France coach Didier Deschamps hailed his team after they came from behind to record their first win in Italy since 1994.
The French had trailed to a 37th minute goal by Stephan El Shaarawy in Parma, but hit back within two minutes thanks to Mathieu Valbuena's brilliantly-taken equaliser.
And the comeback was completed soon after the hour when substitute Bafetimbi Gomis poked home the winner after Patrice Evra had played a low ball into his path.
Deschamps, who saw his side hold world champions Spain 1-1 in an away World Cup qualifier last month, told broadcaster TF1: "We met the European runners-up, they put us into trouble, but we worked hard and we could have hurt them more late in the game with a third goal.
"This is a great result against a high-level team, even if they were missing a few players. This was our last game of the calendar year, and to finish with a victory in Italy will perhaps improve our ranking.
"I congratulate the players and have told them to enjoy it because they have done well against a great team. They are in a good run now."
Scorer Gomis added: "We're a sqaud working hard, combining well. Our spirit should be noticed. We are 23 players who are ready to make an effort for our country."