One of the first things we expatriates notice in our new Tuscan paradise, along with the brilliant architecture, breathtaking scenery and myriad gustatory delights, is our nagging suspicion that Italians can't stand us. We worry that they regard our mistakes and fumbles as warts on their culture, and we're pretty sure that they think we wear ugly shoes. We try not to annoy them, flailing and stumbling our way through their country, culture and language, but deep down we know we do. ‘Che palle!' is what some Italians might mutter under their breath when we take too long to spit out a question in Dante's language or demand that the waiter bring a menu in English or accidentally ram our bike baskets into them on the street.