Travel in 2013: Holidays for couples

What better reason do you need to take your loved one to the romantic city of Venice than to revel in the spruced-up interiors of the Gritti Palace (00 39 041 2961 2222; star, due to reopen in February after a major refurbishment?

Patchell kicks Cardiff Blues to win

Cardiff Blues today battled to win only their third match in 14 to move two places up the RaboDirect Pro12 table after beating Newport-Gwent Dragons 12-10 in the east Wales derby at the Arms Park.

Weekend preview: It’s win or bust as English trio seek to match

Decisions may be extremely hard to come by in the Heineken Cup boardroom, but coaches do not have the luxury of procrastination when it comes to choosing their teams for the kind of must-win matches facing teams like Leicester, Northampton and Saracens this weekend.

The Big Six: Italian country inns

The wooded slopes of the Cilento form the breathtaking backdrop for this old-meets-new inn. Set across two lovingly restored houses dating from the 13th century, the exposed stone exterior belies little of the minimal modernism inside. Dinner, using produce from the adjoining farm, is served on the terrace with its stunning views towards the island of Capri. Guests also have use of the owner's beach near the ancient site of Paestum.

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Venice suffers second day of flooding

Sea water powered by a fierce scirocco wind laid siege to Venice for a second day today, flooding basements, destroying domestic appliances and shopkeepers' merchandise and bringing the city to a halt.

Italy: Spirit of Palladio

When better to marvel at the Palladian gems of Vicenza and the surrounding Italian countryside than the 500th anniversary of the great architect's birth? By Anthony Lambert