Wales are narrowly in front after 40 minutes in Rome.
Leigh Halfpenny has kicked three penalties, but missed one more - with Kris Burton slotting two in reply for Italy.
Heavy rain made attacking rugby very difficult, and contributed to an error-strewn first half.
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Wales play Belgium in Lille on Friday night in what's been described as their biggest game in more than 50 years.
The Battle of the Somme claimed more than a million casualties.
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