Sport Mirco Bergamasco last played for Italy in November 2012 before he suffered a fractured kneecap

The 30-year-old utility back, now with Rovigo in his homeland, has stood out this season and earnt a recall from national coach Jacques Brunel

Julian Salvi scores for Leicester Tigers against Benetton Treviso

Benetton Treviso 19 Leicester Tigers 34 match report: Tigers set-up winner takes all clash with Ulster with comeback win

Treviso make English champions work hard for victory but a Miles Benjamin brace along with a Julian Salvi effort and a penalty try gives Tigers bonus point victory

A holiday with sparkle: Get into the festive spirit with a visit to Europe's finest spots for fizz

It's easier than ever to cut straight to the source of Europe's wine regions

Prosecutors have called for Roberto Calderoli to stand trial for the racial abuse he aimed at the country's first black cabinet minister

Senior Italian politician charged with 'defamation aggravated by racial discrimination'

Roberto Calderoli fails to shrug off storm over 'orangutan' comment directed at Congolese-born integration minister

Venice

Postcard from... Venice

The city’s environment councilor Gianfranco Bettin, said the 100,000-tonne Carnival Sunshine vessel, passed within 20 metres of the water front at Riva Dei Sette Martiri, 800 yards past the famous piazza

Cruise ship has alleged close call in Venice

The row over the presence of giant cruise ships in Venice’s lagoon was reignited this weekend after claims that a huge vessel belonging to the same company as the wrecked Costa Concordia sailed dangerously close to St Mark’s Square.

Palladio’s Palazzo Barbaran da Porto

Slice of the City: Vicenza - a trove of architectural treasures

Palladio’s grand buildings are a feature of this northern Italian city

A decadent bedroom at Bloom

B&B and Beyond: Bloom, Venice

A short walk from St Mark's Square, a 13th-century mercantile building is now an intimate guesthouse

Cycling in the Dolomites

Magnificent mountain biking above Cortina d'Ampezzo

Brian o’Driscoll: The Irish centre will make his last appearance in Rome’s Stadio Olimpico today

Sergio Parisse lauds Brian O’Driscoll as centre’s likely final Six Nations game dawns

The Italy captain, Sergio Parisse, has praised Ireland’s Brian O’Driscoll as one of the greatest centres in the history of the sport, ahead of today’s Six Nations game at the Stadio Olimpico.

Venice is an ideal holiday destination for couples

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 woodhotels.com), due to reopen in February after a major refurbishment?

Impressively cool: Rhys Patchell

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.

Adam Thompstone scored one of the best tries

Leicester pressure pays off in last-ditch escape

Benetton Treviso 13 Leicester Tigers 14

Saracens will start Owen Farrell ahead of Charlie Hodgson

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

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 Jewels of Paradise, By Donna Leon. Heinemann, £17.99

The opera-house setting of Donna Leon's first novel, Death at La Fenice, was no accident. She has always been a serious student of music and this new work, a departure from her crime-fiction, features a splendid mystery surrounding the inheritance of an obscure baroque composer. His papers are locked in two trunks fought over by greedy rival descendants who decide to employ a scholar to investigate the contents.

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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 15 May 2015
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