The partially decomposed body was found by a passerby last Thursday and later identified as Sebastiano Magnani, from Cannaregio, a town in the Veneto region.
Citing British police, Ansa reported that Magnani, who moved to London several months ago, was killed in a suspected underworld ambush.
He had reportedly travelled to Colombia, Cambodia and Thailand before moving to the English capital.
His parents were informed of his death on Monday, Venezia Today reported.
Police in London have appealed to people living in the area, including canal boat owners, for more information.