Both played the full 90 minutes as the Croatians came from behind to secure a key point in Group C.
The impressive Andrea Pirlo curled home a fine free-kick to hand the Italians the lead in the first half but Croatia recovered and were the better team after the break.
Luka had a couple a decent efforts early in the half, including a fizzer from 22 yards that went just over and his side levelled through Mario Mandzukic in the 72nd minute.
The draw means Croatia remain unbeaten and second in the group on goal difference from reigning champions Spain, who beat the Republic of Ireland 4-0 on Thursday night.
With Italy on two points andf favourites to topple the Republic in their final group game on Monday night, it means Croatia will still need something from a mouth-watering final match against Spain, also on Monday night.
It could all yet go down to goal difference.
Vedran, who played again in a central defensive role, was pleased with the point.
"Slaven Bilic told us the first half was not good enough," he said. "We were poor positionally and the tactics were changed - in the second half we improved.
"It was a fair draw, but perhaps we missed a chance to score the winner."