The pair, normally inseparable, had differing engagements on Friday evening; one went to a pizzeria with work colleagues, the other to dinner at a friend's house. They had probably agreed to see one another at home later that night, but never made it. Instead they met at high speed at an intersection after one of them failed to give way.
Police say the impact of the collision between Mario's Vespa and Giovanni's scooter was extremely violent and they exclude the possibility that the two may have seen each other before the crash. Giovanni suffered injuries to his head and chest and subsequently developed bronchial difficulties. Mario shattered his forehead and badly damaged his skull in the fall.
The twins were taken to intensive care units at separate hospitals; their mother is with Mario, while their father, a town council employee, is at Giovanni's bedside. Doctors say the condition of both brothers is critical though Mario has even less chance of pulling through than his twin.