Italy

‘Madonna del Parto’ fresco in Monterchi by Piero della Francesca

On the trail of Piero della Francesca

27 February 2016 9:00 am

Piero della Francesca is today acknowledged as one of the foundational artists of the Renaissance. Aldous Huxley thought his ‘Resurrection’…

Fairytale pretty: the island of Monte Isola

The world is about to discover the wonders of Lake Iseo

16 January 2016 9:00 am

If you’ve never heard of Lake Iseo, you’re not alone. Nestling shyly between chocolate-box Como and glamorous Garda, the smallest…

A trullo: kids love them

Stone houses and packed beaches: the pleasures of Puglia

2 January 2016 9:00 am

If Italy is the elegant, over-the-knee boot plunged into the Mediterranean, then Puglia is the narrow peninsula that forms its…

Illustration by beatrice forshall

Is the Slender-billed curlew already extinct?

2 January 2016 9:00 am

This unusual book is beautifully written, produced and illustrated, but its subject — the small Slender-billed curlew — is strangely…

Can this year’s Gesualdo celebrations be about the music rather than the blood and gore?

2 January 2016 9:00 am

The allure of Carlo Gesualdo, eighth Count of Conza and third Prince of Venosa, has been felt by music-lovers from…

Mussolini wanted it straightened

Beyond the Leaning Tower: the wonders of Pisa

12 December 2015 9:00 am

Say ‘Pisa’ and everyone thinks of the Leaning Tower. Fair enough; it’s a curiosity, and the tourist board must be…

Cable cars, cheese and chic on the quieter side of the Alps

17 October 2015 9:00 am

‘It sounds like you’re having an Ann Summers party up there,’ a male traveller called, as our group erupted into…

Still from the documentary ‘Palio’: a medieval rite at once nonsensical and puerile, and yet profoundly alive and meaningful

Palio exposes the bribery and violence that lies at the heart of Siena’s lawless ritual

19 September 2015 8:00 am

If you don’t want to spend hundreds of euros on a good seat, the best place to watch the Palio…

Siena shows that northern Italy is just better at getting drunk

12 September 2015 9:00 am

The Indian summer was still fending off the mists and mellow fruitfulness. But the autumn term was about to begin;…

Italy is so civilised! Even at a mad dash

29 August 2015 9:00 am

I sprinted through Milan station, speed-read the departures monitor without stopping, and arrived gasping on platform 8 with two minutes…

Please don’t faint: Florence at sunset

The first things you should do in Florence

25 July 2015 9:00 am

The British have always been in love with Florence. First visits cannot disappoint. One friend recalls being herded around as…

Venetian restaurants know I’m English from the back

25 July 2015 9:00 am

The Gatto Nero — or ‘Black Cat’ — is in Burano, a tiny island in the Venetian lagoon. It is…

Portrait of the week

20 June 2015 9:00 am

Home Talha Asmal, aged 17, from Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, died in a suicide bomb attack on forces near an oil…

Welcome to Italy: this is what a real immigration crisis looks like

20 June 2015 9:00 am

Let us suppose that along the coast of Normandy up to one million non-EU migrants are waiting to be packed…

How very English: picnics at Glyndebourne

Country house picnics (with some ace opera attached)

20 June 2015 9:00 am

I stole a blanket last night. Rather a nice one, in fact. I feel bad about it, of course, but…

My new plan: let’s pay people benefits for not moving here

30 May 2015 9:00 am

Yet another exciting discovery from the world of Islamic science. As you are probably aware, Islamic culture has always paid…

Power couple: 'Dave and Sam' (Photo: Getty)

What Italy made of the result of the British general election (not much)

16 May 2015 9:00 am

On election day I was in Puglia in the ‘heel’ of Italy, where interest in British politics could hardly be…

How Lampedusa copes when the migrant ships come in

2 May 2015 9:00 am

 Lampedusa The young hang about in packs or speed around town, two to a scooter. Old women group together on…

Carl Jung meets David Icke (and writes a book of bonkers business-speak)

25 April 2015 9:00 am

What do you get if you cross renegade psychoanalyst Carl Jung with lizard-men conspiracist David Icke? It is a question…

Cameron led calls to remove Gaddafi. Why is he silent on Libya's drowning refugees?

18 April 2015 9:00 am

One Friday, 28 people were rescued by the Italian coastguard when the boat on which they were fleeing Libya capsized in…

Italy’s highest-paid heart-throb, Mastroianni as Guido Anselmi, a film director in ‘creative limbo’

How Fellini made his modernist masterpiece

11 April 2015 9:00 am

Federico Fellini’s La Dolce Vita was a box-office triumph in Italy in 1960. It made $1.5 million at the box…

Let there be light: Saint Peter’s at dawn

Rise early to see the Vatican at its best

28 March 2015 9:00 am

The sun has only just risen in Rome and we are standing bleary-eyed in a short queue outside the Vatican.…

Calm and colourful: Burano

How to walk along canals in Venice without feeling like a tourist

7 February 2015 9:00 am

I arrived in Venice believing it would reek of sewage. It didn’t. The walk into the centre went through cobbled…

Nicole Minetti (with statutory sunglasses) in Milan in 2011. The bunga-bunga girl, catapulted into politics by Berlusconi, was accused of aiding and abetting prostitution and submitting fraudulent expenses

Good time girls: Italian women prefer sunglasses to babies, according to Nicholas Farrell

7 February 2015 9:00 am

Like so many Britons who chased the dream and woke up in Italy I have contemplated writing a book about…

Nigel Farage’s diary: How I survived Dry January

31 January 2015 9:00 am

Dry January is tougher than it sounds. Well, for me anyway. It’s now been some 28 days since I’ve had…