Cycling lore is indeed fascinating. I wish I had more to add to this but perhaps the links can describe it. It isn't easy for me to write about cycling races though some of the personalities that it has had are fascinating, let alone, bicycles themselves, French, Italian, American, Trek, etc.
Here, this speaks about the cycling lore as well of the Chapel of Madonna Del Ghisallo, the Chapel overlooks Lake Como in Italy.
I can't really comment on "Italian Bikes", yes, once I did have an entry level (lower level) Bianchi which was okay but the nice machines cost money.
(fingers crossed, formatting problems)