Just a few months ago Gaetano Matrino was on a children’s TV talent show cheering on his daughter.
But on Thursday holidaymakers were stunned on the popular Terracina beach south of Rome and fled in panic after two men executed him.
Police recovered 15 bullet casings and said the victim was linked to the Camorra organised crime outfit. One of the attackers was arrested.
Police said it was an organised hit, with Marino, who had lost both hands in a previous assassination attempt, lured out of the water to take a phone call. His bodyguard was also killed.
It is the latest in a series of Mafia-style killings on Italy’s beaches this summer.