Brave Guido's 'dream' Dublin trip 20 years on from horror attack
He was left paralysed, partially sighted, unable to feed himself and requiring round-the-clock care when he was mindlessly struck over the head with a bottle in Dublin 20 years ago.
But brave Italian Guido Nasi said he'll be "fulfilling a dream" when he returns to the capital in the coming weeks.
Guido (36), who had been a fun-loving and able-bodied teen, suffered irreversible injuries back in 1999 when he was the victim of an unprovoked and near-fatal assault in Dublin's Fairview Park.
However, the Turin native, who had been enjoying his first-ever trip abroad when he was attacked, still harbours a deep affection for Ireland - and is now counting down the days to a week's holiday in Dublin in late March.
Guido's mother, Simonetta (76), is also planning to join her son in Dublin - to fulfil a long-standing wish to thank the Irish public for its continued support for her only child.
Bernadette Kelly, a Dublin-based former victim support volunteer who built up a close friendship with the Nasi family, said Guido had been in "high spirits" since booking his holiday to Ireland.
"Guido has wanted to come back over for years," she said.
"He's dreamed about it, but it just wasn't possible up to now because he wasn't well enough. But he's made some physical improvements lately. For example, he can now sit on the seat of a car, which he couldn't do before.
"That's very important, because he will need to be driven around when he's over here.
"Guido is no longer living with his mother. He's being looked after in a specialist care centre near the family home in Turin.
"But it's made a big difference to his well-being, and he's also much improved mentally, and is keeping himself busy with studying and his new hobby, bowling.
"So he's now booked to come over to Dublin in late March for a week, and he will be accompanied by his full-time carer.
"He really can't wait to get over. It's keeping him going.
"He had wanted to move over here permanently, but that is never going to happen because it would be just too complicated and unrealistic.
"But coming over here for a holiday will be the next best thing."
Bernadette also said that Simonetta is hoping to make it over too.
"Simonetta hasn't been well lately and is still undergoing chemotherapy, so she's not in a position to commit to coming over just yet, but she would dearly love to," she said.
"She still receives Christmas cards from Irish people every year, and she's said for years that she wants to come over to Ireland to thank all the people that have continued to support her since Guido was attacked."
Meanwhile, a memoir, which wheelchair-bound Guido spent two years writing, is due to be released in October this year.
The book - entitled Una Vita Spezzata, which translates as A Shattered Life - has been supported by a leading Italian publishing company.
It is expected to revisit in detail the horrific day when Guido was left paralysed.
In 2001, James Osbourne, then aged 31, from East Wall, Dublin, was jailed for eight-and-a-half years for the attack. He was released in May 2008.