Miah-Marie Langlois of Windsor, Ont., had 11 points and three blocks, while Miranda Ayim of London, Ont., added eight points and nine rebounds.
"Italy came and brought a lot of physicality to the game and a lot of defensive pressure, that disrupted our offensive flow," said Canadian coach Lisa Thomaidis.
The Canadians are using the exhibition tour as a tuneup for next month's Pan American Games and the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament in August.
The game was tied 16-16 at the end of the first quarter. The Canadians opened up a small lead in the second and a three-pointer by Kim Gaucher at the buzzer sent Canada into the dressing room at halftime up 42-34. Canada went into the fourth up 58-45. Italy fought back with an 11-0 run to pull to within four, but Canada held on for the victory.
"It was definitely a grind but we toughed it out and exceeded our goals," Langlois said.
Canada plays France on Friday.