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Food & Drink: Welsh cure for a Sardinian cheese: Giovanni Irranca found retirement boring, so he took up making pecorino, writes Emily Green

RETIREMENT bored Giovanni Irranca. So when he gave up running a parade of foodshops 10 months ago at the age of 64, he took up cheese-making: ricotta and several different cures of pecorino. And very respectable cheeses they are, too. These are yet more exotic foodstuffs from the fecund Italian nation-state called Wales. However, unlike so many Welsh-Italians - the ice-cream makers, the owners of the Bracchi cafes, even the Berni brothers - Mr Irranca is not from Bardi in the province of Parma. He is Sardinian, from the mountainous Santu-Lussurgiu.

Ministry of fun shows its polish

STANDING amid the soft grey fabric-covered walls and the clean-lined Arts and Crafts-inspired furniture in English walnut, Peter Brooke, Secretary of State for National Heritage, seemed to feel a need to justify himself, writes Amanda Baillieu.

Travel: Roadside treasure: In France, put a bateau-lit in the boot, says Liam Davies

FORGET Portobello Road. The smart money in antiques is moving to France, and not to the horribly overpriced antiquites shops, not even to the slightly downmarket brocante stores, but to one of France's best kept secrets, les Depots de Vente d'Occasion.

Health Update: Health nuts

WALNUTS are excellent for the heart, according to a study from researchers at Loma Linda University, California. In trials involving two groups of healthy men on medically recommended cholesterol-lowering diets, they found that the diet which included a moderate quantity of walnuts was more effective in reducing blood cholesterol levels.

Gardening: Feast your eyes on gold, fire and ice: From traditional holly and ivy to candles, glitter and bowls of melting magnificence, Anna Pavord explains a few simple ways to create luxurious Christmas tables

The transient nature of Christmas decorations is a huge advantage, especially when it comes to building a table centrepiece. You need not worry about how it will look the next day: this is a one-night stand.

Expensive souvenirs from the big house: Country house sales can be great fun. But private buyers rarely pick up bargains, says John Windsor

THE TRADE lay in wait last week as the country house auction season reached its peak. Private bidders flocked to the sales for a day out - and probably a day out of pocket. Illegal dealers' rings were poised to raise private bids sky-high, then leave them in mid- air. Jocular auctioneers beat their way through fag-end lots of kitchen tat as seekers after souvenirs of 'the big house' sent prices spiralling. In corners of panelled rooms, country auctioneers whispered congratulations over lots that had been 'got away', never having belonged to the big house at all.

Motoring: Basking in the Shadow's glow: Walnut, leather, silky silence: James Ruppert is sorely tempted by a pounds 5,000 Rolls-Royce

OWNERSHIP of a Rolls-Royce was once described by The Motor as 'the goal of all civilised men'. These days, anyone with up to pounds 10,000 to spare can join this gentleman's club, whether civilised or not. The walnut, leather and silky silence on wheels now belongs to the masses - and a Rolls-Royce can make more sense than any number of executive expresses: most depreciate like stones and have all the presence of a jelly mould.

Kurdish rebels kill own kind for revenge

BULLET-RIDDLED bodies of Kurdish men, women and children lay before the smouldering rubble of this mountain village yesterday, another gory lesson that there is nothing simple or compromising about the direction of Turkey's increasingly ugly Kurdish conflict.
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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
Minoan Crete and Santorini
Prices correct as of 1 May 2015
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before