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?

Christ And The Adulteress (1508-10) Titian

Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow
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Independent Travel
Pompeii, Capri & the Bay of Naples
Seven Cities of Italy
Burgundy, the River Rhone & Provence
Prague, Budapest and Vienna
Lake Garda
3.	Provence 6 nights B&B by train from £599pp
Prices correct as of 12 March 2015
No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor