In a very physical encounter, in which two Italians were sin-binned, Ireland kept their composure and their discipline to record a deserved victory.
They took the lead in the 4th minutes when Barry Everitt landed a penalty after Italy were penalised for deliberately collapsing a maul and that incident set the scene more or less, for the remainder of the match - when Ireland made progress, Italy infringed.
The visitors extended their lead when Simon Easterby showed deft skills, including a dummy and sidestep, to score wide on the left. Everitt's conversion came back off an upright but he made amends almost immediately with a penalty that saw Ireland go into the break 11-3 to the good.
An early second half infringement resulted in a yellow card for Enrico Pavanello and three more points for the Irish. The Italains reponded with a penalty just before the lights went out and the sides were called off the pitch.
Power was restored after 20 minutes and when flanker Salvatore Garozzo on 70 minutes, Ireland put the result beyond recall with tries from debutant Ted Robinson and Gordon D'Arcy> both converted by Everitt.
Ireland A: J Staunton (Cunningham 60); J Topping (Lawlor 76), G D'Arcy, D Quinlan, T Robinson; B Everitt, N Doak capt (O'Meara 65); J Fitzpatrick, P Shields (Blaney 76), S Best (Bracken 75), D O'Callaghan, J Davidson (O'Driscoll 67), S Easterby, K Dawson, E Miller (McCullen 30).