The pensioner, who lives alone in the countryside near Villa Pianta, in Emilia-Romagna, went to clear the mud from a drain outside his house on Saturday night.
But what was meant to be a routine chore soon turned into a living nightmare, Il Resto del Carlino reported.
As he was removing the muck from his drain, the pensioner slipped and fell in headfirst.
Completely trapped and with nobody to hear his cries for help, he was forced to spend the night upside-down in the filthy hole.
After spending fourteen hours in the gutter, the poor man was nearing the end of his strength. He was just centimeters away from drowning, with his face half-covered by the boggy mess that was clogging up the drain, the newspaper said.
It wasn't a particularly pleasant way for the pensioner, who turned 80 on Sunday, to start his birthday.
However, his fortunes took a turn for the better when his 62-year-old neighbour had decided to go for a ride on his scooter on Sunday morning, and noticed a pair of feet poking out of the drain while driving past his neighbour's house.
The heroic neighbour went to investigate further, before hauling the pensioner out of the gutter and calling the emergency services.
The octogenarien was taken by helicopter to the Santa Maria delle Croci hospital in Ravenna, where his condition is not said to be serious.
The pensioner's brother, who lives in a village nearby, arrived later on Sunday to check his sibling was okay and offer his birthday wishes.