The Irish visit the Stadio Flaminio on Saturday to face an Italian side vastly improved under coach John Kirwan and buoyed by last weekend's long-awaited victory over Wales.
It is a far cry from 1997 when the Irish travelled to Bologna for a one-off Test and were beaten 37-22 by a rough and rugged Italy team.
"I played in the defeat in Bologna," Humphreys said.
"That's where I ended up with a broken nose. All I can remember is getting punched and then not remembering anything else for the next three or four hours.
"In years gone by that side of their play has been a problem for the Italians but that's certainly not the case now.
"They beat Wales quite easily last weekend and, in the last 12 months, compared to when we analysed them before the game last year, they've improved immeasurably.
"So it's going to be a huge test physically - they're very big and very strong - and they're going to pose us a lot of the same problems Wales encountered last weekend."