Rome Travel Guide

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Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Best in Italian technology: the Sky Drain

A standard sky drain.
We wouldn't recommend most Italian home technology.  The washing machines are small and take hours to do their work; bathroom showers are served by a variety of weird contraptions; plugs come in a bewildering variety of configurations and are often loose and unreliable. 

Even skydrains are vulnerable to breakdowns.  This
one needed to be propped open with a pasta roller

We are, however, fond of one particular piece of kitchen equipment.  It's not electric, and the mechanics are simple.  This little low-tech gem sits above the sink.  When the cover is down, it looks like any cupboard.  But water goes straight down into the (hopefully) sink.  It's essentially a drain, a descendant, we like to think, of the first and greatest Roman drains: the cloaca maxima (#40 in RST's  Top 40). 

This drain just drains dishes.  Because of its position, we call it the "sky drain."  Sky drains are important because Roman kitchens are small and dishwashers few.  Simple. Convenient.  Efficient.  Nice.



Beth Thompson said...

I like these dish drains, too. Wish they were available in HK. The washing machines are slow here, too.

Anonymous said...

One of my favorite Roman kitchen "things." Love the title "SkyDrain." You beat me to a posting!