On a month-to-month basis, industrial orders in May rose 3.2 percent from the April level, Istat data said, even though they slipped by 1.1 percent from the figure a year before.
Orders from abroad rose the most sharply, jumping by 9.4 percent in May from a year ago and 4 percent month-to-month.
Domestic orders meanwhile plummeted by 7.9 percent from a year ago while edging up 2.6 percent from the month before.
The rise in orders month-to-month backs European Union Data published late last month that signalled the outlook for Italian manufacturing may be firming.
The data, part of eurozone-wide survey on sentiment among purchasing managers in the manufacturing sector, is considered a reliable indicator of
activity to come.
Earlier this month, the International Monetary Fund said it expected the Italian economy to contract by 1.8 percent this year, from an earlier forecast of a 1.5-percent shrinkage.
For 2014, however, the IMF increased its forecast to 0.7-percent growth.