Italy gripped by desperate race to find missing four-year-old Gioele

He was last seen with his mother, whose body has been recovered in suspicious circumstances. Now a race in the fierce summer heat to find missing four-year old Gioele is gripping Italy.

Italy gripped by desperate race to find missing four-year-old Gioele
Emergency services searching the area where Viviani Parisi's body was found. Handout photo: VIGILI DEL FUOCO / AFP

Viviani Parisi, a 43-year old DJ, was last seen on the morning of August 3rd, climbing over a motorway barrier in Sicily after a minor road collision.

One witness says she was carrying a child, another says she was alone.

Her body was found five days later in a nearby forest close to the town of Caronia, lying at the foot of a high-voltage pylon.

A photograph of the musician with her wide smile, hugging Gioele, illustrates the media's daily updates on the case.


Prosecutor Angelo Cavallo, who heads up the investigation, has said his team have been unable yet to rule out accidental death, suicide or murder.

If it was an accident – perhaps a fall from the pylon – police say the boy may have wandered off and got lost. If Parisi was murdered, perhaps he was snatched.

According to the pathologist, Parisi likely died where her body was found. Her corpse bore no visible wounds – though one arm was broken in several places – and the state of decomposition made it impossible to determine whether she was strangled.

Viviana and Gioele disappeared after the DJ told her husband she was going to Messina to buy shoes. She was not spotted shopping, but her grey Opel Corsa was photographed on a slip road entering the motorway.

It was not possible to establish from the blurred images whether Gioele was alive in the back, Italian media said.

Gioele's father, Daniele Mondelo, told the Corriere della Sera daily his wife had been suffering from depression, which was aggravated by the coronavirus lockdown. But friends insisted to journalists that she would not harm a fly.

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.


Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome’s Trevi Fountain

With the return of tourism and scorching temperatures, Rome’s fountains are once again attracting visitors hoping to cool off with a midnight swim.

Tourist fined €450 for swim in Rome's Trevi Fountain

In the latest incident, a 26-year-old Spanish man was fined 450 euros after taking a dip in the Trevi Fountain in the early hours of Sunday morning.

Rome’s city police apprehended and fined the man after he was spotted swimming in the 18th-century monument at around 5am, according to local media reports.

READ ALSO: How to keep cool like an Ancient Roman in Italy’s summer heat

Every summer, hapless foreign visitors face fines of hundreds of euros after falling foul of Rome’s strict ban on taking a dip in public fountains – with the city mayor warning tourists that the centuries-old Baroque monuments are “not swimming pools”.

In April, two Dutch tourists also faced fines totalling over €1,000 after their own ill-advised splash in the Trevi Fountain.

The Roman landmark is one of the city’s main magnets for badly-behaved visitors, but tourists have also been fined after cooling off in the Santa Maria fountain in Trastevere, believed to be the city’s oldest. 

Since 2018, anyone caught misbehaving at Rome’s monuments can also face a temporary ‘Daspo’ ban from the area – similar to an ASBO (anti-social behaviour order) in the UK – which allows city police to restrict the movement of people they deem a threat to public order.

READ ALSO: From selfie brawls to midnight swims: Tourists behaving badly at the Trevi Fountain

But a plan to erect a one-metre-high glass and steel barrier around the Trevi fountain to protect it from unruly visitors now appears to have been abandoned after arts and heritage experts called the idea “foolish”.

Fines for swimming in the fountains have been in place since 2015, but this hasn’t stopped determined visitors from recreating scenes from La Dolce Vita and even some locals from taking a dip – – with or without their clothes.

Swimming in the wrong place is just one of the offences regularly committed by visitors, with graffiti and vandalism a common problem at many of Italy’s famous monuments.

READ ALSO: 15 strange ways to get into trouble on holiday in Italy

In Rome alone, this year tourists have made headlines for everything from breaking into the Colosseum to enjoy a drink with a view to driving a car down the Spanish Steps.

Other Italian tourism hotspots, including Florence and Venice, also have varying local rules in place aimed at curbing rowdy behaviour.