The experienced trainer conceded that he is not looking forward to meeting the Azzurri and hopes that the match will not decide the outcome of the group
The 73-year-old, who took over the Ireland team in 2008, will take on his former side in Poland and Ukraine after guiding the Azzurri between 2000 and 2004.
"I did not want to meet Italy at Euro 2012, but fate decided so and I only hope it will not be the decisive game of the group stage," he said during the presentation of the Montecatini Terme as Ireland's pre-Euro base.
"I had chosen Montecatini as the location, and I did not change my mind."
Spain and Croatia make up the rest of the Euro 2012 Group C, which will kick off on June 10.