The arrest came after a judge last week ruled that Battisti, who is now a writer, does not have the right to stay in Brazil, although he was given permanent residency in 2011.
Prior to this ruling, the supreme court had turned down an Italian extradition request following then president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva's ruling in 2010 that Battisti should not be extradited to Italy.
Battisti sought refuge in Brazil in 2004 after spending 30 years on the run in Mexico and France.
Italy has convicted him for four murders blamed on an armed Marxist group active in the 1970s.
After being jailed in Italy, Battisti managed to escape in 1981 and fled to Mexico.
In 1990 Battisti returned to Europe and settled in Paris where then president François Mitterrand blocked extradition requests for former Italian far-left activists who had renounced violence.
But in 2004 a new extradition request led to his arrest in Paris and he fled to Brazil.
Battisti says he is innocent.