Italy has strict regulations on electricity which means that you can't run two appliances at the same time.
We did laundry every evening - 1. because my sister loves to do laundry (true story) and 2. because after walking a million miles each day we were sweaty and stinky.
One night we had the washer going and Shell popped some pasta sauce in the microwave. Didn't even give it a second thought. A few seconds later all the lights went out and we were in total darkness. Shell found her phone and we trekked down two flights of stone steps by the light of the phone to find the breaker box to the apartment. Italian breaker boxes do not look like the ones we're used to, at least this one didn't. Thankfully each breaker box had the name of the owner on it so we knew which one to mess with.
Shell found her way back up to the apartment while I pushed buttons hoping the lights would come back on. It took us a few minutes to figure it out but we got the lights back on and went about the evening.