Italy’s culture minister Dario Franceschini with two recovered paintings, by Paul Gauguin (work on left) and Pierre Bonnard, at a news conference in Rome yesterday. Photograph: Tony Gentile/Reuters

Giovanni Nicolo has every reason to believe that 40 years ago he landed the bargain of a lifetime at a lost property auction in Turin’s Porta N(...)

A building on Sean McDermott St in Dublin which is reported to have been used as a Magdalene laundry. Photograph: Eric Luke.

Claims made by the Vatican in a submission to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) last December were so inaccu(...)

Newly elected Pope Francis I waves to the waiting crowd from the central balcony of St Peter’s Basilica on March 13th, 2013. Photograph: Getty

I was on the phone when it happened. There in the Vatican’s Paul VI Hall temporary media centre, me and thousands of the 5,600 media accredited(...)

Italian former prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (right), flanked by his girlfriend Francesca Pascale. Photograph: Alberton Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

Will true love triumph over all? Is there any truth to insistent media speculation that 77-year-old Silvio Berlusconi is about to marry his “of(...)

Italy’s prime minister Matteo Renzi speaks during a confidence vote at the senate in Rome yesterday. Photograph: Remo Casilli/Reuters

On the morning after winning his first vote of confidence in the Italian senate, newly appointed Italian prime minister Matteo Renzi began the (...)

A view of St Peter’s Square in the Vatican. Photograph: Alessandro Bianchi/Reuters.

A survey of over 12,000 Catholics across five continents finds most disagree with some of the fundamental tenets of church teaching, primarily those o(...)

Crowds gather at  St Peter’s Square in the Vatican at the weekend.   One senior Vatican figure has said the reopening of an Irish Embassy to the Holy See will  mark “the end of a painful period” in relations. Photograph: Maurizio Brambatti/EPA

The announcement that the Government intends to reopen the Irish Embassy to the Holy See in Rome has been greeted with immediate satisfaction by Vatic(...)

Meeting the faithful: Pope Francis greets the crowd as he arrives for his general audience at St Peter’s Square . Photograph:  Vincenzo Pinto/AFP/Getty Images

Nine months into the pontificate of Pope Francis, a revealing metropolitan myth has taken hold in Rome. Namely that once a week the pope removes his w(...)

Candles are lit by the public at the vigil at Eyre Square in Galway city in October  to mark the first anniversary of the death of Savita Halappanavar. Photograph: Joe O’Shaughnessy

Within the timeframe of the past 70 years, good journalism has never been so important. Events, conflicts, great uncertainty and a deluge of questi(...)

Criminal’s cortege: anti-fascist demonstrators shout as the hearse carrying the coffin of Erich Priebke passes through Albano Laziale, near Rome. Photograph: Yara Nardi/Reuters

Has Italy fully confronted the horrors of its Nazi-fascist past? That question was prompted this week by the sight of neo-fascists saluting in honour (...)

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