News The Costa Concordia at Giglio

Divers searching the Costa Concordia have found eight more bodies, including that of a 5-year-old Italian girl, onboard the semi-submerged cruise ship.

Diamanti 'on verge' of West Ham move

Livorno president Aldo Spinelli claims striker Alessandro Diamanti is on the verge of a move to West Ham.

24-Hour Room Service: Borgo Santo Pietro

British tourists may have given Tuscany its "Chiantishire" epithet, but the appeal of converting rustic, historic properties into chic tourist accommodation is apparently universal. The Danish-owned newcomer Borgo Santo Pietro enters a market already groaning with luxury hotels; that it stands out from the crowd is because it perfectly strikes that tricky balance between luxury and informality.

'Apocalypse' on railway in Tuscany

A freight train carrying liquid gas came off the tracks and exploded in the heart of an Italian seaside resort

Five Stylish Italian hotels

Historic architecture meets modern design in in these tasteful retreats. By Rhiannon Batten

Tuscany: A new way to buy abroad

Until now, owning a rustic retreat in the depths of the Tuscan countryside meant expensive renovations and costly upkeep. But as Janet Street-Porter discovers, there is an alternative

48 Hours In: Siena

Ancient traditions are part of everyday life in this medieval Tuscan town. See it at its best, bathed in spring sunshine, before it is invaded by tourists – and horses.

Property abroad: Tuscany

Forget boring new-builds – Tuscany's the place to find character and history

Ribollita

Serves 6-8

24-Hour Room Service: Four Seasons, Florence, Italy

Some first-time visitors to Florence have been known to suffer from Stendhal syndrome – often referred to as Florence Syndrome – which is named after the 19th-century French novelist. As a result of prolonged proximity to such "sublime beauty", he was overcome with an extreme case of nerves and palpitations.

Madama Butterfly, Floria Tosca – they all came from Lucca

Visit this Tuscan city as it marks the 150th birthday of its son, Puccini, says Adrian Mourby

Andrea Bocelli: Voice of the people

He has sold 50 million records, but the blind tenor Andrea Bocelli is hoping his latest release will finally win over the critics. Peter Popham meets the singer at his Italian home

The Conversion, By Joseph Olshan

From Henry James via Mavis Gallant to Edmund White, stories about innocent Americans being undone by encounters with wicked Old Europe are a well-used literary trope. US writer Joseph Olshan seems well aware that his latest novel, The Conversion, sits on the tassel on the end of this tradition; he name-checks James early on. His plotting, however, is most unJamesian in its candour.

Unrelated (15

Tuscan temptation

A Death in Tuscany, By Michele Giuttaritrs Howard Curtis

The case begins with the discovery of the scantily-clad corpse of a teenage girl, and Supt Michele Ferrara's investigation soon turns up another murder, a kidnapping, a drugs racket and a paedophile ring, plus the involvement of the Freemasons, the Mafia and a gang of psychotic Albanians.

School's nearly out, but there's still time to book a bargain before it's too late

Still haven't decided where to take the family for a summer holiday? Simone Kane rounds up the best deals
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Independent Travel
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence – Five-star MS Swiss Corona 7 nights from £999pp
Lake Como St Moritz & the Bernina Express 7 nights from £809pp
Vietnam
Lake Maggiore, Orta & the Matterhorn 7 nights from £939pp
South Africa
Spain
Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

Homeless Veterans appeal

Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

Scarred by the bell

The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

The Locked Room Mysteries

As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

How I made myself Keane

Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

Wear in review

A look back at fashion in 2014
Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

Might just one of them happen?
War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?