The Spaniard lost his number one ranking and a 50-set winning streak on clay when he was beaten by Dominic Thiem at the Madrid Open, but he was back to his somewhere near his brilliant best in Rome.
Dzumhur worked hard, yet came up well short, outclassed by Nadal in a clinical display that ensured a return to winning ways was never in doubt.
With Thiem crashing out to Fabio Fognini earlier in the day, Nadal's route to a first Rome title since 2013 - his eighth in total - may have just become a little clearer.
Nadal took no time at all to hit his stride, cruising as he built an early advantage and then working for his second break, taking the fourth game with a superb return that Dzumhur could only play into the net.
The underdog took the lead in his next service game and survived a set point to this time hold on, but Nadal swiftly wrapped up the opener when it was his turn to serve.
It quickly became clear that it would be more of the same in the second, the world number two taking three of only four break-point opportunities as Dzumhur failed to live with his opponent.
The 31 year-old ultimately booked his place in the third round, where he will play either Robin Haase or Denis Shapovalov, in exactly an hour of play.