According to a new study that analyzed measurements of people born between 1896 and 1996 in 200 countries, including large samples from all over Italy, a hundred years ago Italian men were the 57th tallest in the world (women 55th), but today they're the 29th tallest (women 32nd). The men grew by about 13cm (5in) from 165cm (5'5") to 178cm (5'10"), and the women by 11cm (4in) from 154cm (5'1") to 165cm (5'5").
Adult height for the 1896 and 1996 birth cohorts for men:
Adult height for the 1896 and 1996 birth cohorts for women:
Change in adult height between the 1896 and 1996 birth cohorts:
NCD Risk Factor Collaboration (NCD-RisC). "A century of trends in adult human height". eLife, 2016.