News Calatrava’s bridge has been heavily criticised

After endless criticism over its aesthetic, its durability and even its accessibility for the disabled,Santiago Calatrava faces legal action as a result of alleged deficiencies in the construction

Album: Andrea Bacchetti, Baldassarre Galuppi: Piano Sonatas (RCA Red Seal)

Though rarely performed today, the Venetian composer Baldassarre Galuppi was so popular in the 18th century that publishers passed off earlier pieces by Vivaldi as his.

Sharp looks to continue excellent GT start

Scottish racer Ryan Sharp heads into the second round of the FIA GT Championship in a bullish mood after he and team-mate Karl Wendlinger took victory in the opening round at Silverstone.

About Face, By Donna Leon

The very first sentences of About Face showcase Donna Leon's elegant, effortless style. She captures the mesmerising effect of a cool blonde in high heels and expensive fur coat, glimpsed on an icy evening, in a handful of simple lines. It's Commissario Guido Brunetti who is captivated by this fair stranger who, it transpires, is at the heart of Leon's 18th novel to feature the Venetian policeman.

Watching the detective: Staking out the haunts of Donna Leon's top sleuth, Guido Brunetti

One of the most famous fictional inhabitants of Venice is Donna Leon's dogged investigator Commissario Brunetti. Matthew Hoffman goes in search of La Serenissima's top sleuth and his favourite haunts

The Girl of His Dreams, By Donna Leon

The 17th novel in Donna Leon's excellent detective series finds the affable Commissario Guido Brunetti trying to work out how and why a pretty ten-year-old girl has been found floating in Venice's Grand Canal. His investigations take him deep into the Veneto and a squalid gypsy encampment.

Crete treat: Mystery and history in Elounda

Twenty-five years after she first visited this picturesque fishing town in north-eastern Crete, Linda Cookson returns to find a place that still exudes the best of island life

Don't look back: Walter Sickert's Venice

Walter Sickert painted Venice's much-loved landmarks time and again. But his later, darker portraits of the city's underbelly steal the show for Michael Glover

Best for culture: Venice

From high-level trekking in Morocco's Atlas Mountains to rubbing shoulders with A-listers on Hollywood Boulevard, and from rural retreats off Tuscany's beaten track to jet-set hang outs for Moscow's super-rich, our writers have been to the ends of the earth to find a world of inspiration

Glass blowers of Murano smashed by crisis

Their centuries-old workshops sell intricate curlicues of glass fantasy to the smartest shops in the world. But now the winds of crisis howling through the world are rattling the doors of the glass blowers of Murano.

The leaning tower of Venice to be propped up

Engineers aim to prevent repeat of great campanile collapse

My Tango with Barbara Strozzi, By Russell Hoban

Recently-separated writer Phil Ockerman falls in love with winningly-named Bertha Strunk at a tango lesson. Bertha turns out to be the spit of 17th-century Venetian singer and composer Barbara Strozzi, whose "slightly sluttish look was irresistible". Bertha and Barbara take up serious fantasy space in Phil's head, until he's not sure which is which. Hoban's story is grounded in a familiar cityscape of cafés and tubes, but populated with arcane references and zany riffs. A love story that takes place between the ears rather than sheets, it captures the faltering steps of a romance between two people who've been tripped up in the past.

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.

Handel: the man and his music, By Jonathan Keates

Guide to the art of a composer hits the high notes

Venice police launch inquiry after schoolgirl falls from hotel

Italian police were investigating last night how a 16-year-old British schoolgirl came to fall nearly 30ft on to a pavement and suffered multiple injuries after the window ledge where she was sitting after a late-night party collapsed without warning.

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Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

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Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
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William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

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Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
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Liverpool close in on Milner signing

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Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

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Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
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Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
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