Italy has been crippled by a series of strikes as part of the so-called Pitchfork Movement

Postcard from... Rome

A galaxy not so far away: the Milky Way ski area

Get me out of here - spa in Andalucia, sun in the UAE, ski in the Milky Way

Now... Christmas spa break in Andalucia

If you want to remove yourself from the Christmas chaos, there's a three-night wellness break at the Shanti Som retreat, Andalucia for £839pp. Departing on 23 December with easyJet flights from Gatwick to Malaga, it includes all meals, a guided hike and a massage. bit.ly/SpaSpain

Britain’s Zoe Gillings was eighth in the snowboard cross at the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, and has high hopes of doing better than that in Sochi in 2014

Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics: Zoe Gillings is a hopeful jump ahead

British winter sport is no longer a joke. Robin Scott-Elliot meets a genuine medal prospect for Sochi, where no competitor will be better prepared

Real Madrid's Welsh striker Gareth Bale (R) celebrates after scoring a goal past Juventus' goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon

With Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo, Real Madrid 'are practically assured of three points', claims Iker Casillas

The two most expensive players in the world were on target against Juventus but their side only left with a draw

David Murdoch will lead Team GB's curling team in the Winter Olympics

Curling: David Murdoch to lead Team GB in Sochi

Scotland's David Murdoch has been selected to skip the Great Britain rink at the Winter Olympics in Sochi next February.

Shelley Rudman became skeleton world champion this year

Shelley Rudman piles on pounds in search of skeleton gold

Shelley Rudman has weighty expectations for the Winter Olympics in Sochi next year as she bids to improve on the shock skeleton silver medal she claimed at the Turin Games in 2006.

Richard Whitehead, Paralympian

Page 3 Profile: Richard Whitehead, Paralympian

Crikey! Just looking at his muscles is exhausting.

The BBC could be set to axe a raft of senior managers, its chairman Lord Patten has suggested

BBC has too many chiefs, admits Patten

The BBC could be set to axe a raft of senior managers, its chairman Lord Patten has suggested.

Czech Republic coach resigns following defeat to Italy

Michal Bilek quits with qualification for World Cup unlikely

Andrea Pirlo and his Juventus team-mates celebrate during their victory over Celtic in the Champions League

The collective of Juventus might dare to dream of Champions League glory

The Italian side eased to victory over Celtic to advance to the quarter-finals

Rejuvenated Perri Shakes-Drayton fizzes on golden final day for Team GB

Shakes-Drayton recovers from Olympic heartache to lead young team to second in medals table

Simon Calder: Cash for check-in - British Airways joins the weight list

The man who pays his way

Champions League: Neil Lennon - 'Pro-Juventus' referee was terrible at corners, says Celtic manager

The Scottish league leaders lost 3-0 to the Italian side

Shelley Rudman of Great Britain crosses the finishline after the women's skeleton second heat of the IBSF Bob & Skeleton World Championship

Skeleton: Shelley Rudman's the world slide ruler

Shelley Rudman rose to the occasion once again yesterday as she was crowned world skeleton champion in St Moritz after beating her rivals by more than half a second.

In The Studio: Giuseppe Penone, artist

"I hope that my work's universality will give it a longer shelf life"

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Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

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Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

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The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

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Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
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His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
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Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
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These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
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Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

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Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam