Utility bills in Italy must be a big deal. Yesterday before the owners of the apartment left, they conducted what Mike describes to me as the "Meter reading ceremony".
We had experienced something similar when we rented a farmhouse in Tuscany a few years ago, but Mike says yesterday was quite a bit more elaborate. It included an official looking folder, a fountain pen, and a few Italians--- one to read off the numbers, the other to record them, along with alot of verification of each number. Mike was describing this to me, and I was just so sorry I had missed it. He says it was quite formal. Clearly the apartment owners wanted no disputes ever about the utility bills, so this recording of the meter had to be witnessed by Mike. Each number was called out, repeated, then written down on a document in the folder. I really wish I had been there!!!!