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.

The Leopard (PG)

Luchino Visconti's 1963 epic considers the coming of revolution in 1860s Sicily, not from the point of view of Garibaldi and the forces of democracy but of a Prince (Burt Lancaster), "Il Gattopardo", a proud man struggling to maintain the authority of his class.

Baarìa (15)

Fans of Cinema Paradiso know what to expect from Giuseppe Tornatore: lovingly evoked scenes of an Italian childhood, domestic intimacy, classroom horseplay, public eccentricity and the early movie-house.

Sicilian idyll struck by the curse of black gold

In a rustic and scenic corner of Italy an oil rush is threatening to blight the landscape, Peter Popham reports from Ragusa

Gastronomy: Hellenic kitchen

Our taste for haute cuisine and fine wine is nothing new. The ancient Greeks and Romans had a passion for gastronomy – and even worshipped their own celebrity chefs, writes Ferdinand Mount

150 years after uniting it, Garibaldi divides Italy

Italy, Metternich said, was "only a geographical expression", but 150 years ago the greatest revolutionary the peninsula ever produced set about proving him wrong.

A quest for Sicilian zest: The citrus farm that allows visitors to sample a traditional way of life

A sprightly, miniature blue bird flits across the area around a cool, clear swimming pool. To one side, a lizard crawls into a small alcove beneath a stone wall that meanders across a verdant lawn. An orange grove wafts its citrus smell across the surrounding countryside, which basks in the shadow of Mount Etna, just visible through a distant haze.

Dolce & Gabbana celebrates 25 years of fashion

The fashion duo reflect on a fabulous career and reveal the secrets of their success

Mobster's Sicily villa handed to the media

The keys of the Sicilian villa where the notorious Mafia godfather Toto "the Beast" Riina spent his final months as a fugitive have been handed over to the local branch of the Italian journalists' guild, several of whose members died under his bloody rein.

Katherine Butler: Enchanted by the Swedish dream

Stockholm Notebook

Sicilian mudslides leave 20 dead

Rivers of mud unleashed by heavy rains overnight flooded parts of the Sicilian city of Messina, leaving at least 20 people dead yesterday while sweeping away cars, collapsing buildings and driving hundreds of people out of their homes.

On The Road: Finding sanctuary as modern-day pilgrims

The sounds of the Sicilian countryside wake me up early: the whine of electric chainsaws, and the screech of ancient Fiats taking the turn at the end of the road at hair-raising speeds. Our little house is buried deep in groves of hazelnut trees in a remote valley in the Nebrodi mountains, and it's harvest time. The ground between the trees is covered in luscious brown nuts, and we'll be collecting a bucketful later to entertain our toddler. Before he wakes up, I head out to the balcony to snatch 10 minutes with my hero, Commissario Montalbano, the Sicilian detective created by Andrea Camilleri, who is unravelling another mystery in Excursion to Tindari.

Sicilian councillors praying for €116m jackpot

The eye-popping €116m (£99m) up for grabs in Italy's record lottery this week would be enough to change the lives of an entire community. And that's exactly what the mayor of the impoverished Sicilian village of Ficarra had in mind when he ordered that €115 be docked from the wages of each council member to buy extra tickets for the SuperEnalotto.

Sweet Honey, Bitter Lemons: Travels in Sicily, By Matthew Fort

Having been completely captured by Sicily myself when I travelled there two years ago, I can quite understand Matthew Fort's enthusiasm to get back to the island after a first visit 30 years previously. Because, as he points out in this wonderful travel tale interspersed with mouth-watering recipes, there is something not quite real about Sicily that is endlessly fascinating.

Travel Challenge: A self-catering break in Sicily

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a specified holiday. Today: a week self-catering in Sicily, departing on 12 September; prices are for two people travelling together.

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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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