Suffered a trauma, had a bad day at work or simply dragged yourself out of bed in the morning? For Brits, all these occasions and many more call for one thing and one thing only – a nice cup of tea. For someone whose most common household utterance is ‘I’ll put the kettle on’, imagine my horror at discovering my flat in Italy had no kettle. Not only that, but when asked about the prospect of acquiring one, my landlady gave her familiar quizzical look – meaning she can think of nothing more ridiculous than whatever it is I’m saying. I had no choice but to learn to live with the unwieldy pan. Just one of the details that knit together to make daily life and which remind me that I am in Italy and, yes, they do things differently here.