‘My life in the mafia’s shadow’: Italy’s most hunted author, Roberto Saviano

Since 2006, the acclaimed writer has lived in fear for his life, following publication of his exposé on the criminal gangs. The Observer takes a trip back to Naples with him and his minders On a Friday in autumn 2006, local newspapers and prosecutors in Italy’s south-western region of Campania received the same anonymous letter. […]

A local’s guide to Perugia, Italy: five great things to do

The ancient walls, papal fortress and creative quarter of Umbria’s 2,500-year-old capital make a happy haunt for flâneur Gianluigi Bettin A writer and walking guide living in Perugia for 12 years, Gianluigi Bettin is co-author of the Via di Francesco guidebook (Terre di Mezzo, €20). Continue reading…

Four arrested over alleged kidnap of British man in Italy

Tourist from London, 25, was apparently held captive in an apartment for eight days An Italian judge has confirmed the arrest of four people for the alleged kidnap of a 25-year-old British man. Patrick Sam Kourosh Demilecamps, from London, had been on holiday in Italy when he was allegedly kidnapped and held captive for eight […]

Italy braced for unrest as Covid pass becomes mandatory for all workers

Strictest vaccine mandate in Europe expected to bring fresh protests and leave some industries struggling with staff shortages Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Italy is bracing itself for further unrest and labour market mayhem as the strictest vaccine mandate in Europe takes effect on Friday. All workers will be obliged to […]

British man held hostage for eight days in Italy is freed by police

25-year-old tourist was found handcuffed in an apartment after parents raised alarm with National Crime Agency Italian police have freed a 25-year-old British man who was found barefooted and handcuffed in the room of an apartment where he had been held hostage for eight days. The man from London, whose name has not yet been […]

Covid live: England’s travel ‘red list’ cut to seven countries; Italy relaxes coronavirus restrictions

England to scrap quarantine travel rules for 47 destinations; Italy increases maximum attendance capacity allowed at cultural and sporting venues Coronavirus report warned of impact on UK four years before pandemic Pfizer asks US to allow Covid vaccinations for children aged 5-11 English pupils may have to wear masks again if Covid cases rise See […]

Ferran Torres double sweeps Spain past Italy and into Nations League final

So this is how it feels. After three years in charge, having claimed a European Championship and set a new world record, Roberto Mancini finally tasted defeat. After 37 games unbeaten, a run that went back to Portugal in September 2018, before the coach took over, Italy lost at last. Two goals from Manchester City’s […]

The Guardian view on Italy’s cities: leading a centre-left renaissance? | Editorial

Mayoral elections this week saw a poor turnout, but brought more good news for progressive parties following the German election The surprisingly upbeat autumn for Europe’s centre-left continues. Election wins in Germany and Norway have this week been followed up in the south, where mayoral polls in Italy delivered a string of convincing performances by […]

A million unfilled jobs – and no one to serve the Tories in Manchester

The city’s hospitality venues blame Brexit for a lack of experienced staff as the Conservative party conference arrives in town For the swanky bars and restaurants that surround Manchester Central convention complex, Conservative party conference normally means being fully staffed to meet extra demand over the busy weekend. But this year is different. Huge shortages […]

How to make tiramisu – recipe | Felicity Cloake’s masterclass

The classic, boozy Italian dessert gets the step-by-step Felicity Cloake treatment Jonathan Coe was once “politely” reprimanded by an Italian journalist for sending a character in his novel Expo 58 to a Soho trattoria for lasagne and tiramisu, a year before (depending on who you believe) the boozy dessert first appeared on menus in northern […]

Italy: bronze statue of scantily dressed woman sparks sexism row

Sculpture based on the poem The Gleaner of Sapri was unveiled by former PM Giuseppe Conte on Saturday A statue depicting a scantily dressed woman from a 19th-century poem has sparked a sexism row in Italy. The bronze statue, which portrays the woman in a transparent dress, was unveiled on Saturday during a ceremony attended […]

Richard Gere may testify in Matteo Salvini trial over rescue ship standoff

Actor helped deliver food to people onboard NGO vessel that was refused entry to Italian port by then minister Richard Gere has agreed to testify against Italy’s far-right former interior minister Matteo Salvini, who is standing trial for refusing to let a Spanish migrant rescue ship dock in an Italian port in 2019. Prosecutors in […]

On my radar: Roberto Saviano’s cultural highlights

The investigative journalist and author of Gomorrah on the delights of Mozart, the restorative tranquility of Andalusia and a lifelong love of Subbuteo Roberto Saviano is an Italian author best known for his 2006 book, Gomorrah, a no-holds-barred exposé of organised crime in Italy. Born in Naples in 1979, Saviano studied philosophy and started as […]

How to make panzanella – recipe | Felicity Cloake’s masterclass

The classic Italian bread-and-tomato salad gets a step-by-step guide to perfection Every bread-eating culture around the world has as many recipes for using up stale loaves as for bread itself: pain perdu, fattoush, roti curry … Panzanella is one of Italy’s A-team, making a virtue of the bread’s sponge-like ability to soak up flavours. This […]

Thomasina Miers’ recipe for grilled nectarine and burrata with pickled onions | The simple fix

When grilled, peaches and nectarines reveal their sweet and tender side, and make the perfect match for soft Italian cheese in a salad to ward off autumn for a little while yet Although France and Italy are just across the water, when it comes to getting the perfect peach or nectarine, it can seem as […]

Driving Ms Margolyes – A hilarious road trip through Europe in lockdown

At the height of Europe’s spring Covid wave in 2021, the filmmaker Lucy Darwin offered to drive the actor and national treasure Miriam Margolyes from her home in Italy to London so that she could film the latest series of Call The Midwife. Along the way, Miriam regaled Lucy with hilarious stories from her career […]

‘Truly peculiar’: loggerhead turtles born in most northern spot ever recorded

Nine sea turtles hatch on beach in Jesolo, Veneto, in what scientists describe as ‘exceptional’ event Eggs that were laid on a sandy beach in northern Italy by a loggerhead sea turtle, or Caretta Caretta, have hatched in what scientists describe as an “exceptional” event possibly brought on by global heating. It was the first […]

Grandmother of Eitan Biran reportedly investigated over his alleged abduction

Boy’s maternal grandfather already under investigation after cable car crash survivor, six, was taken to Israel The maternal grandmother of a six-year-old boy who is the sole survivor of a cable car crash in northern Italy is being investigated over the alleged abduction of the child after he was flown to Israel at the weekend […]

Volcanoes, gelato and canals: Italy’s great small cities chosen by readers

Baroque architecture, clifftop views and culture without the crowds feature in your pick of Italy’s lesser-known treasures A little piece of my soul was left in Polignano a Mare, a beautiful slice of real Italian life in Puglia. Pretty houses perching on clifftops overlooking emerald seas, a labyrinth of streets leading to a stunning old […]

Man sentenced over racist post after Euro 2020 final

Scott McCluskey, 43, given 14-week suspended sentence and must wear electronic tag for 40 weeks A man has been given a 14-week suspended sentence and must wear an electronic tag for 40 weeks over a racist comment directed towards black England footballers after the team’s defeat in the Euro 2020 final in July. Scott McCluskey, […]

England fans show love for Saka as Lingard doubles up in win over Andorra

As a competitive spectacle, this was predictably lacking. Andorra have made steps forward over the past five years or so but mainly in terms of restricting the number of hammerings they have suffered. All they wanted to do here was keep the scoreline down and they barely crossed the halfway line. Yet as a spectacle […]

Tokyo 2020 Paralympics briefing: an Italy sweep and Brazil football gold

Sign up here and receive the Tokyo 2020 daily briefing Today in a nutshell: an Italian clean sweep closes out the day’s athletics action, Brazil take five-a-side football gold (again), there’s a dominant British paracanoe display but a tough potential end to Alfie Hewett’s Paralympic career in wheelchair tennis. Sunday’s key moments: there are still […]

Italy could soon make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory, says PM

Mario Draghi’s announcement sparks row in country where protests and violence from anti-vaxxers are on the rise Coronavirus – latest updates See all our coronavirus coverage Italy’s prime minister has announced his government could make Covid-19 vaccines mandatory, sparking a row in the country that has seen a recent rise in protests and violence from […]

How street art is helping young migrants paint a brighter future in Italy

An innovative community project has brightened buildings, ‘brought people together’ and provided an emotional outlet after traumatic journeys Jadhav*, 18, from Bangladesh, arrived in Italy 10 months ago, but is still haunted by memories of his journey with people smugglers across the Mediterranean Sea. “There were 156 people packed into a small boat. There were […]

Desertification is turning the Earth barren – but a solution is still within reach | David R Montgomery

The expansion of drylands is leaving entire countries facing famine. It’s time to change the way we think about agriculture David R Montgomery is professor of geomorphology at the University of Washington, and author of Dirt: The Erosion of Civilizations and Growing a Revolution: Bringing Our Soil Back to Life This summer’s record-setting heatwaves and […]

Gareth Southgate urges England to avoid ‘swanning around’ after Euros run

Manager wants side to keep up strong form in Hungary Jadon Sancho a doubt for Thursday’s World Cup qualifier Gareth Southgate has called for focus and humility when England visit Hungary in World Cup qualifying on Thursday night, telling his team not to start “swanning around” after their exploits at Euro 2020. England’s manager has […]

Jorginho’s golden touch makes him invaluable presence in Chelsea revival | Jacob Steinberg

Recognition is finally arriving for the Italy midfielder after winning the Champions League and Euro 2020 Even Jorginho finds the idea that he could win the Ballon d’Or this year hard to accept. He did not take it as an insult when he heard Antonio Cassano, the former Italy striker, say that any journalist who […]

Alleged Italian drugs kingpin linked to stolen Van Goghs arrested in Dubai

Raffaele Imperiale, suspected of buying Van Gogh paintings on black market, considered one of Italy’s most dangerous fugitives One of Italy’s most wanted men, an alleged top drug trafficker suspected of having bought two stolen Van Gogh paintings on the black market, has been arrested in Dubai. Raffaele Imperiale, an alleged kingpin in the Naples-based […]