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What you say makes sense to me. I found where this is mentioned, and I just don't think it really works for my example (which is why I asked). On page 15-6 of the Instruction Manual for Braille Transcribing (5th edition), it says, "When an italicized (or otherwise emphasized) passage consists of more than one paragraph, the double emphasis indicator is placed at the beginning of each new paragraph regardless of its length or content (even if the paragraph consists of just one word). The single emphasis indicator, indicating the end of the emphasized material, precedes the last word of the last paragraph."
I'm with you--I'm going for readability with the single italics.