Every house I have lived in for as long as I can remember in the US had a forced air natural gas fired heating system. Here in Italy you will be hard pressed to find that kind of system, and that suits me fine. In Italy the predominate heating system is a radiant hot water system with the typical metal wall-mounted units. I find that the advantages to these units is one that they don’t dry the air and create drafts as were accustomed to with a forced air system and it is always nice to be able to stand next to a warm heater unit on a cold morning. These units also are very useful for drying clothes and especially the units in bathrooms as they are designed to warm and dry your towels, a very practical two-fold purpose.
The boiler units to supply the heating system also heats water for our sinks and shower and is an on-demand wall mounted system which is very small compared to the 30 to 50 gallon size units common in the US.
As with the price of gasoline utility costs are relatively high and Italians adjust their lifestyles accordingly. It is common for buildings to be kept much cooler here in the winter, if they have heating, closer to 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Since buildings here are masonry, generally old and with minimal ventilation it is common practice to open windows and air out the house daily; rain or sunshine. We see windows around our apartment open every morning and open ours for 30 minutes or so each morning.
Cool morning air and a warm towel just out of the shower is a great way to start the day.