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 1 May 2015
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