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Those are the instructions for a GTV or spider. The Guilietta has different controls where, as you say, the knob just spins but if you watch the fan speed it does turn off. However there are separate buttons to control the A/C.

It is usually a good thing to keep the A/C turned on as regular usage keeps the lubricant circulating and prevents the seals drying out. Drying out of the seals can lead to premature lose of refrigerant gas. With climate control the air con only cools the car when the internal temperature is higher than the setting. Turn the temperature up (the car remembers the setting) and there will be no cooling. If the air con does run and the air is then warmed by the heater this will be to reduce the humidity (cooling removes water vapour) and prevents misting of the windows (always a good thing as it helps visibility)
 
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