Champion here in 2008 and runner-up in 2009, the top-seeded Errani made short work of Edina Gallovits-Hall, 61 61. She is now 25-4 on clay this season.
"I love playing in Palermo," Errani said. "The first match after switching from grass courts to clay is never easy."
It was Errani's first match at her new career-high ranking of No.9.
"For me to be No.9 is really fantastic," Errani said. "Now until the end of the season I don't have a lot of points to defend, and I hope I can improve my ranking even more. After Palermo I will play Bastad, then practice on grass in preparation for the Olympic Games."
Pulling off the surprise of the day was fellow Italian Maria Elena Camerin, who came into her first round match 1-6 in main draw matches in Palermo while opponent Anabel Medina Garrigues was 32-3 with five titles - 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2011. On top of that, Camerin was 0-2 against the Spaniard previously and had not won a WTA main draw match since Barcelona in April 2011. Nevertheless, Camerin was never broken en route to a 61 63 victory over the No.4 seed, quickly putting an end to her bid to become the only active player with at least six titles at one tournament.
Also coming into her Tuesday opener 0-2 against opponent Karin Knapp was second-seeded Roberta Vinci, surprising given that she is ranked almost 100 spots higher than her fellow Italian. But this time, Vinci coasted to a 62 62 win.
In a compelling match involving unseeded players, Julia Cohen rallied from 5-2 down in the third set and overcame a match point at 5-4 in her 64 46 75 defeat of Vera Dushevina, the American's first career WTA main draw match triumph.