add_language('it', _('Italian'), 'iso-8859-1')
should be changed in:
add_language('it', _('Italian'), 'utf-8')
And the same, IMHO, should be done for all the other languages.
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It's not that simple. Making that change also requires that the message catalog and all templates be converted from iso-8859-1 to utf-8.
The fact that you have categorized this as a pipermail issue makes me suspect that you have something like Apache's
in your web server configuration causing it to serve archive pages with a
Content-Type: text/html; charset="utf-8"
header which overrides the <META http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1"> tag specification in the html page.
If that is the issue, you can work around it by putting
in an appropriate place in the web server confifuration or in a .htaccess file in the archives/private/ directory.