVI yesterday gave a homily in Sicily that urged people there to be hopeful for a better future but stopped short of using the word Mafia.

Allegri slams AC Milan side after draw

Coach Massimiliano Allegri slammed his AC Milan side after they were held to a 1-1 draw by Catania in the San Siro.

Minister says sorry for doctors' fight

Italy's health minister travelled to Sicily yesterday to apologise to a woman whose delivery of a son was botched when her two doctors got into a punch-up in the operating room.

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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
Abuse - and the hell that came afterwards

Abuse - and the hell that follows

James Rhodes on the extraordinary legal battle to publish his memoir
Why we need a 'tranquility map' of England, according to campaigners

It's oh so quiet!

The case for a 'tranquility map' of England
'Timeless fashion': It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it

'Timeless fashion'

It may be a paradox, but the industry loves it
If the West needs a bridge to the 'moderates' inside Isis, maybe we could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive after all

Could have done with Osama bin Laden staying alive?

Robert Fisk on the Fountainheads of World Evil in 2011 - and 2015
New exhibition celebrates the evolution of swimwear

Evolution of swimwear

From bathing dresses in the twenties to modern bikinis
Sun, sex and an anthropological study: One British academic's summer of hell in Magaluf

Sun, sex and an anthropological study

One academic’s summer of hell in Magaluf
From Shakespeare to Rising Damp... to Vicious

Frances de la Tour's 50-year triumph

'Rising Damp' brought De la Tour such recognition that she could be forgiven if she'd never been able to move on. But at 70, she continues to flourish - and to beguile
'That Whitsun, I was late getting away...'

Ian McMillan on the Whitsun Weddings

This weekend is Whitsun, and while the festival may no longer resonate, Larkin's best-loved poem, lives on - along with the train journey at the heart of it
Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath in a new light

Songs from the bell jar

Kathryn Williams explores the works and influences of Sylvia Plath
How one man's day in high heels showed him that Cannes must change its 'no flats' policy

One man's day in high heels

...showed him that Cannes must change its 'flats' policy
Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Is a quiet crusade to reform executive pay bearing fruit?

Dominic Rossi of Fidelity says his pressure on business to control rewards is working. But why aren’t other fund managers helping?
The King David Hotel gives precious work to Palestinians - unless peace talks are on

King David Hotel: Palestinians not included

The King David is special to Jerusalem. Nick Kochan checked in and discovered it has some special arrangements, too
More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years

End of the Aussie brain drain

More people moving from Australia to New Zealand than in the other direction for first time in 24 years
Meditation is touted as a cure for mental instability but can it actually be bad for you?

Can meditation be bad for you?

Researching a mass murder, Dr Miguel Farias discovered that, far from bringing inner peace, meditation can leave devotees in pieces
Eurovision 2015: Australians will be cheering on their first-ever entrant this Saturday

Australia's first-ever Eurovision entrant

Australia, a nation of kitsch-worshippers, has always loved the Eurovision Song Contest. Maggie Alderson says it'll fit in fine