The European teams, as a lot, are very impressive tournament fighters. Being generally much larger than the Asians who have held the market on point scoring in the past,the Europeans have developed their own unique way of entering the strike zone with impunity and scoring a fast and powerful point almost effortlessly.
If you will allow me to generalize some more, I think that most of them fight out of higher shorter stances than the Japanese and Chinese for instance. This means that they will typically fight closer to the reactionary gap, exposing themselves to a quick attack of the opponent. With more weight to carry into the attack they will cover less distance with a sudden explosive forward movement of their own. To compensate for their closer position, I have noticed many of them leading with a sweep to break the opponents balance then following up with low/high or high/low combinations. I also have noted that they are premiere counter fighters, often winning their matches by waiting for the opponent to attack and countering before the opponents punch reaches the target. It's kind of like a parlor trick how it works, but if you take the time to measure the distances and related mindsets of each opponent(offensive or defensive) you will discover what these larger Europeans have discovered - that a good counter can almost always beat a good initial attack. It's a process of role reversal where the preditor becomes the prey.
They also train to hit hard at the world level and this has become a trademark of the European method. Britain has some of the hardest hitting fighters I have seen. The sound of them striking the body is like opening an airtight pickle jar magnified by about 1000.You can hear the air instantaneously rush out of the gi from the tremor of the shock wave. That will impress anyone - particularly the poor guy on the receiving end.
What I told you about the Italians, or particularly the Italian I fought in Kuwait was that at about twenty pounds my junior he had no trouble sweeping both legs out from under me and scoring an Ippon before I landed on my back... twice. It pains me to admit that he appeared to have no trouble doing this.
Though I wouldn't go so far as to say that the Italians are the best, I would agree that the team as a whole and he in particular left me with a lasting impression. (I still have a little problem eating pizza and pasta.)
I visited Italy myself last year as a tourist. It was a beautiful place. My guess is that you will be so tied up with the marvel of that place - particularly Florence, that you will find little time to check out the local schools. I regret to report that I did not collect any information from the Italian team, where they train, where they are from and that kind of thing. Like any good competitor I was too self absorbed in my loss to care at the time.
I wish you the best on your travels and look forward to reading your report when you return.