SBR: I picked up this book in anticipation of our Italy trip. Apparently, among all the book recommendations Abhaya could find for an introduction to Italy’s history, this was a rare one written by an Italian (and available in English translation). Hence I picked it up over the others. History of Italian People by Giuliano Procacci is pretty good, written without excessive national fervor or an extreme aversion to it. But unless you have some familiarity with European or Italian history, I would not recommend it as a first book. Because it seems to address a familiar audience with a good analysis. Unfamiliar ones will have to turn to Wikipedia too often. It also starts only from AD 1000. So ancient history including the Romans and their predecessors is missing.
To read or not to read: Not as a first read on the topic. But a good addition to your reading list for analysis and perspective.