It marks the first time Cannavaro will be coaching in Europe since retiring from football in 2011.
Cannavaro has previously spent time coaching in the Middle East and Asia, taking charge of sides like Al-Ahli, Guangzhou Evergrande, Al-Nassr and Tianjin Quanjian.
He also managed the China national team briefly in 2019.
Cannavaro led Guangzhou to the Chinese league title in 2019 and finished runners up on two occasions. He also won the Chinese FA Cup in 2018.
Benevento, who were relegated from Serie A last season, parted ways with previous boss Fabio Caserta on Tuesday after winning just two of their opening six matches in Italy's second tier to sit 13th on the table.
A Ballon D'or winner in 2006, Cannavaro played for the likes of Parma, Napoli, Inter Milan, Juventus, and Real Madrid during his career.
Cannavaro was captain of the Italy national team when they won the FIFA World Cup in 2006.