A 20-year-old Italian violin student has set up a Facebook page to appeal for the safe return of her stolen instrument.

The violin, a 1989 Guadagnini-model Claude Lebet valued at €15,000, was snatched at Florence's Santa Maria Novella station on Monday 17 December.

The Catania-born owner, Gemma Raneri, graduated from the conservatoire in Florence and is currently studying at a music academy in Imola. She is due to see police on Wednesday to go through CCTV footage of the station in an attempt to identify the thief.