Italy’s highest-paid heart-throb, Mastroianni as Guido Anselmi, a film director in ‘creative limbo’

How Fellini made his modernist masterpiece

11 April 2015 9:00 am

Ian Thomson on the creative limbo that spawned Fellini’s modernist masterpiece, 8½

Let there be light: Saint Peter’s at dawn

Rise early to see the Vatican at its best

28 March 2015 9:00 am

The sun has only just risen in Rome and we are standing bleary-eyed in a short queue outside the Vatican.…

An earthquake with a Baroque legacy in Sicily

21 February 2015 9:00 am

Syracuse is a handsome place, steeped in a rich historical broth. At the tip sits Ortygia, an island offshoot, which…

The Magna Carta was hopelessly behind the times

7 February 2015 9:00 am

Important as the Magna Carta (ad 1215) has been as a founding myth for everything we hold dear about law…

The Sixtus V cabinet: the supreme example of the art of pietra dura

Cabinet of curiosity: we do not even know for sure the maker of the Sixtus Cabinet at Stourhead

7 February 2015 9:00 am

Italian cabinets and tables decorated with inlaid semi-precious stones known as ‘pietre dure’ were a ‘must-have’ for English milords returning…

Rome, Open City still shocks

15 March 2014 9:00 am

Roberto Rossellini shot his neorealist landmark Rome, Open City while the war still raged and rubble littered the freshly liberated…

Hadrian on the Somerset levels

22 February 2014 9:00 am

Since the Somerset Levels are a flood plain, nature will flood it. Romans had no problems with that. Much of…

Marble portrait of Augustus, c.40 BC

What Emperor Augustus left us

15 February 2014 9:00 am

Roderick Conway Morris on the influence and legacy of Augustus

The death of Tory Anglicanism

23 November 2013 9:00 am

Women bishops, gay marriage, and the death of Tory Anglicanism

Italo Calvino's essays, Collection of Sand, is a brainy delight

26 October 2013 9:00 am

The Japanese are sometimes said to suffer from ‘outsider person shock’ (gaijin shokku) when travelling abroad. Recently in London we…

Romans always love a Vatican scandal. But what if this time they're right?

27 July 2013 9:00 am

The people of Rome have always liked to believe the worst of their bishop. When I was a correspondent in…

An ice-cream war

1 June 2013 9:00 am

The Antica Roma is an ice-cream shop near the Spanish Steps in Rome; recently, it served four English tourists called…

Exhibitions: Tiziano

25 May 2013 9:00 am

‘When Titian paints eyes,’ observed Eugène Delacroix, who spent a lifetime admiring, studying and copying the Venetian artist, ‘they are…

The dirty dozen

2 June 2012 7:00 pm

I have this fantasy in which I’m the Emperor Nero. I’m relaxing in my toga, and there are these slave…

On the way to the forum

7 April 2012 11:00 am

In 150 BC, Cato the Elder arrived in the Senate House in Rome with an eye-catching basket of figs. This…

Wizard of the Baroque

10 December 2011 10:00 am

Jonathan Keates celebrates Gian Lorenzo Bernini, the rebarbative genius who refashioned Rome

The scandal that inspired La Dolce Vita

13 August 2011 12:00 am

A new account of a classic Italian mystery

City of miracles

25 June 2011 12:00 am

A mysterious head injury left the young Ian Thomson unconscious in his flat in the Via Salaria. But decades later, his affection for Rome remains undiminished

Ancient and modern

11 December 2010 12:00 am

There is no point in Mr Cameron snooping into how happy we are unless he believes government can do something about it.

Rome on the skids

18 March 2009 12:00 am

The Fall of the West: The Death of the Roman Superpower, by Adrian Goldsworthy The Ruin of the Roman Empire, by James O’Donnell