A first-half blitz blew away Russia, with six tries helping them to a 38-7 lead at the break, while the Azzurri pack was simply unplayable.
The Bears showed more fight and composure after the break to stand them in good stead for the future but by then the damage had been done - particularly up-front.
Sergio Parisse, Giulio Toniolatt (2), Tommaso Benvenuti (2), Edoardo Gori, Luke McLean and Alessandro Zanni all crossed for tries for Italy, while the pack deservedly earned a penalty try and Riccardo Bocchino slotted over four conversions.
In a mixed display - with moments of madness, poor tackling, brave adventure and impressive running - the Russians were rewarded with tries through Alexander Yanyushkin, Vladimir Ostroushko and Alexey Makovetskiy, while Konstantin Rachkov added a conversion.
Having seen Bocchino miss an early shot at goal, Parisse got the Azzurri on their way as he glided through a gap in the Russia defence to score. Bocchino converted.
Worse was to come for Russia as Toniolatti dived over in the corner - with Italy snaffling the ball at a poor scrum before quick hands found the winger to dive in.
Bears boss Kingsley Jones will have been pulling his hair out as a schoolboy error from Ostroushko allowed Benvenuti to score a simple try from Bocchino's chip ahead.
Italy clinched the bonus point on 23 minutes when Gori found Parisse from a quick lineout and the Italy skipper charged through before releasing Toniolatti for his second try. Bocchino converted.
With the Russia scrum under huge pressure it was no surprise that a penalty try followed on 30 minutes, with referee Wayne Barnes tired of seeing the set-piece collapse. Bocchino added his third conversion.
However things didn't go all Italy's way - with hooker Fabio Ongaro sin-binned for a late hit.
And with a man advantage, the Bears created a bit of history when they scored their first World Cup try through Yanyushkin as the replacement scrum-half sniped over from close range. Rachkov converted.
Italy hit back immediately, though, as Gori profited from some poor Russian tackling. Bocchino slotted over the extras.
Trailing 38-7 at the break, Russia showed more willing in the second period and made some good inroads in to the Italy half.
Unfortunately, silly errors and the power of the Italy pack meant they got little reward for their efforts - and Benvenuti made the Russians pay as he scored his second try after winning the race to his own kick ahead.
Ostroushko made amends for his first-half faux pas when he slid over in the corner for Russia's second try, though. Victor Gresev and Yanyushkin made the initial hard yard before quick hands found Ostroushko, who rounded McLean to score.
McLean responded with Italy's eighth try as he ghosted through some tired Russian tackling.
However Russia were able to cash in for a third try, with Makovetskiy diving over after the pack had provided the platform by winning turnover ball at a lineout.
However Zanni ensured the Azzurri had the final word when he scored after the Russians were driven off the ball at their own scrum.
Gilbert has released a new line of rugby cleats. The Gilbert Virtuo 8S is part of the exciting new product. Check it out.
The entire All Blacks apparel line has been updated for 2013/14. Check out the New Zealand All Blacks polo.
The Nike Tiempo is a solid rugby cleat and one of few styles still made from full-grain natural leather.
The Gilbert Blitz 8S rugby cleat is a great cleat at a great price of $69.99. Get a new pair of cleats today.
A cool looking all black rugby cleat with the high performance adidas is known for. Get in the Gear!
Wear the crest of the British and Irish Lions on your t-shirt. A great look for the summer.
The All Blacks Performance t-shirt is black with hints of blue from the training jersey. Very Cool.
The New Zealand All Blacks training jersey for 2013/14. Get in the Gear!
The USA Rugby Pro Alternate rugby jersey is perfect for any fan of the Eagles. Get yours to wear during the summer Test matches.
The NEW All Blacks 2013/14 jersey has arrived at World Rugby Shop. Dare to wear the colors of the All Blacks.