An experienced Italian trekker who died in the Blue Mountains eased his father's concerns about the day trip by telling him the recent bushfires had caused the region's snake population to flee.
Mattia Fiaschini, 24, was reported missing on Thursday after he went bushwalking near Blackheath the previous day.
His body was found on Sunday near the Baltzer Lookout in the Blue Mountains National Park. It's been retrieved but the cause of his death remains unclear.
Mattia's father Rodolfo Fiaschini told Italian media over the weekend his son – who worked as a waiter at a Sydney cafe – had been living in Australia for two years and was planning to return to Italy this month.
Mr Fiaschini said Mattia was a fit and experienced hiker who had trekked in the Himalayas and Amazon.
The 24-year-old had reassured his father in messages ahead of the Blue Mountains trip by telling him dangerous snakes in the national park were absent due to recent bushfires.
"The gigantic fire has burned a vast area but the positive side was the absence of poisonous snakes – he told this to me," Mr Fiaschini told Italian newspaper Il Resto del Carlino before Mattia's body was found.
"He had a free day from work – he wanted to go on a day trip."
Mr Fiaschini said NSW Police were examining whether the Grose Valley fire had changed the local landscape and walking paths, confusing Mattia and causing him to stray.
Police on Sunday said a report would be prepared for the coroner.
Mr Fiaschini and his wife are expected to arrive in Australia on Monday night.
After Mattia's body was located, Mr Fiaschini wrote on Facebook his son was "positive, sunny, sensible and generous".
"His mother and I have always been proud to have raised Mattia and his two siblings with these qualities and values. Now I hope that he gives us from above the strength and positivity we need," he said.
Cesenatico mayor Matteo Gozzoli this weekend said Mattia's loss had touched the entire community and that he shared the family's pain.
"A boy that loses his life in those circumstances, in a place he loves, leaves one speechless," Mr Gozzoli told Italian reporters.
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