David Cameron will visit Rome today for talks with Italian counterpart Silvio Berlusconi.
The prime ministers are to have a “working dinner” in the capital tonight.
However, there are fears that an expected press conference afterwards could be dominated by questions about Mr Berlusconi’s love life.
Fresh allegations about the Italian leader’s links with escort girls have emerged in the country’s media.
Mr Berlusconi is also facing pressure politically after a split with the co-founder of his People of Freedom (PDL) party, which is threatening to undermine his parliamentary majority.
Downing Street has indicated that the discussions between the premiers will focus on their countries’ commercial links, as well as co-operation in Afghanistan, where Italy has around 3,300 troops.
Mr Cameron and Mr Berlusconi had a one-on-one meeting at June’s G8/G20 summit in Canada and also talked at the European Council meeting in Brussels the same month.