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.

Has Geoffrey Robinson's Tuscan villa broken the rules of the House? broken the rules of the House?

Nestling in the Italian hills lies the idyllic property - worth pounds 1.5m - that is causing the latest trouble for the Paymaster-General

What's on the menu? tonight?

No time to cook? Call rent-a-wife, says James Sherwood

Cinema: Italian film revival struggles against blockbusters

After years in the doldrums, the Italian cinema has something to shout about - a new wave of film comedies from Tuscany. They are doing good business at the box-office, winning the odd festival prize and drafting new talent into a struggling industry. But

Leaning tower of the North makes a move on Pisa

Edinburgh is the `Athens of the North' and now Scotland has grounds to make a claim for an emerging `Pisa of the North'. Stephen Goodwin, Heritage Correspondent, reports on a monument on the move.

Property: Dig in abroad, but don't expect the value to grow

No wonder some people return from their own homes abroad more exhausted than when they left. Weeks spent laying a patio, to say nothing of the hours spent hunting down the plumber are hardly relaxing. Penny Jackson asks whether it is all worthwhile.

on politicsMr Mandelson should get himself a proper portfolio

This column is not afraid to state the obvious, which is that we are in the middle of August, the height of the silly season. The origins of the phrase are well known to all students of the history of journalism. In this month Parliament had risen, the royal family had removed itself to Scotland, other rich and powerful persons had done likewise, being too sensible in those days to travel from a warm and sticky city to an even hotter and more uncomfortable Tuscany or French Riviera. The consequence was that there was "no one in London". The papers thought they had to make up stories, "stunts" as they were then called, to keep their readers happy.

WIN A HOLIDAY FOR FOUR IN ITALY WITH TUSCANY NOW

This is your chance to win a holiday for four in Italy with the leading villa-hire specialists Tuscany Now, and The Independent on Sunday Review. You and three friends will stay for one week, from 6 to 13 September, at the Villa Rosso Fiorentino (pictured, right), a restored 16th-century farmhouse near the renowned medieval Tuscan village of San Gimignano. The house has a large swimming pool, five bedrooms and three bathrooms. It also boasts a stunning kitchen and Tuscany Now will be supplying a cook for two nights to prepare dishes, as featured in the River Cafe Cook Book Two. The prize also includes car hire, and more guests can be taken at your own expense.

WIN A HOLIDAY FOR FOUR IN ITALY WITH TUSCANY NOW

This is your chance to win a holiday for four in Italy with the leading villa-hire specialists Tuscany Now, and The Independent on Sunday Review. You and three friends will stay for one week, from 6 to 13 September, at the Villa Rosso Fiorentino (pictured, right), a restored 16th-century farmhouse near the renowned medieval Tuscan village of San Gimignano. The house has a large swimming pool, five bedrooms and three bathrooms. It also boasts a stunning kitchen and Tuscany Now will be supplying a cook for two nights to prepare dishes, as featured in the River Cafe Cook Book Two. The prize also includes car hire, and more guests can be taken at your own expense.

Independent choice: kitchen culture

Pick of the week Walking and Eating in Tuscany and Umbria

I walk in the valley of light, and marvel

Olives, vines, mushroom-scented woods - the Val d'Orcia in southern Tuscany has entranced generations of visitors. Juliet Clough joined a party of walkers to discover its secrets

chianti and cornflakes

By their Volvos shall you know them . . . As a new film spotlights Brits behaving badly in Tuscany

State of emergency declared in Tuscany after severe flooding

The Italian government declared a state of emergency yesterday in the north-western corner of Tuscany, where flash floods have transformed mountain valleys into terrifying rivers of mud, killing at least 12 people and forcing a mass search for two dozen others.

A stylish scurry across the Arno

The British have always loved Florence. George Bull enjoys a celebratio n of the jewel of Chiantishire

Judge frees the Florence 'monster'

ANDREW GUMBEL

Letter: Hell is on holiday - with the British

From Mr Robert Sandow
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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
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk