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

Venice the menaced

The AGM of the Private Organisations for the Protection of Venice is still afloat, thank you.

Travel: Reflections on a city's secret charm

There's so much to see in Venice that sensory overload is a problem. Linda Cookson offers an off-beat guide to La Serenissima

Letter: Floods in Venice

Sir: I would agree with Rafael Bras (letter, 2 May) that inaction endangers the city of Venice, but let us not adopt the wrong solution simply because that solution is - unwisely - enshrined in Italian legislation.

The Weasel: Kings and queens in turbans and pearls rubbed shoulders with extraterrestrials

We didn't mean to have a long weekend in Venice at carnival time. The watery city is so rich in wonders, so breathtakingly unlikely, that the addition of a 10-day pre-Lenten hullabaloo seems to be over-egging the pudding. Though Venice claims to have coined the very word Carnevale ("Farewell to meat"), the modern version dates all the way back to 1979, when it was revived by a group of outsiders as an excuse for elaborate dressing up. With a striking inappropriateness for the setting, this year's carnival was sponsored by Volkswagen. We didn't have to wait long for our first encounter with the festivity. Stumbling out of Marco Polo airport at midnight, we blundered into a dozen Casanovas, their cloaks swirling amid the kerosene fumes.

Theatre Review: A Tempest off stage

The Tempest/Cymbeline, RSC

Venice's grand opera descends to farce

TWO YEARS on from the fire that left it gutted, Venice's La Fenice opera house - The Phoenix - was doing a remarkable job of living up to its name and rising from the ashes. Until last week, that is.

Letter: Authentic polenta

Authentic polenta

Peril in Venice as St Mark's repels invaders

Police commando raid ends short-lived rule of rag-tag Venetian 'liberation' army

Travel: Street theatre

Cathy Packe explores Vicenza

Basketball:Towers fall in overtime

London Towers 64 Verona 71

Gentlemen of Verona hope to avoid a tempest

After more than 40 years of dreaming, planning, fund-raising and laborious construction, tonight's opening night at Shakespeare's Globe is under threat from a typically English source - the weather.

RESTORING A SHRINE TO LOVE

THE BROADER PICTURE

London Towers grouped with Verona

Digest: Basketball

Lost city of the Veneto

Vicenza, neighbour to Venice and Verona, is often overlooked, says David Newbold

Single currency launch faces delay

Verona summit: Fallback date of 2002 proposed but former Bundesbank chief warns of fatal blow to EMU
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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
Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

Ed Balls interview

'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
He's behind you, dude!

US stars in UK panto

From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

Autism-friendly theatre

Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all
The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

Panto dames: before and after

From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

The man who hunts giants

A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there