"I started when I was at school, but I got into quite late at the age of 12 but I enjoyed it from the start. I enjoyed the physical aspect of it and I really enjoyed it.
"I started in a little club in the province near Piacenza called Gossolengo and I started playing near my house. I then played for a few different clubs around Treviso, Parma and then eventually at Zebre.
"When I first started I was a flanker, even in the Under-20s then I moved to play at prop. I realised that physically I had the build that I could play prop while I was also fairly dynamic.
"At the start it wasn't easy because especially in the scrum it's really technical and I had to learn and gain experience. But straightaway I enjoyed it.
"I liked the scrum, the challenge of going up against the other prop. It's a match within a match, which I really like."
From Gossolengo he went to Calvisano, where he won two Eccellenza titles, as well as representing Italy Under-20s back in 2009.
Then at the age of 25 he arrived at Zebre, quickly making an impression at the Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi.
Within a year he was part of the Italy training squad for the World Cup, and while he didn't make his debut, that experience played a big part in his development.
He added: "From when I started I'd always worked for this (to play internationally). I'd always hoped it would happen without having that confidence that it would necessarily. But I kept working to try and make it. So that I could get called up and I'm very happy now.
"I made my debut in the RBS 6 Nations against France last year but the first time I was called up into the squad was in the training squad for the World Cup in 2015. I did the start of the preparation with them.
"Then I went to England ahead of the last game against Romania although I didn't play, I was in the stands. But still the chance to train with them and participate ahead of a World Cup was a brilliant experience."
The debut came a year ago in Paris, and Lovotti admits the size of the occasion took some getting used to - but he acquitted himself well as Italy pushed France all the way before going down 23-21.
He explained: "I took a while to realise what it meant when I played my first game against France. I arrived and I was quite calm but the day of the game and the day before I started to feel the pressure. To play your first game at the Stade de France in front of so many people in one of the best places to play in the world is incredible."
Results have been hard to come by since, and Lovotti endured a tough afternoon against Les Bleus the weekend just gone.
But at 27 and with plenty of potential, he looks set to be one of the rocks on which O'Shea will try to build his team.
As Lovotti says: "We've tried lots of different methods to help us improve and as a squad we want to become the best-ever Italian team."
The 2017 RBS 6 Nations was watched by record numbers of fans
29 March 2017, 12:25pm
After an enthralling RBS 6 Nations Championship of twists, turns, and no small amount of drama on the last day, figures show the RBS 6 Nations is going from strength to strength, year on year, with no sign of slowing down.