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Grape expectations: Languedoc-Roussillon has focused on producing better wines over the past 25 years

Great views, great wines. Is it really the Languedoc?

This area of France is famed for plonk. Yet, its winemakers have raised their game. Forget your preconceptions and take a tour, says Andy Lynes

Inside Europe

Eternal splendour: St Peter's Basilica never fails to draw crowds keen to see its spiritual and architectural wonders

City Slicker: Rome - Italy's unique capital city

Sunday, 24 May 2009

The sun-bathed days of early summer reveal Italy’s first city in all its glory. Rachel Spence suggests what to see and do in Rome.

The attractions of some of the ports of call, including St Petersburg, will 
definitely keep the children entertained

This could be the ultimate stress-free family holiday

Sunday, 24 May 2009

The teenagers want a base with full amenities, you want a bit of culture. The answer? Take the resort to the sights on a cruise, says Suzanne Cadisch

Elgin Marbles question renewed as Athens museum opens

Saturday, 23 May 2009

The long-overdue New Acropolis Museum is now scheduled to open in Athens on 20 June. However, the impact will be felt most acutely in Bloomsbury, central London, as one of Britain's longest-running international disputes takes a potentially decisive turn.

Tom Hanks stars in the film version of Dan Brown's Angels & Demons

Travel by numbers: Rome

Saturday, 23 May 2009

Angels or demons? As the Red Devils await the Champions League final, Ben Ross keeps score in the Eternal City

Each of the 46 rooms is filled with individual furniture pieces from around 80 design sources worldwide

24-Hour Room Service: Lydmar, Stockholm, Sweden

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Stockholm is an old city with a distinctly modern outlook, so it's a delight to find a hotel there that fits the same description. The Lydmar, housed in a former archive building (built in 1829) of the Swedish National Museum, announces its youthful sensibilities with a pair of faintly ridiculous moose-head-shaped lamps either side of the front door, which is otherwise unmarked. Sandwiched between said museum and the considerably larger and more conservative Grand Hotel, it's like the hipster offspring of these two doddery old dears.

Surf's up: Dan Poole takes the plunge

Biarrit is the perfect place for novice surfers to catch their first waves

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Lawrence Dallaglio is on my plane. As I sit waiting for take-off, the former England and Wasps rugby player comes lumbering down the aisle, struggling to fit his massive frame between the seats.

Travel challenge: A week in the Italian Lakes

Saturday, 16 May 2009

Every week we invite competing companies to give us their best deal for a particular holiday. Today: a seven-night break in the Italian Lakes, departing in the first week of July. Prices are for two people travelling together.

On The Road: A wedding day the Neapolitan way

Saturday, 16 May 2009

My sister Barbara's wedding day starts at a high-rise in Napoli's lawless suburbs and ends with a pop video screened at Villa Soglia, a Bourbon-era mansion on the southern lava fields of Vesuvius. The film Miseria e nobiltà (Poverty and Nobility) starring Totò and Sophia Loren was a matrimonial farce based on class. Today's comedy of manners, with its five-strong media team, is a paean to celebrity culture, Neapolitan style.

Moscow will host the Eurovision Song Contest this year following Russia's victory in 2008 with Dima Bilan's Believe

Travel by numbers: Moscow

Saturday, 16 May 2009

As the Russian capital prepares to welcomes Eurovision's, er, finest voices, Ben Ross fills out the city's scorecard

These villages, each unique, boast some unbeatable French cuisine, fascinating history, marvellous architecture, and above all, some of the most breathtaking views you will find along this stretch of coast

The hilltop villages of the Cote d’Azur

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Visiting the hilltop villages of the beautiful Cote d'Azur, you discover a respect for the people of the South of France. Even back in the 11th Century when many of these sights were discovered, they had a pretty good idea of bliss.

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Columnist Comments


Johann Hari: We owe it to do right by the Kenyan victims of British brutality

There remains a blood-encrusted blank spot when it comes to Empire


Steve Richards: We may all be victims of this debacle

I fear the long-term consequences: rotting schools and useless hospitals


Andreas Whittam Smith: Why I mourn the loss

I regret that another batch of old building society names will shortly vanish from high streets

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