The four collections in Italy are noteworthy for their good bonuses, which can be seen on the Collections page itself and are discussed below. You can also see them with a microscope and this screenshot:
As with Las Vegas, Italy has four collections. Each collection's items can drop in any Region, though I found a lot more of the harder collection pieces dropping in the later Regions, and vice versa.
Also like Las Vegas, you can get a maximum of 5 of any item. Compare this to the dozens - or hundreds - of Calabash Pipes, Diamond Drills, and other items you have from the "Special" Collections. (Here's an idea as the holidays approach: use the new Mafia Wars 50x gifting tool to send a Mafia member 400 Walkie Talkies, just to say THANKS.)
Another similarity between Vegas and Italy Collections is that items drop at a lower rate as you go from Collection #1 (Matchbooks/Dinner Is Served) to Collection #4 (Poker Hands/Famous Rulers)...
...though in Italy, the "difficulty spread" is greater: the Famous Ruler Collection item drops are exceedingly rare as compared to the Poker Hand drops from Vegas, and The Great Inventor Collection drops also seem harder than those from the Las Vegas #3 Collection, Mojave Animals.
Also like Las Vegas, you can only vault each Italy Collection once. There are no "re-vaulting" boosts after you receive your bonus for Italy collections, as there are in New York, Cuba, Moscow and Bangkok.
UNLIKE Las Vegas, the Italy collections do not have a "short print" (we hear you, baseball card collectors!) or hard-to-get item, like the Bollywood matchbook, Mountain Lion, Sagauro cactus, and Four of a Kind hand. Each item in a collection appears to drop with the same frequency.
It remains to be seen whether the release of Italy Regions 6, 7, and 8 will bring a new collection. We already know that there will be a new Village Property... but Las Vegas had one too, with the Fountain. There was no new Las Vegas Collections when Districts 6, 7, and 8 went live.
A few thoughts on each collection:
*Dinner is Served Collection*
Bonus: +10% Item Drop Rate
These tempting dishes drop like crazy in Roma (and few other Collection items do) and provide a 10% increase in your Italy item drop rate. (Anyone know how this can be verified? I'd hate to see what the item drop rate would be in Napoli WITHOUT my 10% bump...). The 10% drop rate boost was also the bonus for vaulting the "first" Las Vegas collection, Matchbooks.
*Roman Standards Collection*
Bonus: +10 Attack, +10 Defense
You'll see these items drop more prominently starting in Palermo and in the remaining Regions. A nice +10 Attack and +10 Defense bonus for vaulting... like leveling up 4x at once. This bonus is comparable to the +10 Energy and +10 Stamina bonus for vaulting the Mojave Animals Collection in Las Vegas.
*The Great Inventor Collection*
Bonus: +50 Health
Wow... +50 Health! The Las Vegas Cactus collection vaulted for +30 Health, but this is the equivalent of leveling up 10x. Given some of the Boss Fights in Italy, this is a necessary boost. I started seeing The Great Inventor Collection items drop in Venezia, but much more so in Milano.
*Famous Rulers Collection*
Bonus: +15 Energy, +15 Stamina
I'm not sure that I saw one of these drop until Napoli, though I believe I have seen them drop in higher levels of other Regions as I proceed... which makes me wonder if having 5 full Dinner Is Served collections and 5 full Roman Standard collections "forces" more of the Famous Rulers Collection items to drop.
When Italy first went live, even one Famous Ruler item was trading for a high-end Las Vegas loot item. This has faded a bit, though full collections still fetch a premium on the trading boards.
Though none of the Italy Collections give you the awesome +20 Attack/+20 Defense bonus from the Poker Hands Collection, vaulting the four Italy Collections will get you the equivalent of 100 Skill Points, while vaulting the four Las Vegas Collections brought you the equivalent of 90 Skill Points.
And now this piece of random Mafia Wars Collections trivia/nostalgia. Anyone recognize, remember, or gain 15 pounds completing THIS collection?
The one-and-done Corner Store Collection, from earlier this year, is how Colin and I 'met' (note: we've never met) - or at least how I got more involved with this blog... and VERY involved with some nutritious dinners at my local 7-11. My kids loved it. My wife? Not so much.