Writer I want to replace str with <a>str</a>

I’ve fought with this for ages. My document is ~350 pages. Basically I want to search for all italics and prepend/append & (Not for obvious reasons, else I’d be looking for an HTML converter – so please do not recommend that).

Example (assuming animals are in italics):

The agile goldfish jumped over the lazy ferret.
The agile goldfish jumped over the lazy ferret.

If this has been asked, appologies, I’ve spent four days searching, so please “just gimme t3h codez”.

Thanks kindly.

I’m afraid there isn’t much use in long explanations. Study the attached example instead.
(For the first way ‘Italic’ must be chosen using the ‘Format’ button. Regard ‘Including Styles’.)

Also: You seem to be aware of the fact that the <a ...> and </a> tag is used for different purposes in html. Why don’t you use a different markup?

Additional remark:
AltSearch can only work in Writer. For similar tasks concerning texts in spreadsheet cells see: Calc: nach erstem kursiven Zeichen suchen

Thanks so much for your quick answer and concise answer. Regarding HTML, I’m clearing the format and reformatting it as per certain standards of the people I have to submit it to (margins, spacing, font, etcetera), so I’m only marking the parts of the formatting that need to be restored (once I’ve cleared the whole thing and set all those up) and using HTML tags because of familiarity (I may as well have used iii string iii to designate stuff. The format they require is MS .doc (not .docx) and obviously no .odt or others, else I’d have rather used HTML as it’s so much easier to make global changes. But the people consider .doc as “the most widely readable format”.