A British man travelling from his home in Newcastle to Rome ended up 1,000 miles away from his destination after blindly following his sat nav.
The 81-year-old had hoped to see the Pope at the Vatican, but the sat-nav took him to the tiny rural community of Rom in north-western Germany.
The pensioner, who is originally from Italy and now lives in England, decided to make the long pilgrimage to the Italian capital in his Jaguar, but mistakenly entered the details.
After the navigation system insisted he had arrived safely, the lost and confused man climbed out of his vehicle, possibly to try and see some of the landmarks that should have been clearly visible, such as the Colosseum or The Sistine Chapel, but he forgot to put on the handbrake, it is claimed.
As a result, his Jaguar rolled backwards and knocked down the sign for Rom – about 38 miles east of Cologne – resulting in the police being called to investigate.
Police spokesman Monika Treutler said: "The man was on a pilgrimage.
"He was on his way to Rome, where he was hoping to visit the Pope."
She added that the man, who has not been named, realised something was wrong when he could not see any of the landmarks he was expecting.
The driver might have been confused by the fact that Rome is written Roma in Italian and Rom in German.
Police said that the car had come to a halt after hitting the sign but did not appear to be seriously damaged.
An ambulance was called to check on the pensioner.
A recent study found that one of the things that angers British drivers the most is trying to follow a sat nav that keeps taking them the wrong way.
A mum told how she followed her sat nav to an unfamiliar street and parked her car, but then was unable to find her way back.
She had to ask the public for help to find her Ford C-Max car.
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