The body of 22-year-old Sara Di Pietrantonio, an economics student at Roma Tre University, was found by her mother close to a car that was also engulfed by flames on Via della Magliana, on the outskirts of the capital.
On Saturday night, Di Pietrantonio went out with a friend for dinner and later went on to a club.
Di Pietrantonio sent her mother a message at around 3.30am to say she was on her way back after accompanying the friend home. But after she failed to return, her mother and uncle went looking for her.
They found a Toyota in flames, and about 500 metres away, in a restaurant car park, lay the girl's burning body.
Led by Maria Monteleone, prosecutors in Rome have opened a murder investigation, with one of the lines of inquiry being femicide. However, there are no suspects as yet.
Di Pietrantonio had left her 27-year-old boyfriend a few days before, relatives told Italian media.
“We didn't know him well, but he seemed like a nice young man,” an aunt was quoted by Ansa as saying.