In the part of the kitchen you can't see, there's a great, big (I mean giant-big) double-door pantry and at the other end of the counter along the wall, there's a great, big (but not giant-big) refrigerator with additional storage above it. There are also drawers and more cabinet space in the island.
Here's the kitchen in the apartment where I have been staying for the better part of a month in Albisola:
No dryer. (that's the washing machine between the stove and sink)
No garbage disposal.
And you have to light the burners and oven on the gas stove with a clicker thing.
No mixer, blender, food processor or fancy equipment of any kind.
The point is this:
I don't miss my kitchen at home at all because it turns out I have everything I need in that one little cabinet. I hang the laundry out to dry on the balcony. I stop by the supermarket down the street to get whatever I need that day, and I go every day so everything is fresh. I eat less meat (too expensive) and more fruit. I mash potatoes with a fork. I squeeze lemons with a fork. And I whisk eggs with - you guessed it - a fork.
I've seen a LOT of simple, tiny kitchens like the one in the apartment my friend inherited from his grandmother (and seldom uses). But I feel compelled to admit that this is a bit austere even by Italian standards. Today's double income households are pretty snazzy and have room to store lots of the kinds of stuff we stuff our kitchens with at home in the United States.
The real surprise is how quickly I've adjusted to the minimalist approach in the kitchen - and the meals have been great, almost all of which I eat at home. Of course with prosciutto crudo, perfectly sliced, some fresh mozzarella and focaccia still warm from the panificio around the corner - well, a great meal in Italy doesn't require a lot of fancy equipment, does it?