The strength of the Italian army lies in the advanced infantry core. Much like the British, Italians tend to field underpreforming tanks to support a tipically larger and more powerful infantry base. The advanced squads are provided with a rather cheap barracks upgrade and at a lower then average cost.
Other then a strong infantry core, Italy can field some rather unusual support weaponry to aid their infantry force, such as mobile AT platforms and gun trucks, as well as somewhat cheap heavy tank destroyers.
From start to about the beginning of the tank phase, Italy has almost nothing to offer in the anti-armor department, leaving the italian player either surviving until he can field a decent weapon, or being over-aggressive with his infantry. Since there is no AT squad in the barracks selection, the italian player solely relies on the toy grenades most of his infantry have, as they do significantly less damage then the grenades of other factions. The nightmare contines with the starting AT guns, as they offer only mild protection with use limited to the very early game.
Late game the situation changes, as Italy fields much better armored tank destroyers, but lack a well armed tank themselves, leaving them highly dependent on infantry even in the later stages of the game.
Despite infantry being the focus of the italian army, early infantry devisions are sub par, averaging weaker then most. This is really notable when they use grenades, as they deal several times less damage then normal (although still enough to kill infantry and unarmored targets without trouble).
The later, elite infantry, is a whole other story, however. They are definately one of the better quality squads in Spring:1944 even after taking the squad cost into consideration. An additional, alpini squad is also available for times when terrain stops being your friend and you jsut want to ignore it completely.
Italian vehicles are moderatly armored and moderatly armed. Best used as support units. They are usually highly specialized in action, but not in design, so you will see unit being a small annoyence when, for example, attacking armored targets when they were not armed for this task. Italian support units are tipicly long ranged, comparing to their counterparts in the arsenals of other factions, but less manouverable and definately not as well protected.
Italian tanks are rather cheap, but don't provide good armor or firepower to the field. You will mostely find heavy anti-infantry weaponry or dedicated anti-tank weaponry in the tank catagories, forcing you to rely on blinding the enemy by destroying his infantry, rather then removing his armor first.
Italian aircraft is cheaper then others, but is significantly weaker in all fields: intercepters are slow and die quickly, figters are slow and die quickly, bombers are slow and die quickly... you see where this is going? As a side effect, the anti-tank bombers, being, in principal, smaller versions of the IL-2 PTAB bombers, are much easier to control, as they turn quickly and have a much shorter attack run, but are made from the same quality cardboard, so don't expect ace pilots returning.
Italy has access to both field guns and light howitzers fairly early in the game, as well as getting mobile gun trucks from the same catagory, as a side effect having a much harder time with longer range anti-armor weapons and general hard-hitting weapons overall. Again, long range arsenal for italy focuses more on infantry support above all else.