thanks for all the replies.
A few additions and a question.
I managed to spend some time to setup and try the bike. It seems that the size fits me ok.
Just to summarize, my measures are:
The geometry for the bike can be found here (the one reported on the page linked in the first post is not correct) :
The Bianchi san jose and the volpe share the same frame.
The standover height, which is not shown in the page above, for the 55cm frame is a tad less then 80cm.
I am no expert at all but by looking at the numbers it seems that the 55cm frame is the right size for me. I fear the 52cm would be too small, especially if I stick to the Rivendell guidelines.
I asked to have the stem flipped and the whole position seems much more manageable. Hands on the flats give a very upright position but even when the hands are on the hoods or drops the position felt ok.
Of course, I have to adapt to the more aggressive positions since I have been bikeless for 10 or so years and even when I was a kid I had never ridden a proper road bike.
Finally, do you think that 600$ for this bike is the right price? the bicycle is basically new but fact remains that it is a '09 bike and the san jose is now a discontinued model.
Do you think there are better choices at this price point (with similar characteristics) ?