Henman, after a week's rest since his first-round exit in Cincinnati, looked lively and fresh, serving well and volleying excellently. He dropped only eight points on his serve throughout the match against the Italian left-hander ranked No 132 in the world.
The British No 2 is seeded sixth, has a good draw and if he can reach the quarter-finals may overtake Greg Rusedski as the leading Briton for the first time in a year.
In the same event, the veteran Jeff Tarango, of the United States, and tour rookie Lleyton Hewitt, of Australia, won first-round matches to set up a second-round meeting against two of the best in the business.
Tarango achieved a 6-2, 6-2 victory over 127th-ranked qualifier, Lionel Roux of France, to move into the second round against Patrick Rafter.
A wild card recipient this week, the 151st-ranked Hewitt set up his first encounter with Pete Sampras after securing a 6-3, 6-4 win over the 83rd- ranked Sargis Sargsian of Armenia.
In the second round at the RCA Championships in Indianapolis on Tuesday, Sweden's Thomas Johansson, came back from dropping a first-set tie-break to eliminate Spain's Carlos Moya 6-7, 6-0, 6-1 with the help of 18 aces,.
The top seed, the world No 1 Marcelo Rios, was untroubled, earning a 6-4, 6-4 win over America's Bob Bryan to reach the third round.
The Chilean made up for a poor performance a week ago, when he lost his first match after taking back the No 1 ranking from Pete Sampras.
Steffi Graf took just 41 minutes to overwhelm Spain's Virginia Ruano- Pascual 6-0, 6-1 in a second-round match at the Canadian Open in Montreal on Tuesday. Monica Seles, the fifth seed, also moved into the third round with a 6-2, 6-1 win over American Tara Snyder. Like the seventh-seeded Graf and the other top eight seeds, Seles was playing after having a first- round bye.
Two seeded players, 13th-seeded Mary Pierce of France and 17th-seeded Lisa Raymond of the US, failed to reach the second round. American veteran Mary Joe Fernandez took advantage of an ineffectual performance by Pierce to win 6-1, 6-1 while Raymond lost to her American Fed Cup team-mate Corina Morariu 7-6, 1-6, 6-2.