Previous Italian victories had come in this same fixture in 2000 and against Wales at home last season. This result brought joy and relief in equal measures to both the Italian crowd and their Kiwi coach John Kirwan, who is half way to achieving his stated goal of two victories in the Championship this season.
Kirwan's opposite number, Matt Williams, is staring down the barrel of a wooden spoon and whitewash unless he sees a vast improvement in Scotland's remaining two matches.
Both sides adopted kicking games in a cagey and nervous opening quarter and it was Italy who held the edge in this department, having chosen Roland de Marigny for the first time at outside-half. The South African-born No 10 controlled affairs with his long and accurate tactical kicking ensuring that Scotland were kept on the back foot.
Despite their domination, Italy's efforts were continually undermined by indiscipline at the breakdown, gifting Scotland fly-half Chris Paterson with three easy penalties in the first half to leave the sides level at 9-9 at halftime.
Italy's try after the break epitomised the scrappy nature of the match. Hooker Fabio Ongaro pounced on the loose ball following a fumble at a lineout close to the Scottish line. The try was awarded despite question marks over whether or not he had controlled the ball.
Nine of Edinburgh Rugby's Heineken Cup quarter-final side were involved in this defeat. The national team may be struggling at the moment but Scottish rugby must take heart from its first qualification for the last eight of Europe's elite competition.
European success doesn't translate to success at international level overnight. A case in point is Ireland who have at last emerged as a Six Nations contender after several seasons of success in the Heineken Cup.
Heineken Cup quarter-finals, Easter weekend, 9/10/11 April
Llanelli Scarlets v Biarritz Olympique Toulouse v Edinburgh Rugby Munster v Stade Franà§ais London Wasps v Gloucester RFC