While Paris gets top marks for romance, Rome might have the sexier edge.

Small is definitely beautiful when it comes Il Palazzetto - a four-room hotel hidden away right next to the Spanish Steps. It's also just a few seconds' walk from its big sister, the Hassler Roma, a five-star palace with red velvet drapes and gilt lamps.

Laid-back Il Palazzetto's large, airy rooms are decorated in cool creams and taupes, with big marble bathrooms and views of the steps. In the evening the rooftop bar is the perfect place to sit with a glass of prosecco and people-watch.

There's no restaurant, but that's hardly a problem, as you can enjoy the Hassler's buffet spread every morning, and there's an excellent gelateria just by Il Palazzetto's entrance.

WOW FACTOR: Il Palazzetto's tucked-away location, just a 10-minute walk from the famous Trevi fountain (for yourown La Dolce Vita moment), makes it ideal for a quiet midnight stroll.

FLIGHT TIME: 2 hours

WHEN TO GO: Spring, Autumn

GO: Mr & Mrs Smith (www.mrandmrssmith.com) offers doubles from £264 per night. Includes breakfast and taxes. British Airways (www.ba.com) flies from £107 return.