Filippo Corsini, the 21-year-old heir to a Florentine noble family, died in London on Monday after being dragged 30 yards by a truck.
The vehicle struck his bicycle just outside Harvey Nichols department store in the Knightsbridge district at 12.40 P.M.
Emergency medics pronounced him dead at the scene just over half an hour later, according to local media reports.
Police arrested the truck’s 42-year-driver on suspicion of causing death by dangerous driving but released him on bail pending further inquiries.
Corsini, an heir to one of Florence’s oldest and most illustrious dynasties, could trace his lineage back more than 500 years with a pedigree including Pope Clement XII.
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The Corsini family rose to prominence after making its fortune from merchant banking during the 16th century. It’s often credited with the development of Rome’s Trevi Fountain.
Dozens of friends left flowers and notes at the busy site of Corsini’s death, including his London-based housemate Guccio Gucci Ludolf.
“You are unique, I never knew a person so full of energy, always smiling and ready to make others laugh,” wrote Ludolf, a member of the Gucci fashion house.
“Without you the house is empty. You died in a second and you were gone. It happened so fast that I didn’t want to believe it.”
“We were together for so much time and despite all our fights I am laughing with a sadness that will never end,” London’s Evening Standard quoted him as saying.
“You are the friend that was always able to make me laugh with your generosity and kindness. I will miss you so much.”
Another friend, identified as Filo, said Corsini had recently released his own Tuscan wine called Fico.
“He loved cycling and he would cycle every day to university whatever the weather,” she said.
The young aristocrat was on his way to class at London’s Regent’s University, where he was studying for a BA in International Business, when he was killed.
Friends told reporters that Corsini’s parents Duccio and Clothilde are too devastated to leave their family home, a Tuscan estate south of Florence.
Corsini, the eighth cyclist to be killed in London this year, was an accomplished equestrian and show jumper.
One of Italy’s top equestrians Alberto Violante recalled his friend’s passion for the sport and love for his favorite horse Claretta Bella.
“Filippo was one of those guys that every time you saw him you couldn’t help but smile, it was enough to exchange a few words,” he said.
“He could change the worst day into something positive,” Violante is quoted as saying.