Three dead after cruise ship runs aground

Dozens of Britons were safely rescued after a luxury cruise liner ran aground and later keeled over off the Italian coast, it was reported.

Travel Challenge: The detox

Each week we invite three competing companies to offer their best deal for a specific holiday. Today: a New Year detox escape in Europe. All holidays depart or start from Monday 9 January and include a week's accommodation. Prices are per person, based on two sharing.

Insider's Guide: Tuscany

In the first of a new series, we ask the experts how to get the best out of some favourite holiday destinations. This week Graham Wickens, operations manager of villa rental company Tuscany Now (tuscanynow .com), gives his tips on one of our favourite parts of Italy.

Relax, Osborne, you are in California after all

Politicians live in lap of luxury on their summer getaways

Camerons to take budget airline to Tuscan villa

David Cameron has chosen a luxury villa in Tuscany as his summer holiday destination. The Prime Minister will spend a fortnight in an 18th-century villa, with swimming pool and tennis court, near the town of Mercatale Valdarno in the Chianti region.

A cure for anything: How to put together the choicest selection of cold cuts

Chorizo, prosciutto, saucisson and Black Forest ham – what could be simpler and more summery than a delicious plate of charcuterie?

The Lost Battles, By Jonathan Jones

Da Vinci's sprint in the great art Renaissance race

Around the world in 80 dishes No. 42: Stuffed courgette flower tart

Ingredients to serve 4

Last Night's TV: The Crimson Petal and the White/BBC2<br />Vacation, Vacation, Vacation/Channel 4

The Crimson Petal and the White began as a bad laudanum dream: "This city is vast and intricate and you do not know your way around," said a female voice ominously, half warning and half threat. The London she moved through was – it was suggested – both a physical and a moral maze, a warren of squalid streets marked by odd visions: a grubby angel with swan's wings on his back, a crow-headed figure, a dying horse down on the cobbles. Things were just as feverish inside too, as Sugar – the whore hero of Michael Faber's bestselling Victorian pastiche – threaded her way past piglets and obese slatterns and pissing doxies to discover a friend dying, savagely beaten by her latest clients.

How I Lost the War, By Filippo Bologna, trans. Howard Curtis

How I Lost the War is award-winning screenwriter Filippo Bologna's first novel. Set in Tuscany, the book is Bologna's antidote to the sun-drenched terracotta loveliness of the area so familiar to British expats and readers of Under a Tuscan Sun. This Tuscany is not rural and unspoilt. Indeed, his story is about the spoiling of it.

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.

Certified Copy, Abbas Kiarostami, 106 mins, (12A)

Against a Tuscan backdrop and performed in three languages by an opera singer and Juliette Binoche, this romance has edge
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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
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?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015