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: Sounds Baroque, Conversazioni I: Cantatas From A Cardinal's Court (Avie)

Conversazioni I presents a programme of baroque pieces reflecting the patronage of Cardinal Pietro Ottoboni, a well-connected young Venetian related to Pope Alexander VII who chose to indulge his passion for music through copious commissions of Albinoni, Handel, and both Scarlattis.

That sinking feeling: What would the death of Venice mean for all of us?

Venetians have long lived in fear of rising sea levels. As global warming threatens the city's future, what would the death of Venice mean for all of us?

The Venice Biennale, Various Venues, Venice

Who are the winners in Venice? Scotland, New Zealand and a French piece of child's play

54th Venice Biennale: Tapping the light fantastic

The 54th Venice Biennale presents an array of contemporary art that is as dazzling as the city in which it is displayed, says Laura McLean-Ferris

I, Impostor, British Pavilion, Venice

Mike Nelson has done rooms within rooms before – but here the result is scary, apocalyptic, and one of the triumphs of this year's Venice Biennale

Venetian mask: Azerbaijan censors its own Biennale entry

The Azerbaijan government has staged a literal cover-up at this year's Venice Biennale, the world's most high-profile showcase of contemporary art, by hiding the work of one of its own artists beneath a piece of cloth.

Truth to Tell by Mavis Cheek

Nina Porter is being driven to distraction by her husband Robert's self-righteous rants on the subject of evil bankers and corrupt politicians. According to Nina, the world wouldn't go round without the odd porky-pie. In a bid to illustrate what a fib-free life might actually look like, Nina determines to spend a week telling the truth. But as Cheek's high concept farce so winningly points out, honesty isn't always the best solution.

How Anish Kapoor's Venice installation went up in smoke

Visitors left confused after artist's critique of the 'immaterial' simply fails to function

London Map Fair: the landscape of time

Europe's largest antiquarian map fair opens in London next week, providing a glimpse of the creative ways cartographers drew the landscape hundreds of years ago.

Travel by Numbers: Venice

As La Serenissima gets set for the Biennale arts exhibition, Laura Holt paints the city by numbers

Great Works: The Crucifixion 1565 (518cm x 1,224 cm), Tintoretto

Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Venice

The Pursuit of Italy, By David Gilmour

From outer space Italy looks more like a country than any of its neighbours, but Metternich's jibe that it was purely "a geographical expression" has infuriated Italian nationalists for generations. The reason is that Metternich was right. In this well-researched and engaging canter through the peninsula's history, David Gilmour claims that only two Italians between ancient times and the 19th century entertained the idea that Italy was, or might be, or ought to be a unified country: Virgil, the myth-making epic poet, and Machiavelli, some 14 centuries later.

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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
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Prices correct as of 19 December 2014
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas