|Italy: (7) 12|
|Tries: Franco, D’Inca; Con: Sillari|
|France: (15) 22|
|Tries: Vernier, Arbez, Boujard; Pen: Bourdon; Cons: Bourdon, Tremouliere|
France held off a dogged Italy to open their Women’s Six Nations campaign with a win in Parma.
Italy’s Giada Franco and France’s Gabrielle Vernier traded first-half tries before Caroline Boujard was shown yellow for a high tackle.
The visitors scored while a player down as Carla Arbez got a try on debut.
Wing Alyssa D’Inca scored her first try for Italy to get the hosts within three points but Boujard’s late score sealed France’s victory.
Newly professional Italy reached a first World Cup quarter-final last year, while France narrowly missed out on the final in New Zealand.
Les Bleues are expected to challenge England for the Six Nations title as France seek their first since 2018.
When the two sides meet at Twickenham in the final round on 29 April, it will likely be the tournament decider.
When Italy managed to string passes together they looked dangerous, but the Azzurre were let down by frequent handling errors.
France showed glimpses of a fast-paced attack that will be troublesome for future opponents.
Italy face England in Northampton next Sunday, while France travel to Belfast on Saturday.
Italy: Ostuni Minuzzi; Muzzo, Sillari, Rigoni, D’Inca; Madia, Stefan; Turani, Vecchini, Gai, Fedrighi, Duca, Sgorbini, Franco, Giordano.
Replacements: Stecca, Maris, Seye, Tounesi, Locatelli, Barattin, Stevanin, Capomaggi.
France: Boulard; Banet, Menager, Vernier, Boujard; Arbez, Bourdon; Deshayes, Sochat, Khalfaoui, Feleu, Forlani, Berthoumieu, Gros, Escudero.
Replacements: Domain, Lindelauf, Bernadou, Picut, Hermet, Chambon, Tremouliere, Dupouy.