Italy made a bright start under Antonio Conte as goals from Ciro Immobile and Daniele De Rossi gave them a 2-0 win over 10-man Netherlands.
Conte – tasked with leading Italy into a new generation after Cesare Prandelli's post-World Cup resignation – could not have hoped for a better start in Bari on Thursday.
Immobile fired them ahead after just three minutes when a long Leonardo Bonucci ball caught the Netherlands defence napping.
And worse was to come for the visitors - beginning their own new era under Guus Hiddink, who also coached them between 1994 and 1998.
Bruno Martins Indi was sent off in the ninth minute for bringing down Italy debutant Simone Zaza in the penalty area and De Rossi coolly converted the resultant spot-kick.
Italy had numerous chances to extend their lead, particularly in the first half, but Netherlands goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen did well to keep them at bay before the contest fizzled out in the latter stages.
Conte - widely regarded as one of the best coaches in Europe after leading Juventus to three successive Serie A titles - will be encouraged not only by the result, but also by the impressive performance from his side.
Granted, Martins Indi's early dismissal ensured the match was played on Italy's terms, but their bright interplay and attacking verve is sure to have buoyed Conte ahead of the nation's first Euro 2016 qualifier in Norway on Tuesday.
Immobile quickly gave Italy the lead when Bonucci's hopeful punt split Martins Indi and Stefan de Vrij.
Cillessen came charging out of his goal, but Immobile had enough time to round the Netherlands goalkeeper before tapping in with his left foot to open his account for Italy.
Wesley Sneijder curled an effort over at the other end but it was a rare sight of goal for the Netherlands, who quickly found themselves down to 10 men when Martins Indi - the last man - brought down Zaza.
De Rossi rolled his effort into the bottom-left corner as Hiddink swapped Jeremain Lens for defender Joel Veltman in a bid to stem the flow of goals, and while that was successful, the change did little to halt Italy's momentum.
Zaza should have marked his debut with a goal in the 20th minute, but was denied by a great Cillessen save after Immobile unselfishly centred, while the goalscorer shot just over after combining well with his strike partner.
Immobile missed the target again when played in by Zaza on the stroke of half-time and the latter's quest for a goal continued after the break when he shot into the side netting.
Robin van Persie fired just wide for the Netherlands after Andrea Ranocchia's poor headed clearance, but like Sneijder's first-half effort, it was a rare foray forward for the visitors.
Italy still controlled the match but were restricted to long-range efforts - Bonucci and Zaza both tested Cillessen from distance, while Mattia Destro headed over - in the second half, as a flurry of substitutions saw the match peter out.
Two goals were more than enough for Italy, though, as the Netherlands received a wake-up call ahead of their opening Euro 2016 qualifier against Czech Republic on Tuesday.
|20||M. De Sciglio|
|16||D. De Rossi||10'|
|Coach: A. Conte|
for C. Marchisio 63'
for D. De Rossi 67'
for M. De Sciglio 67'
for M. Darmian 72'
for S. Zaza 73'
for C. Immobile 77'
|Southampton need three January signings, says Watson|
|Liverpool can make Champions League, says fanzine editor|
|Walsh: Hull clash crucial for Leicester|
|Toure, Aubameyang and Enyeama make shortlist for African gong|
|Docherty backs Chelsea to win two-horse race|
|Liverpool could benefit from Hyypia influence - Scales|
|Saudi Arabia name Asian Cup squad|
|Forty-year-old Cahill no problem for Postecoglou|
|Wenger criticism baffles Redknapp|
|Leicester must strengthen in window - Walsh|
|United not title contenders - Docherty|
|Koeman: Southampton youngsters will get a chance|
|Dyche empathises with Liverpool striker crisis|
|Cagliari turn to Zola|
|Rooney thanks Van Gaal for Christmas break|
|Cruzeiro offer Paulinho Tottenham exit chance|
|Carlisle´s wife grateful to Burnley|
|Katebe called up to Zambia AFCON squad|
|Cape Verde name AFCON squad|
|Finke names much-changed Cameroon squad|
|Grant omits World Cup troublemakers for AFCON|
|Blackpool striker Ranger goes AWOL|
|Allardyce relishing Mourinho meeting|
|Ashley fails to increase Rangers stake|
|Crystal Palace v Southampton: Koeman calls for focus|
|Warnock targeting striker in January|
|Chelsea v West Ham: Adrian vows visitors will attack|
|Heskey signs short-term deal at Bolton|
|Everton v Stoke City: Martinez eyes strong form|
|Juninho defends David Luiz|
|Burnley v Liverpool: Dyche defends Rodgers ahead of Turf Moor test|
|Arsenal v QPR: Wenger eyes festive momentum|
|Liverpool are growing in confidence, says Rodgers|
|Redknapp: Austin future could depend on survival|
|Martinez wants Everton consistency|
|Barca want Neymar until 2020, says agent|
|Jones undeterred by pressure of Liverpool starting role|
|Allardyce ´knows how to beat managers´ - Carroll|
|Jones playing for a new contract|
|China select Evergrande spine for Asian Cup|
|A-League Preview: Koren tips City to build|
|Khedira keen to fight for Real spot|
|Southampton confirm Elia deal|
|Cellino to remain as Leeds owner until after appeal|
|Manchester United v Newcastle United: Van Gaal demands domination|
|Van Gaal refuses to dismiss Bale speculation|
|Sunderland v Hull City: Bruce sure of Hull revival|
|Swansea City v Aston Villa: Lambert optimistic of away success|
|Agbonlahor red rescinded|
|Falcao depends on team-mates to perform - Van Gaal|
|Monk dismisses talk of Gomis move|
|West Brom v Manchester City: Pellegrini to experiment again|
|Xavi: I was ready for New York switch|
|Ibrahimovic fumes at awards snub|
|Irvine: No approaches for Berahino|
|Pearson determined to revive Leicester fortunes|
|League Two Preview: First host third as Wycombe meet Luton|
|League One Preview: Buoyant MK Dons eye more glory, Bristol City seek response|
|Championship Preview: Pritchard plotting to end Ipswich run, Bournemouth host Fulham|
|Kaboul place not guaranteed by captaincy - Pochettino|
|Koeman hopeful of Elia deal|
|Atletico president not ruling out Torres return|
|Swansea secure Oliveira signing|
|No excuses for Pellegrini|
|Walcott pace unaffected by injury|
|Former Real Madrid star Roberto Carlos backs Ronaldo for Ballon d´Or|
|Former PFA chairman Carlisle ´stable´ after serious incident|
|Balotelli remorse saved him from longer ban|
|Bayern midfielder Martinez ´on track´ with rehab|
|Pardew ´overjoyed´ at Gutierrez return|
|Spurs confirm Yedlin to join in January|
|Zeman sacked by Cagliari|
|Casillas: I´m going nowhere|
|Bruce demands McShane apology|
|Pulis would welcome Brighton talks|
|Buffon: Juve angry after Supercoppa loss|
|Arteta out until new year|
|Rangnick: Kampl deserves Dortmund switch|
|PFA offers support to Carlisle after serious incident|
|Napoli can mount title bid - Higuain|
|Cech´s agent urges Liverpool and Arsenal to make bid|
|Hart happy to be back to his best|
|Terry thrilled with ´revelation´ Matic|
|Perez rues ´unfair´ Tyne-Wear derby result|
|Khalfan Ibrahim returns from injury|
|Magath slams ´sensitive´ Fulham|
|´Limited´ attacking options inspire Postecoglou´s selections|
|Carlisle reportedly involved in serious incident|
|Primeira Liga Review: Braga leapfrog Guimaraes|
|Hughes upbeat despite Stoke defeat|