I may be looking in that direction in the future, although my rapier studies have not been satisfying and Italian sabre appeals to me more at the moment.
Anyway, quoting other Italian sources, southern Italians retained longer than northern's swords, basically, in the South swords remained rapier like, while the North transitioned to smallswords.
For what I've seen, late renaissance and post renaissance fencing in Italy tends to make use of techniques that are not, as far as I know, much praised elsewhere (like the impuntata and the ubiquitous controcavazione). Parries evolve into different forms and some authors praise the parate di picco (the most violent ones), but this is true for those authors that base their fencing on the parry-riposte over the single time play. But this latter point is again weapon related, more than mindset related: why you employ the same geometry in a different fiming with different kinds of thrusting weapons shouldn't be much of a mistery, nor generate the belief that the two do not compare.
Most late renaissance and post renaissance stuff I've seen seem to depart very gradually from certain rapier axioms, and certain ones are never lost.
In particular, the idea that touching the other guy's sword will initiate a fatal exchange, and that the way in which you get in contact with the said sword is a vital parameter never seems to disappear. Whereas we note that in the English tradition the engagement is, in a certain lapse of time, considered a "safe" situation.