Italians are feeling upbeat about their health and can expect to live a long life despite their economic worries, according to the latest government statistics released on Tuesday.
Did you know that cannons are fired in Rome to celebrate the birth of baby Jesus, or that Italians ski down the slopes bearing flaming torches each Christmas Eve? For details of these and other festive traditions, check out The Local's list.
Help hotlines across Sweden are preparing themselves for what is typically one of the busiest periods of year.
Norwegians have a reputation for being fitness freaks - and many plan to keep up their good habits over Christmas, a new survey shows, with one in five planning to hit the gym.
American radio legend Casey Kasem was buried last week in Oslo, six months after his death, it has emerged. The burial followed a long and bitter dispute between his widow and his children over the cause of his death.
Those dreaming of a white Christmas in France are unlikely to get what they've been hoping for, but there is one region which could turn into a winter wonderland before the New Year. Here’s France’s weather review for the Christmas period.
A breeder in Düsseldorf has offered a €10,000 reward after thieves stole a homing pigeon worth €150,000 from his aviary.
Many workers in Norwegian car washes work in “slave-like” conditions, with illegal activity such as human trafficking and illegal immigration found in 90 percent of establishments, official inspections have shown.
The royal palace of Fredrick the Great in Berlin is to fully reopen to visitors on Boxing Day after a 4.5 million euro refit.
Swedish footballing superstar has expressed his dissatisfaction at being ranked as the second best sports star in Swedish history. "Being second is as good as coming last," he said.
Conductor and pianist Daniel Barenboim has become the latest artist to interrupt a concert to tick off the audience for taking photographs, slamming flash-happy fans at Milan's prestigious opera house as "badly educated".
Bertolt Brecht's statue in front of the Berliner Ensemble theatre was splattered with potato salad by pranksters early on Tuesday morning, in a protest against supposed gentrification of the capital by wealthy southerners.
The ruins of Pompeii are being restored with the aid of a most unlikely source – thieves with a conscience who are returning fragments once stolen from the ancient Roman city.
Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé, famous for her 'Barcelona' duet with Freddy Mercury, later used as the official anthem of the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, will escape prison after coming to an agreement with Spain’s public prosecutor over tax fraud charges.
France has reacted to three shocking attacks on members of the public and police officers by deciding to deploy up to 300 extra soldiers over Christmas.
Italian police have seized more than 60 tonnes of seasonal pastries and sweets in a nationwide campaign targeting fraudulent food producers ahead of Christmas.
The EU should demand that Romania meets its membership obligations and prioritizes its destitute people ahead of 'pharaoh-esque' building projects, the Liberal Party's Jenny Sonesson argues.
Sweden's weather agency has predicted a white Christmas for the Swedish capital, with snow expected to fall on Christmas Eve.
A group of migrants took advantage of seasonal traditions by hiding in a truck load of Christmas trees in a bid to make it from France to the UK.
A blaze at one of Berlin's biggest Christmas markets has caused locals to wonder if the place is cursed.
In our weekly feature series, The Local looks into a successful entrepreneur's life - the story behind their successes, major challenges and how being an entrepreneur changed them forever. This week, Sparsh Sharma talks to Bertram Meyer, one of the four German co-founders of Taulia.
Two painted chow chow dogs posing as pandas have been seized from a circus in northern Italy, after tricking children into handing over cash, police have said.
From telegram bills to tapestry touch-ups, the budget for the Spanish parliament is full of surprises once you scratch below the surface.
A severed head of an elk has been found in a parking lot in Ringenäs in western Sweden, the third such find in recent years and which has left locals baffled.
Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and Prime Minister Matteo Renzi were to be the targets of deadly terrorism attacks allegedly planned by members of a banned neo-fascist network, police claimed on Monday.
Judges and civil servants across the country have criticized the appalling conditions at many Spanish courts, warning that staff are being put at serious risk.
Two frightening incidents in two days of drivers ploughing into pedestrians in France has left authorities fearing there may be more copycat attacks, even if they insist they were not terrorist acts. An emergency government meeting was called on Tuesday.
Those spending Christmas in France this year might want to baste their turkey with Vitamin C and avoid off-piste skiing as GPs in L'Hexagone begin a weeklong strike on Tuesday. Here's what you should do if you do fall ill.
A leaked government report shows that security authorities believe the threat of a terrorist attack in Germany is higher than at any time since the late 1970s.
Those hoping for a traditional white Christmas in Germany are going to be disappointed, with weathermen saying Tuesday the current wet, windy and stormy weather is set to stay.
Wiener Linien, which is responsible for public transport, including buses, trams and the subway in Austria's capital city, confirmed on Monday that they have raised the alert level of their internal security system to level 2 (yellow).
The man who was shot and killed by the South Zealand and Lolland-Falster Police on Sunday is a 23-year-old who led police on a dramatic car chase in a stolen car.
Danes’ homes are broken into during the Christmas season at a rate four time higher than normal.
The plan to cull eight wolves in the county of Dalarna in central Sweden has been halted following legal challenges from animal conservation groups.
Pope Francis lambasted the Vatican's bureaucracy on Monday, saying some within the Church lusted for power and suffered from "spiritual Alzheimer's" in comments likely to outrage his adversaries.
Spain's new King Felipe is to give his first annual Christmas speech on Wednesday but many Spaniards will only be tuning in to find out if says anything about his sister Cristina's upcoming appearance in court in a fraud trial.
Spain welcomed a staggering 61.7 million visitors in the first 11 months of 2014, more than all of 2013 combined and already a new annual record for the country.
Former Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt remains hugely respected among Swedish voters despite being on the losing side of September's election, with 60 percent expressing confidence in him.
Police in Zaragoza have fined the three kings who rode their motorbikes without wearing helmets while en route to an appearance at a local school.
A luxurious villa linked to disgraced former Chinese political heavyweight Bo Xilai has gone on sale for nearly €7 million in France, state media reported Monday.
The Italian parliament adopted the government's 2015 budget late on Monday, after the European Union forced Prime Minister Matteo Renzi to redraft the text to rein in the country's deficit.
Russia, Ukraine, France and Germany agreed on new peace talks this week on Christmas Eve and Boxing Day, Ukrainian President Petro Poroschenko announced on Monday evening.
A record 17,500 protestors turned up in Dresden on Monday night to protest against the supposed Islamification of Germany, according to police figures.
A whale which had got itself stuck in Kungshamn harbour in western Sweden on Monday evening was able to find its way back out to sea after a five-hour struggle.
Italy's competition watchdog slapped TripAdvisor with a €500,000 fine on Monday for failing to warn users some of the opinions posted on the popular review website may be fakes.
French industrial giant Alstom will plead guilty and pay a record $772.3 million penalty in a wide-ranging foreign bribery case, the US Justice Department announced on Monday.
A driver ploughed into a Christmas market in western France Monday, injuring 10 people before stabbing himself, a day after a similar attack in another French city. The French government has called an emergency crisis meeting.
To mark the release of a new photography book on Venice, The Local speaks to editor JoAnn Locktov about falling in love with Italy’s canal city.
The stadium's terraces are packed to capacity with the crowd singing loudly, but there's no match on - floodlit football has been replaced with carols by candlelight.