I live in Rome, Italy, and today I saw a sweet, sweet deal on an Illy FrancisFrancis X1 espresso machine. It is red. It is sexy. And even with the terrible exchange rate, it is still costs less than half what the same machine would cost in the United States.

There is, however, one big problem: it is wired for an Italian outlet. I have looked online, and I can get a European/American voltage adapter with surge protection for about 20 bucks. Do any of you have experience buying appliances overseas and adapting them for use in American kitchens? I don't want to buy the machine, bring it back home and fry it the first time I try to use it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

- Kate

Ah, Kate - we saw some of those very sleek little FrancisFrancis machines at the Housewares show, and we sympathize! They are very sweet indeed; did you know their face plates are modeled after vintage Fiat cars?

We do not have any wisdom to offer on adapting for American voltage, unfortunately - but the readers may. Any advice for Kate?

(Images: Faith Hopler)