In a word...

Those of us from the West and familiar with the word Portiuncula all of our lives, not least as we have had relatives born at that hospital in Ballina(...)

Tee-up in Taormina, Sicily
  • Travel
  • January 26, 2015, 07:00

The Dom spread his hands and gave me the most Sicilian of shrugs. He then proceeded to make me several offers I found hard to refuse. First, he(...)

Santa Maria in Dalkey, Dublin: planning application for 18 houses has met with objections from locals

Following a nine-year planning debacle, and the passing of ownership three times, will Allied Land Investments finally develop the controversial Santa(...)

 Spanish cyclist Alberto Contador of the Tinkoff-Saxo team celebrates on the podium after taking the overall leader’s red jersey following the tenth stage of the Vuelta a Espana cycling race. Photograph: Javier Lizon/EPA

Alberto Contador stormed into the leader’s red jersery in the Vuelta a Espana after Nairo Quintana crashed and Chris Froome lost more time to his riv(...)

“Euros would be useless as a currency, and I had forgotten to furnish myself with a supply of coloured beads.” Photograph: Switzerland Tourism/

I thought John Cleese summed up mountaineering rather well in a Monty Python sketch. “Kilimanjaro can be a pretty tricky climb, you know,” he said. “I(...)

With Rome bracing itself for an influx of an estimated 1 million tourists and pilgrims, Italian Water Police patrol the Tiber river close to the Vatican City area. Photograph: Claudio Peri/EPA.

Sainthood is all very well but at the end of this historic Roman weekend who is going to pick up the tab? The man asking that very practical qu(...)

The restored St Francis Basilica in Assis. Photograph: Paolo Cocco/Reuters
The basilicas of Assisi

I suppose it was inevitable that I would go to Assisi at some stage to pay my respects to Saint Francis. Not only do I bear his name, but he’s also pa(...)

Pope Francis stands with Andry Nirina Rajoelina, president of Madagascar, during their private audience in the Vatican yesterday. Photograph: Vincenzo Pinto/Reuters

Things ain’t quite what they used to be, down at the Domus Santa Marta residence in the Vatican. For a start, there is a deal of commotion ever(...)

According to several survivors, the fire, which engulfed the Kiss nightclub in the university town of Santa Maria, started when the band on stage lit flares as part of their act.

Prosecutors have charged four people with manslaughter for their roles in a nightclub fire that killed 241 people in southern Brazil in Januar(...)

The best time to visit Venice
  • Travel
  • March 16, 2013, 06:00

March is the best month to visit Venice, with the lowest number of tourists and the best room rates – even at the newly reopened and restored 1(...)