The Dragons were made to work for their 18-3 Magners League victory over Aironi at the Stadio Zaffanella on Sunday.
The visitors ground out a hard-fought victory to secure their first away win in 15 months and condemn bottom side Aironi to a 14th successive Magners League defeat.
The Dragons had defeated the Italians 36-5 in the first fixture between the sides at Rodney Parade earlier this season.
But they were pushed harder this time around in an attritional encounter at the Stadio Zaffanella and were left frustrated as the hosts defended stoutly for long periods.
Luke Charteris returned to captain the Dragons, joining Rob Sidoli in the second row, while hooker Lloyd Burns came in for Tom Willis.
Fly-half Jason Tovey booted two penalties to give the visitors a slender 6-0 half-time lead but Aironi hit back shortly after the resumption through a penalty from Tito Tebaldi.
The Dragons then began to move through the gears and they scored the game's opening try on 58 minutes.
Wales winger Will Harries was pivotal in a fine handling move which culminated in centre Tom Riley going over in the corner from Tovey's teasing kick.
Tovey added the extras before Dragons' forward Andrew Coombs was shown the yellow card and James Marshall missed the resultant penalty.
But despite being down to 14 men the visitors crossed for a second try on 67 minutes when another kick from Tovey allowed Aled Brew to ground the ball in the corner.
Tovey failed to convert but the Dragons climbed to seventh while Aironi remain bottom and still winless.
Tries: Riley, Brew
Pens: Tovey 2
Aironi: 15 Julien Laharrague; 14 Kaine Robertson, 13 Gabriel Pizarro, 12 Horacio San Martin, 11 Giulio Toniolatti; 10 James Marshall, 9 Tito Tebaldi, 8 Nick Williams. 7 Gareth Krause, 6 Jaco Erasmus, 5 Marco Bortolami (c), 4 Joshua Furno, 3 Fabio Staibano, 2 Roberto Santamaria, 1 Alberto De Marchi.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Luca Redolfini, 18 Andrea De Marchi, 19 George Biagi, 20 Nicola Cattina, 21 Pietro Travagli, 22 Alberto Benettin, 23 Matteo Pratichetti.
Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Will Harries, 13 Tom Riley, 12 Pat Leach, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Andrew Coombs, 7 Joe Bearman, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Luke Charteris, 4 Rob Sidoli, 3 Dan Way, 2 Lloyd Burns, 1 Phil Price.
Replacements: 16 Steve Jones, 17 Hugh Gustafson, 18 Ben Castle, 19 Scott Morgan, 20 Hugo Ellis, 21 Mike Petri, 22 Mathew Jones, 23 Adam Hughes.
Referee: Neil Paterson (Scotland)