Just when I was beginning to think that living in Venice was free (yeah, right), I finally got my first bill! It was for my internet service....much more important than electricity, etc. I am happy to report that bills in Italy are just as confusing as they are in America (aside from the language, of course). My bill is 6 pages long, double sided and breaks out in great detail my service from May 21 to the end of July (yes, July).
There are a variety of charges and credits. For instance, I was billed 37.50 for the initial connection fee but apparently they were having some sort of special going on, and I have been credited 45.00 for that! So, I actually made money by signing up for internet. :-)
The taxes here are just as outrageous as they are in the US. The only difference I see is that this is the one thing they dont itemize...there isnt a list of intrastate, blah, blah, blah, federal excise blah, blah, blah, etc. Instead, my bill has one line for the taxes...20.24!
Usually, when you get a bill, you go to the post office, stand in line, pay the bill and the fee to pay the bill (i.e. for the postal worker to process your bill) and then call it a day (literally). Instead, I have chosen that they bill my credit card. I figure I either pay a fee to Visa to process and dont stand in line all day or I pay a fee to some rude cashier type, get yelled at for some unknown reason and break out in a sweat. I think I would rather pay Visa!