Italy captain Marco Bortolami believes the calendar of fixtures for next year's RBS 6 Nations Championship plays into his side's hands.
The Azzurri will open the 2007 tournament with a home match against France before ending it by welcoming Wales and Ireland to the Stadio Flaminio in Rome.
In between those fixtures, Pierre Berbizier's men face tricky away trips to England and Scotland.
Italy may have finished bottom of the table this year but they impressed many with their gutsy showings and arguably deserved more than the one point they picked up, secured in the 18-18 draw with the Welsh in Cardiff.
Bortolami feels the Azzurri have a great chance of posting victories in their home ties with France, Ireland and Wales, countries Italy caused a host of problems to this year.
"Meeting the French at our home in the first match of the 2007 Six Nations is certainly positive," Bortolami said.
"In the last meeting against them, at the Stade de France, we lost a great match.
"After producing a great first-half display, we lost the plot in the second," added the lock, referring to the turnaround which saw Italy surrender a 12-8 half-time lead to lose 37-12.
"Every game will be difficult for us but I definitely fancy this new calendar.
"In the last two rounds, Ireland and Wales must come to Italy, and these are the games I'm waiting for.
"Both teams managed to escape against us in the last Six Nations."
By that time, Bortolami should be a firmly established member of the Gloucester pack, having recently signed a two-year contract with the Guinness Premiership side.
The 25-year-old is proud to be making the leap into the English top flight and has dubbed the next stage in his club career as "a new adventure".
"I'm looking forward to joining Gloucester this summer," he added. "Signing for the club means a lot to me.
"It is like a dream come true. I always dreamed of playing in England one day and when they contacted me, I was so happy.
"I can't wait to start this new adventure. I am really looking forward to playing in the Guinness Premiership alongside so many great players."
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