Yes, we've been going on about the renaissance of Europe's cultural capitals for a while - but it's with good reason. Our coos over Paris' rash of new stays had barely ceased when Italy's grande dame city got in on the competition. New hotels in the Eternal City are becoming as ubiquitous as sexy priest calendars, with indie openings such as Palazzo Ripetta and Maalot Roma joining the mighty Six Senses Rome and Bulgari Hotel Roma - now all open, autumn is the perfect time to try them out for size. There's also a hot new exhibition in town: head over to Palazzo Esposizioni Roma to catch the retrospective of famed photographer Don McCullin, which brings together over 200 photographs from his life's work. At this time of year, Rome's stifling summer heat relents, giving way to milder temperatures more suited to outdoor explorations, too. October, in particular, promises crisp blue skies as the "Ottobrate Romane" arrives - a stretch of good weather Romans make use of by heading out on weekend trips to the surrounding countryside. Join them with a hike to Cerveteri Falls, just an hour outside the city.