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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Isis in Syria: A general reveals the lack of communication with the US - and his country's awkward relationship with their allies-by-default

A Syrian general speaks

A senior officer of Bashar al-Assad’s regime talks to Robert Fisk about his army’s brutal struggle with Isis, in a dirty war whose challenges include widespread atrocities
‘A bit of a shock...’ Cambridge economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

‘A bit of a shock...’ Economist with Glasgow roots becomes Zambia’s acting President

Guy Scott's predecessor, Michael Sata, died in a London hospital this week after a lengthy illness
Fall of the Berlin Wall: History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War

Fall of the Berlin Wall

History catches up with Erich Honecker - the East German leader who praised the Iron Curtain and claimed it prevented a Third World War
How to turn your mobile phone into easy money

Turn your mobile phone into easy money

There are 90 million unused mobiles in the UK, which would be worth £7bn if we cashed them in, says David Crookes
Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs:

Independent writers remember their Saturday jobs

"I have never regarded anything I have done in "the media" as a proper job"
Lyricist Richard Thomas shares his 11-step recipe for creating a hit West End musical

11-step recipe for creating a West End hit

Richard Thomas, the lyricist behind the Jerry Springer and Anna Nicole Smith operas, explains how Bob Dylan, 'Breaking Bad' and even Noam Chomsky inspired his songbook for the new musical 'Made in Dagenham'
Tonke Dragt's The Letter for the King has finally been translated into English ... 50 years on

Buried treasure: The Letter for the King

The coming-of-age tale about a boy and his mission to save a mythical kingdom has sold a million copies since it was written by an eccentric Dutchwoman in 1962. Yet until last year, no one had read it in English
Can instilling a sense of entrepreneurship in pupils have a positive effect on their learning?

The school that means business

Richard Garner heads to Lancashire, where developing the 'dragons' of the future is also helping one community academy to achieve its educational goals
10 best tablets

The world in your pocket: 10 best tablets

They’re thin, they’re light, you can use them for work on the move or keeping entertained
Lutz Pfannenstiel: The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents

Lutz Pfannenstiel interview

The goalkeeper who gave up Bayern Munich for the Crazy Gang, Bradford and a whirlwind trawl across continents
Pete Jenson: Popular Jürgen Klopp can reignite Borussia Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern Munich

Pete Jenson's a Different League

Popular Klopp can reignite Dortmund’s season with visit to Bayern
John Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

Cantlie video proves that Isis expects victory in Kobani

The use of the British hostage demonstrates once again the militants' skill and originality in conducting a propaganda war, says Patrick Cockburn
The killer instinct: The man who helps students spot potential murderers

The killer instinct

Phil Chalmers travels the US warning students how to spot possible future murderers, but can his contentious methods really stop the bloodshed?
Clothing the gap: A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd

Clothing the gap

A new exhibition celebrates women who stood apart from the fashion herd
Fall of the Berlin Wall: Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain

The Fall of the Berlin Wall

Goodbye to all that - the lost world beyond the Iron Curtain