The Italian army actually adopted a semiautomatic rifle in 1939: this Armaguerra Model 1939. It was intended to supplant the M38 Carcano bolt actions, but ultimately never managed to get into mass production.
The rifle was adopted initially in the new 7.35mm cartridge, and then quickly cancelled, as the new cartridge was dropped for logistical and financial reasons. This was not an immediate problem for the company, as they did not have a rifle factory in operation anyway – they began building one in Cremona only after receiving an initial order for 10,000 of the rifles. In the wake of the caliber change, the Armaguerra rifle was quickly redesigned for the 6.5x52mm cartridge. Ultimately only about 100 were made, and the factory was retooled to produce Carcano bolt action rifles instead.
Mechanically, the Armaguerra 1939 is a short recoil action with a pivoting locking block similar in principle to the Walther P38 pistol. It is a sleek weapon, using the front sling swivel as charging handle and thus avoiding any protrusions out from the sides of the action. It feeds from standard Carcano 6-round en bloc clips.