Scotland earned their first Six Nations away win since 2002 as they completed a successful series with victory in Rome.
An early try from Mirco Bergamasco put Italy ahead but the Scots led 10-7 at half-time through a Chris Paterson try and a drop-goal from Gordon Ross.
A Ramiro Pez penalty levelled the scores heading into the final quarter.
But the hosts could not conjure another score and Paterson's penalty with three minutes left condemned them to a fifth Wooden Spoon in seven years.
Scotland, after failing to score a try in their last two matches, showed admirable invention with ball in hand.
Italy also adopted a more adventurous approach as they chased only their fourth win ever in the tournament, but Scotland prevailed to end a run of nine defeats on the road going back to April 2002.
The hosts dominated the opening exchanges, Pez peppering the Scottish back three with a series of penetrating kicks that brought their reward in the sixth minute.
From a line-out close to the Scottish line, Pez put a delicate chip over the defence with the outside of his boot which Bergamasco claimed to score, Pez adding the conversion.
Scotland lost Chris Cusiter to a shoulder injury after just eight minutes, Mike Blair replacing the Borderer at scrum-half.
But the visitors hit back with a try of their own after 11 minutes, following a superb driving maul from a line-out.
Scotland wing Sean Lamont hands off Italy's Ludovico Nitoglia
Blair was held up a metre short but after an aggressive clear-out by Nathan Hines, Paterson picked up and dived over, his conversion making it 7-7.
Pez missed a drop-goal after another period of Italian pressure, while Scotland were grateful for Blair's recovering tackle after Bergamasco collected his own chip ahead.
The visitors also had further chances to score in a thoroughly entertaining first half.
Paterson was bundled into touch in the left corner after a great counter-attack while full-back Hugo Southwell just failed to reach Paterson's chip to the line.
But they edged in front at half-time when Pez put a clearing kick out on the full and from the ensuing Scottish attack, Ross dropped a smart goal.
Scotland had a major let-off on the resumption when Sean Lamont's suidical pop-pass almost allowed Italy in, but he scrambled back to force Pablo Canavosio to knock-on with the line at his mercy.
But after the visitors were penalised at a scrum in the 57th minute, Pez's kick brought the sides level again.
Italy might have won it with 10 minutes left after a breathless counter-attack inspired by Canavosio, but Bergamasco was foiled by some scrambling defence.
Instead, a thumping tackle from captain Jason White - outstanding throughout the tournament - on Italian replacement Andrea Lo Cicero forced the prop to hold on to the ball a moment too long.
Paterson, amid a hail of whistles, kept his nerve to nail the kick and secure Scotland's best return (three wins) in the championship since winning the last Five Nations in 1999.
Italy: Stoica; Canavosio, Canale, Mi Bergamasco, Nitoglia; Pez, Griffen; Perugini, Ongaro, Castrogiovanni; Dellape, Bortolami (capt); Parisse , Zaffiri, Sole.
Replacements: Festuccia, Lo Cicero, Del Fava, Zanni, Picone, Wakarua, Galon.
Scotland: Southwell; Paterson, Di Rollo, Henderson, S Lamont; Ross, Cusiter; Kerr, Lawson, Douglas; Hines, Murray; White (capt), Taylor, Hogg.
Replacements: Hall, C Smith, Kellock, Petrie, Blair, Parks, Webster.