Mohamed Laabid, a Moroccan tourist, was attacked while waiting in line to buy a ticket at Rome’s central Termini station, Italian daily Il Messaggero reported.
Unprovoked, the attacker reportedly kicked and punched the 70-year-old tourist, causing internal injuries and brain damage.
The traveller was rushed to the city’s Umberto I hospital but died later that afternoon from his injuries after surgery.
The attacker, identified as 25-year-old Biagio M from the southern region of Campania, was arrested and taken to Rebibbia prison. According to police, he was suffering from a mental illness.
Laabid, who was married with children, had been staying with relatives in the capital, the paper said, and was planning to travel to Venafro, near Rome, to visit the grave of his soldier father who had died in Italy during the Second World War.
Police are now examining CCTV footage and await the result of an autopsy.