Italian vs Swiss buttercream: is there a big difference?

I have made Swiss buttercream a few times and liked it, but a friend just sent me a recipe for an amazing-looking raspberry buttercream that starts with an Italian buttercream base. I have never tackled Italian buttercream because hot sugar syrup makes me nervous. On the other hand, whisking egg whites by hand over a double boiler to make Swiss buttercream isn't that much fun either. Is there a huge flavor or texture difference between the two methods that would make it worth branching out?

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