It seems there are two main kinds of Italian style–traditional, with wooden beams and white plaster, and modern, with clean lines and an experimental sensibility. All of these photos are from our February trip to Italy. The photos above, of Antica Locanda dei Mercanti in Milan, show a pleasant combination to the two. The photos below, of the apartment we stayed in in Torino, are more modern, but the building itself was from the 18th century, which lends to the charm of the apartment. The furniture itself is not expensive (probably IKEA), but it is cleverly used. Overall, the combination works.
And I put this text right in the middle of the post because I had a annoying gap between the photos, and I wanted to hide it!