Italians: good anti gunpowder potential with the Condottieri, solid anti-cavalry foot archer unit in the genoese crossbows with good melee armor that are able to use square formation with hand canons within them and monks even further within (say, 29 genoese crossbows, 20 hand Canoneers and 11 monks, square form, stand ground)
Gunpowder units cost -20% and going to the next age costing -15% would help your gunpowder style as well
(Bombard canons, hand canons)
It’s also a great civ for both team games with -50% costing trade carts(unique tech) and water maps with -15% cost fishing ships
It helps with the dock and university techs costing -33% which helps ensure you have resources for the endgame earlier on top of the other discounts.
The condottiero is a swift moving infantry unit with bonuses vs gunpowder but is also great at taking down key targets due to its speed where light cavalry would fail if they’re surrounded by pikes and so on, and it’ll fair well enough in melee combat to boot. (It’s fully available and fully upgraded upon imperial age and only requires blacksmith techs)
You’ll have full blacksmith upgrades, access to onager and bombard canon(without siege engineers), fully upgraded hussar with solid cavalier, and a decent barracks with fully upgraded champions, condottiero(imperial age) and pikeman(not halbs), alongside a pretty decent naval ability(only lacking heavy demolition ships)
A great point is that you’ll have both building defense upgrades in the university as well as the +hp upgrade hoardings in the castle so your buildings are fully upgraded in defense and attack. And you also get fortified walls
On top of all that your bombard towers will be fully upgraded and so are your keeps.
You also have fully upgraded skirmishers so you cannot go wrong there
When going against archers I suggest hussars and bombard cannons while adding in condos when facing halberdiers
And note that while you do not have halbs, your Genoese crossbowmen will take that job quite well
And you also have fully upgraded monks, except heresy but I don’t consider that a loss at all, so feel free to convert as many enemy ships as you desire as well as enemy units in general while healing your army from the safety of a square formation if wanted.
Your archery range will also have fully upgraded arbalesters if wanted.
Eco upgrades are pretty solid as well, only lacking the last gold mining tech, which really isn’t needed - maon ones are the wood and farm upgrades which come packed.
The only thing I have to complain about is the lack of sappers, but then again petards are enough there.