Handout provided by the Swiss police shows what they believe to be the Ritratto di Isabella d’Este by Leonardo da Vinci. Italian investigators  have seized the  portrait from a Swiss vault after a tip-off. Photograph: Ticino police handout/Reuters

Italian investigators are looking into how a priceless masterpiece by Leonardo da Vinci may have ended up in a bank vault in the Swiss city of Lugano.(...)

Pope Francis during a visit to a refugee camp this week in Rome. Photograph:  Osservatore Romano/AFP/Getty Images

The Holy See’s Commission for the Protection of Minors officially acknowledged yesterday that one of the first issues it intends to address is “bish(...)

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst: the bishop made world headlines two years ago when details of a €30 million renovation project for the bishop’s palace were revealed. Photograph: Boris Roessler/EPA

Franz-Peter Tebartz-van Elst, the so-called “Bishop of Bling” who was removed from the diocese of Limburg in Germany because of his lavish spending on(...)

Sex abuse survivor Marie Collins has admitted to feeling frustrated by the slow pace set by the Holy See’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, of which she is a member. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters.

Sex abuse survivor Marie Collins has admitted to feeling frustrated by the slow pace set by the Holy See’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of(...)

Daughter and mother, Ginnie and Liz Power from Maynooth, Co Kildare with Roman Gladiators. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

As a typical February monsoon soaked the Eternal City, Irish rugby fans remained unfazed.Sitting in the otherwise deserted “al fresco” footpath sectio(...)

The Irish Times’ Generation Emigration project is on the hunt for the best Irish pub in the world outside Ireland. Why? Because the best Irish pubs(...)

Pope Francis in the Vatican yesterday. Photograph: Andrew Medichini/AFP/Getty Images

On the eve of the first plenary session of the Vatican’s Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors, Pope Francis yesterday sought to boost it(...)

Pope Francis smiles as he arrives to lead the general audience in Paul VI’s hall at the Vatican yesterday. Photograph:  Reuters/Osservatore Romano

It is not often that a Vatican Pontifical Council opts to kick off its annual plenary session in a downtown Rome theatre with a nice little nightclub (...)

 Former Italian Premier Silvio Berlusconi: “If someone was willing to stay behind after dinner and have sex with prime minister Berlusconi, then they would be paid more,” a woman told a court in Italy this week. Photograph:  EPA/Angelo Carconi

Not for the first time in recent years, former Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi has featured in a court case relative to the “after hours” ho(...)

New Italian president Sergio Mattarella arrives at the Constitutional Court in Rome. Photograph:  Ettore Ferrari/EPA

For Sergio Matarella, the man elected today as Italy’s 12th president, all changed on the morning of January 6th, 1980. That was the day when a Cosa N(...)