Cavour, an aircraft carrier and the flagship of the Italian Navy, was launched from the Riva Trigoso shipyards in the town of Sestri Levante in northwestern Italy. The ship was named after Camillo Benso, Count of Cavour, who was a 19th-century Italian statesman and is generally known as Count Cavour. His major accomplishments included helping to establish what became today’s Italian Navy. The crest that was designed for and mounted on the aircraft carrier bearing Cavour’s name features a portrait of him. Mrs. Augusta Saint Antonella Martino di San Germano christened the ship on behalf of the Cavour family.
Cavour underwent sea trials starting in December 2006 and was officially commissioned as an Italian Navy vessel in March 2008. The ship’s first mission took place in January 2010, when she traveled to Haiti as part of Italy’s humanitarian efforts (collectively known as Operation White Crane) to provide relief for the victims of a catastrophic earthquake that hit the Caribbean country. Cavour carried food as well as medical staff and resources to Haiti. In addition, helicopters on board the ship were used to transport needed personnel and supplies directly to earthquake-ravaged areas.