As I posted yesterday, we are getting a new dishwasher on Saturday. We are lucky to have a great owner who is paying for it.
Rental contracts in Italy are a bit different than in the U.S....surprise! Typically in the U.S, when you rent a place, the renter has a less obligations than the owner. If an appliance quits working, the owner typically will repair or replace it (unless it quits due by negligence of the renter - then the cost comes out of the security deposit). If something needs repairing on the house or apartment, typically the owner takes care of it (once again, if the damage is not caused by negligence of the renter).
In Italy these things are quite the opposite. If an appliance quits working, the renter is obligated to repair or replace it. The same is said for general maintainance of the inside of an apartment, or the outside/inside of a house.
Our dishwasher sprung a leak, probably caused by wear and tear and old age. Our owner is generously replacing it this time, saving us a couple hundred euro. She did nicely remind us that it is our responsibility in the future.
This is just one interesting tidbit concerning the differences in cultures. I had a request in my email this morning to do some photo tours of a supermarket, post office and other general businesses in Italy. I will work on this in the next few weeks and see what I can come up with.