With due respect to our Italian members, I feel Michelangelo and Raffaele were a sad waste of Italian Government money. Subsidised to the extreme, long after airlines were providing the usual way to cross the Atlantic. The pair seemed to lack the usual Italian design flair and whilst their waste paper basket funnels were effective, they were an aesthetic disaster.
I must agree with Fred. Likely their building was decided for a "prestige" question following the building of "France", or to provide tonnage to italian buiding shipyards. In both cases, a wrong decision. As for their general look, surely "Michelangelo" and "Raffaello" didn't meet the usual aesthetic standards of italian shipbuilding.