my wonderful Italian drying rack
Let me just start by saying that, despite the incredible food they produce, Italian kitchens are not known for being beautiful, necessarily, or even particularly user-friendly. Oftentimes kitchens here in Sicily will be outfitted with small, shallow sinks (a pet peeve of my husband's) and very little counter space.
Italian kitchens have at least one design feature going for them that I have never seen elsewhere. It's called the drying rack over the sink. It looks just like a regular kitchen cabinet, but when you open the cupboard doors, you see a beautifully hidden away set of drying racks for your dishes. No dishes strewn all over counters on dish towels, no unsightly dish racks on the draining board, no pots left in the sink to dry. It's pure genius! Thus far there has been an over-sink drying rack in every kitchen I've seen in Italy, even in tiny cottages in the Dolomites.
But I've never seen this feature in any other kitchen in the world. Why? Do you have any theories? My personal theory as to why this hasn't caught on in the States is:
a) dishwashing machines exist there and
b) every American kitchen is designed with a window over the sink.
But why a window over the sink? Do you ever look out the window while you're washing dishes?
(See some more photos of our kitchen here and here.)