Edwards has made two changes to the backline which lost heavily in France. Sea View's Rafique Taylor will get her first start for her country on the wing, replacing Caryl James while Laura Prosser is preferred to Amy Day at scrum half.
Influential flanker Sioned Harries suffered an ankle injury against France which has forced a reshuffle in the back row. Experienced campaigner Catrina Nicholas returns as blindside flanker with Nia Davies moving to the openside while captain Rachel Taylor replaces Vicky Owens at No 8.
The only other change is in the front row where Jennifer Davies gets the nod ahead of Megan York at loosehead prop.
"Sioned will be a massive loss to us as she has been in top form for us but it's great to have someone of Cat's ability and experience to slot in. We first thought Sioned had broken her foot but the injury isn't as bad as first feared. Hopefully she will be back in time for the game against Scotland," said Edwards.
"The change we've made in the back three is all about getting the balance right. Raf has only had a couple of chances late on in the last couple of games. She is really quick and will be an unknown quantity to Italy as they wouldn't have seen her play before.
"The game against Italy is definitely make or break time for us. We always targeted the game against Italy but the fact they have won their first two games puts added pressure on us. But our preparation has gone well and if we can produce a clinical cutting edge, I'm confident of coming away with a win," he added.
Wales Women v Italy at Stadio Pacevecchia, Benevento Sun Feb 24
15 Dyddgu Hywel (Caernarfon)
14 Rafiuke Taylor (Sea View)
13 Elen Evans (Waterloo)
12 Rebecca De Filippo (Cardiff Quins)
11 Philippa Tuttiett (Cardiff Quins)
10 Elinor Snowsill (Bristol)
9 Laura Prosser (Pontyclun);
1 Jenny Davies (Waterloo)
2 Lowri Harries (Neath Athletic)
3 Catrin Edwards (Cardiff Quins)
4 Gemma Hallett (Pontyclun)
5 Shona Powell Hughes (Neath Athletic)
6 Catrina Nicholas (Cardiff Quins)
7 Nia Davies (Cardiff Met)
8 Rachel Taylor (Bristol - Capt)
16 Carys Phillips (Cardiff Met)
17 Bethan Howell (Seven Sisters)
18 Megan York (Blaenau Gwent)
19 Vicky Owens (Pontyclun)
20 Delyth Davies (Cardiff Met)
21 Amy Day (Unattached)
22 Leila Johns (Unattached)
23 Caryl James (Cardiff Quins)