Spain coach Vicente del Bosque has urged his players to make a mental note of Italy's football style and historic legacy in Wednesday's international friendly in Bari.
The two European super powers meet for the first time since Euro 2008 when the Italians, then coached by Roberto Donadoni, lost 4-2 on penalties at the quarter-final stage.
Spain went on to win the 2008 tournament and then added to their glory by picking up last year's World Cup in South Africa as Italy were ousted at the group stage.
But despite the visible gap, Del Bosque still rates the Italians as a world-class side.
"We are only at the start of the season, but our aim is to play a good game and show good football," Del Bosque is quoted as saying by El Mundo Deportivo.
"We can learn a lot from Italy, a team who have won the World Cup four times (1934, 1938, 1982 and 2006).
"Italian football has gone through some uncomfortable moments, but we must not forget that they were the world champions just five years ago."