Navidi is one of eight changes made by Director of Rugby Mark Hammett for the game at Stadio Mario Battaglini as Blues look to back-up the convincing opening round bonus point victory over Grenoble with another win.
Josh Turnbull is the other change in the back row, with Macauley Cook moving to lock to partner the called-up Chris Dicomidis. Italian international Manoa Vosawai will operate at Number Eight.
A new-look front row sees props Gethin Jenkins, fresh from his international call-up this week, and Scott Andrews pack down either side of hooker Kristian Dacey.
Cory Allen celebrates his selection for Wales’ autumn international squad with a recall in midfield, where he joins forces with Adam Thomas who moves across to inside centre.
The final change for Blues is a return for Dan Fish as he takes the left wing jersey. Hooker Rhys Williams, prop Thomas Davies and back row Ellis Jenkins are named among the replacements.
“Rovigo will be fired up for our visit as it’s their first home game in Europe this season. We have got to be ready for that test,” said Hammer.
“They are a physical team with some big lineout forwards, so we will want to try and run them around. But before we can do that we have got to earn the right and work hard on our physicality.
“We were pleased with the win over Grenoble and our target is to back that up with a similar result in Rovigo so we can go back into league action with real confidence and momentum.”
Cardiff Blues: 15 Rhys Patchell, 14 Richard Smith, 13 Cory Allen, 12 Adam Thomas, 11 Dan Fish, 10 Gareth Davies, 9 Lloyd Williams; 1 Gethin Jenkins, 2 Kristian Dacey, 3 Scott Andrews, 4 Chris Dicomidis, 5 Macauley Cook, 6 Josh Turnbull, 7 Josh Navidi (c), 8 Manoa Vosawai
Replacements: 16 Rhys Williams, 17 Thomas Davies, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Filo Paulo, 20 Ellis Jenkins, 21 Lewis Jones, 22Gavin Evans, 23 Geraint Walsh