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

A Taste of Venice: At Table with Brunetti, By Donna Leon

Consumption plays a prominent part in Donna Leon's Commissario Brunetti novels. This is fair enough since the detective's beat takes him down the mean canals of Venice, where culinary temptations (with recipes by Roberta Pianaro) are somewhat more frequent than in Marlowe's LA.

Nocturnes: Five Stories of Music and Nightfall, By Kazuo Ishiguro

If time is the true subject matter of any fiction writer – how time changes, or fails to change us – few novelists can make it the subject matter itself without slipping into cliché. But time has always been Kazuo Ishiguro's forte. Most revered for The Remains of the Day, he plays with time exquisitely; past, present, future are his key notes, which he rearranges at will. These "quintets" read like the wise novelist having fun in experimentation.

Little Italy: Mark Hix serves up a feast of bite-sized venetian snacks

I know I wrote about tapas a few weeks ago, but what's really catching on these days is serving small plates of Italian food. These delicious cicchetti, as they are known, are served during the early evening in the bars of Venice – with a glass of wine, naturally.

The Solitude of Prime Numbers, By Paolo Giordano

This best-sellling Italian novel of childhood tragedy and its legacy treads a fine line between pathos and bathos. Paolo Giordano sparingly employs the lonely music of the primes as a symbol of post-traumatic grief.

Renato Brunetta: On a mission to save La Serenissima

Short in stature but big on work ethic, Italy's ambitious 'mini-minister' is after a second job – as mayor of Venice. Peter Popham reports

Peter Popham: A high-water mark of tourist culture

Venice Notebook: Waiters splosh through the winding <I>calle </I>dressed in dinner jacket, bow tie and galoshes

24-Hour Room Service: Hotel Danieli Riva degli Schiavoni, 4196, Venice, Italy

Let's get the cost question out of the way right at the start. The Danieli is not cheap. In fact it's phenomenally expensive. The cheapest double room at the lowest point of the low season is €280. That rises to €510 a night in peak season. The most expensive double room in peak season comes in at €925. And then there are the suites ....

Luxury bargains: Italy in winter

When I last checked, Rome’s Colosseum and the Sistine chapel in the Vatican had not changed. Up in the north of Italy in this magical, majestic land, Venice's Grand Canal still retained the allure that has enticed travellers down the centuries.

Love Italian? We reveal the secrets of Venetian cuisine

Forget piles of pasta and dustbin-lid sized pizza. The small but beautiful secret of Venetian cuisine has arrived. Simon Usborne says 'Ciao!'

Verdi Otello, London Symphony Orchestra &amp; Chorus/ Davis, Barbican Hall, London

The real “Lion of Venice” here was Sir Colin Davis – 80-something going on 40-something and every inch the commander in chief as the mighty storm at the outset of Verdi’s Otello exploded from the Barbican platform.

Funeral held for Venetians' 'dying city'

Two-thirds of city's natives driven out by flood of tourists who force up prices

BFI London Film Festival: The capital projects a sharper festival

The capital's celebration of cinema has had a troubled history. But, aided by a cash injection, it is at last shedding its B-movie status, says Kaleem Aftab

Turner and the Masters: Competitive streak

There's nothing like rivalry to inspire great art. A new exhibition exploring Turner's debt to fellow artists finds he surpasses most of them, says Michael Glover

Venice Film Festival, Venice

Where else could you see Jane Birkin walk a tightrope?

Venice Film Festival - More highs than lows on the Lido

With politics, pilgrimages and Pixar on the menu, not to mention a gondola fleet of glamorous stars, this year's Venice Film Festival has been a return to form. About time too, says Geoffrey Macnab
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Independent Travel
Vietnam & Cambodia
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Prices correct as of 17 October 2014
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