I recently bought an Italian police surplus Beretta 81 Cheetah, chambered in .32 acp, from Classic Firearms. Classic rated the guns "Good to Very Good", but mine looks almost new. Brand new 81's go for between $600 and $700, if you can find one. This surplus pistol, with the hand select option, was $229 (not including tax and transfer fees).
Italians do a lot of things beautifully, but two things I can personally vouch for, are their men's suits and their handguns.
Update - Forgot to mention, the magazine is a double-stack that holds 12 rounds. Makes for a bit of a fat grip, but it fills my hand nicely.