I just got back from 3 weeks in Italy, shooting 4x5 and with a Mamiya 7. I was in Rome, the Cinque Terre, Florence and surrounding countryside and Venice. Before leaving I posted a question about the problems with using a tripod without having to pay permits. Thought I would give you an update.
I was never challenged when using a tripod. I never even attempted to take it into any museums or national areas (i.e. Roman Forum, inside the Colliseum). No one ever asked me whether or not I was a professional or even mentioned a permit.
According to the Italian consulate, each person is entitled to bring into Italy 2 still cameras and 10 rolls of film. I took my tripod, 2 cameras, 40 rolls of 220 film and 100 sheets of 4x5. The officials at the Rome airport never even asked to see in my bags or even look at my passport. A word of advice. Don't expect to find any 4x5 film in Italy. I found one shop (Bongi, by the Piazza Repubblica) in Florence that had 8 rolls of 120 slide film (no 220). As far as tripods go, take your own. Don't expect to purchase one there. Of all the places I was, only Bongi in Florence had any decent (very lightweight, though) tripods. They had 3 Manfrottos. Can't say what Milan would have had as that is where Manfrottos are made.
Thought you would want an update. Haven't seen my film yet. If I haven't covered any specific questions, just post and I will try and respond. Great site. It was a major help to me in deciding what to take on this trip. Thanks.