The body of Flavio Vargiu was discovered at his home in the Sampierdarena district of Genoa, north-west Italy, on Tuesday morning.
When Vargiu failed to answer the door, tax authorities called the police who then broke down the door.
The pensioner’s body was found on the floor of the kitchen. Near the body police found a calendar dated from seven years ago which was open at the month of February.
A preliminary examination of the body showed no signs of violence and it is suspected that the man died from natural causes in 2008, when he was 76.
Originally from Sardinia, the man had lived alone for years in the town.
Neighbours described him as a “quiet, introvert man” and said that he had told them he would go to a retirement home.
Sadly, this case is not an isolated one. Last year the body of a French woman was discovered six years after her death, when a water leak led firefighters to stumble across her skeleton.
And in January 2014, a woman in north-west Italy claimed she kept her elderly mother’s body in the freezer to ensure the pair would “always be close”.
Later that year police in Germany found the body of a woman in a flat after her daughter failed to report her death for five years.