Sunday 23 January. A report released by a team of legal, medical, religious and scientific experts on a plaster Madonna in a garden in Civitavecchia, north of Rome, which cried tears of blood ten years ago, concludes that the event was supernatural as there is no scientific explanation for the tears.

There were local demonstrations in protest against the arrest of Cosimo Di Lauro said to be the Camorra boss responsible for several gang-land killings in the Scampia a district in Naples. The minister for the interior, Giuseppe Pisanu criticised the local authorities for not doing enough for economic wellbeing of the area.

Monday 24 January. Three new vaccines are introduced for children; against a bacterial form of pneumonia, meningitis and chickenpox, bringing the total of vaccines now readily available to 12. Only four of these are obligatory, for polio, diptheria, tetanus and hepatitis B.

The Bank of Italy released figures showing that Italians borrowed 58 billion between September 2003 and September 2004 to buy homes and consumer goods, an increase of 18 per cent on the previous year.

Francesco Totti, captain of the Roma football team, was voted best Italian football player of the year, an award he has already won in 2000 and 2003.

Tuesday 25 January. Freezing weather and heavy snow hit many parts of Italy, particularly the south. Despite 72 hours advance warning of the bad weather, 500 motorists spent more than 36 hours trapped in their vehicles on the A3 Salerno to Reggio Calabria motorway.

Gabriella Salinetta was the first woman to be appointed head of a faculty at Romes La Sapienza University. She is to head the department of scientific statistics.

Wednesday 26 January. The chamber of deputies ratified the new European Union constitution, signed in Rome in 2004. It now passes to the senate for final approval.

Thursday 27 January. Italy remembered the holocaust on the 60th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. 6.806 Italian Jews were transported to Nazi concentration camps during world war two; only 837 survived.

Friday 28 January. The Italian government and trades unions asked the German ThyssenKrupp company to prevent job losses at steel works owned by the company at Terni in Umbria. On the same day, Finmeccanica, Italian holding company of Agusta Westland an Anglo Italian company, won a contract worth $1,78 billion to build a helicopter fleet for the United States president George W. Bush. Only a small proportion of the production will take place in Italy.

Domenico Siniscalco, Italian minister of finance, advised punters to exercise self-control after several people had ruined themselves financially by betting on a number in the state lottery that has not come up in the last 179 draws. The number, Venezia 53, was last drawn on 10 May 2003.

Saturday 29 January. Pope John Paul II issued a strong warning to the Sacra Rota, the Vatican tribunal, to beware of laxity in allowing the annulment of Roman Catholic marriages.

The Fiat group agreed to the sale of the Palazzo Grassi on the Grand Canal in Venice. The building, which is used as a cultural and exhibition centre, has been visited by millions of tourists over the past 18 years. It has been sold for 28.9 million to the Venice Casin, which is 95 per cent owned by the Venice city council.