The Azzurri were never threatened after securing a try bonus point in just 22 minutes as they went on to record their highest score in a World Cup match.
Italy, who led 38-7 at the break, registered scores through Sergio Parisse, Giulio Toniolatti (2), Tommaso Benvenuti (2), Edoardo Gori, Luke McLean, Alessandro Zanni and a penalty try, with fly-half Riccardo Bocchino, who limped off injured late on, adding four conversions.
Russia were much improved after the break, with Alexander Yanyshkin, Vladimir Ostroushko and Alexey Makovetskiy crossing for their first tries in a World Cup.
And it was those three Russian tries that were of most concern to number eight Parisse, with games against the United States and Ireland to come.
“Russia played a very physical game, they scored three tries which is good for them, we are happy with the win but we must continue to improve.
“In defence we made a couple of mistakes, we scored some tries and we can take confidence in our attack system but we must train hard because the USA will be a really tough game and obviously Ireland in the final game will be really, really hard.”
Russia technical director Kingsley Jones was pleased with his side’s second-half display but felt they had shot themselves in the foot early on.
“We finished strong and the ssecond-half result was good, but we self-destructed a bit in the first 10 minutes. Our discipline in defence and at the breakdown was not good and we let ourselves down at times, but I am pleased with how we fought back in the second half.”
ITALY: Masi, Toniolatti, Benvenuti, Pratichetti, McLean, Bocchino, Gori, Perugini, Ongaro, Cittadini, Geldenhuys, Bortolami, Derbyshire, M Bergamasco, Parisse.
Replacements: Sgarbi for Masi (59), Canale for Bocchino (73), Canavosio for Gori (58), Castrogiovanni for Perugini (47), van Zyl for Bortolami (47), D’Apice for M Bergamasco (36), Zanni for Parisse (58).
RUSSIA: Klyuchnikov, Artemyev, Kuzin, Makovetskiy, Ostroushko, Rachkov, Shakirov, Botvinnikov, Korshunov, Prishchepenko, Voytov, Byrnes, Grachev, Garbuzov, Gresev.
Replacements: Kushnarev for Klyuchnikov (33), Yanyushkin for Shakirov (28), Khrokin for Botvinnikov (54), Tsnobiladze for Korshunov (61), Antonov for Byrnes (65), Fatakhov for Grachev (64), Sidorov for Garbuzov (69).
Ref: Wayne Barnes (RFU).