All roads lead to ROM: Pensioner who drove from his home in Newcastle to Rom in Germany instead of Rome in Italy blames petrol station staff who set up his sat nav wrong
- Luigi Rimonti, 81, a retired hairdresser from Newcastle set off for Rome last week
- But after 680 miles in his Jaguar he ended up in the rural German town of Rom
- Rimonti, who hates flying, said German petrol station staff set his sat nav wrong
- Rimonti, who has lived in England since 1965, was on a pilgrimage to the Vatican
A pensioner who drove from his home in Newcastle to a village in Germany called Rom, instead of the Italian city of Rome has blamed petrol staff for misdirecting his sat nav.
Luigi Rimonti, 81, drove 680 miles to the rural German village after he says he pulled over at a petrol station near Dusseldorf when his sat nav stopped working.
Rimonti, who hates flying and has driven to Italy from England many times, says the staff member typed in the name wrong.
The retired hairdresser, who has lived in Newcastle since 1965, said he wanted to make a pilgrimage to the Vatican to see the Pope and set off from Newcastle last week.
Luigi Rimonti is now waiting for a lift from his son in Germany after he ended up in a rural German town called Rom, instead of Rome in Italy
Rimonti, who is originally from Italy but now lives in Newcastle, accidentally drove his Jaguar (pictured after running over a sign for Rom) to west Germany after he says petrol station staff sent him the wrong way
Instead of travelling south through France and Italy to get to Rome the pensioner cut straight through Brussels and found himself in Rom, Germany
Rimonti said: ‘I asked the staff at the petrol station to set the navigation correctly.’
The pensioner said: ‘It told me I had to come off the motorway, but everything became more rural. Then my sat nav said ‘destination reached’. I thought ‘mamma mia, where am I?”
When the OAP got out of his Jaguar to check where he was, the car started to roll down a hill because the pensioner had forgotten to put the handbrake on.
While trying to stop the car, he was hit by an open door and suffered cuts and bruising to his right leg and minor injuries to his head.
The out-of-control Jaguar ended up knocking down the road sign for Rom, resulting in the police being called to investigate.
After he was released from hospital on Monday, Rimonti went to a hotel in Waldbroel where he is currently staying.
Rimonti said: ‘My son wants to pick me up, but that will take three or four days.’
He said he is not interested in visiting Rome anytime soon, adding: ‘I have had enough of it. No more Rome, I just want to go home.’
The OAP is currently waiting for his car to be released by the cops.
A police spokesman said Rimonti realised something was wrong when he could not see any of the landmarks he was expecting
He said: ‘My luggage is still in there, I do not even have clothes.’
According to the police, Rimonti’s car is at a towing company in the town of Drolshagen.
Police spokesman Michael Tietze said: ‘He can pick it up any time he wants.’
However, he suspects that Rimonti does not want to pay for the damage and a resulting fine because he failed to secure his car properly.