Two tries from Bristol centre Sally Tuson, on just her second cap, helped the Red Rose to victory over a charged-up host side in Rovereto, Northern Italy.
Further scores came from No. 8 Harriet Millar-Mills, wing Lydia Thompson, full-back Danielle Waterman and lock Rowena Burnfield, while rookie fly-half Lauren Cattell slotted one conversion.
With France having won both their fixtures against Italy and Spain, the stage is set for Le Crunch this Saturday to decide who will be crowned European champions in 2012.
Recent history favours Graham Smith's side as the Red Rose have won the tournament for the past four years running.
But England didn't have it all their own way on Tuesday evening as Azzurre fly-half Veronica Schiavon stroked over a penalty after just two minutes.
In response centre Tuson got her first try when she powered over the line and soon after England were 10-3 to the good thanks to a short-range effort from Millar-Mills, who picked up from a dominant five-metre scrum to dive over.
Straight from the kick-off when England created another try, as the forwards set the platform for the backs to work a score for vice-captain Waterman.
England's Millar-Mills and Italy scrum-half Sara Barattin were sin binned either side of half-time respectively but only England were able to capitalise.
From a lineout the ball was swung out to wing Thompson for her fourth try in two games.
Try number five for England came courtesy of Tuson, and Cattell converted, before workhorse Burnfield wrapped up England's tally with a 68th minute touchdown.
Italy wing Anna Barbanti went over late on for the hosts while English openside flanker Gemma Sharples was in the sin bin.
15 Danielle Waterman
14 Lydia Thompson
13 Sally Tuson
12 Ceri Large
11 Ruth Laybourn
10 Lauren Cattell
9 George Rozario
1 Rosemarie Crowley
2 Vicky Fleetwood
3 Laura Keates
4 Tamara Taylor
5 Rowena Burnfield
6 Sarah Hunter (C)
7 Gemma Sharples
8 Harriet Millar Mills
16 Emma Croker
17 Rochelle Clark
18 Kate Newton
19 Emily Braund
20 Fiona Fletcher
21 Fiona Davidson
22 Kim Oliver
23 Katherine Merchant
24 Emily Scarratt
Tries: Tuson (2), Millar-Mills, Waterman, Thompson, Burnfield