Linen is a natural fibre and not as fragile as many think. It can be hand washed in cool water or in a washing machine on a warm or cold cycle finishing on a spin cycle.
Dark or brightly coloured linen should be washed in cold water, separate from white or lightly coloured linen.
White linen is best hung out in the sunlight, but dark and brightly coloured linen should be hung in a shady place or inside. Hang wet linen garments on a hanger or lie them flat on a light-coloured towel to dry.
These days Italian linen is shabby chic meaning it is not meant to look perfectly pressed but lived in, with a certain bohemian appearance. Straighten the seams when hanging to dry and ironing or steaming should not be necessary.
If you do prefer linen pressed a steamer works well, the steam loosening the natural linen fibres rather than ironing and pressing the fibres flat. If you are ironing Italian linen or any linen it is best to iron inside out to prevent the fabric developing a shine.