Man Living Alone On Italian Island To Depart After 32 Years

May 03, 2021 by apost team

A man who has been the sole caretaker of an island in the Mediterranean sea for over 30 years is being forced to leave after several eviction notices. Mauro Morandi has lived on the island of Budelli, which is part of La Maddalena National Park, since 1989. The owners of the island, which is mined for its pink sand, have been pressuring him to leave and Morandi has had enough.

Morandi is 81 and is originally from Modena, Italy. The Guardian reported that he first came to the island by mistake after his catamaran broke down. By chance, the current caretaker of the island was set to retire in a couple of days and offered Morandi the job. He has lived in idyllic isolation ever since. The story of his guardianship has even earned him the nickname Italy’s Robinson Crusoe. 

In 2016, the land’s private owners went bankrupt and the island became public. Now the local authorities from La Maddalena National Park want to evict Morandi so they can turn the island into an environmental education destination. They also claim that Morandi has made changes to the historic building he lives in without a permit. 

Morandi has been facing this pressure for the past five years and feels he has now reached a breaking point. He has announced that he will be leaving Budelli. However, he does not plan to move far. He has said that he will be staying in a small apartment in La Maddalena where he will still be able to see the ocean.  

Be sure to reach the end of this article to see the full video :-) 

While speaking to The Guardian, Morandi said, “I have given up the fight, after 32 years here, I feel very sad to leave. They told me they need to do work on my house and this time it seems to be for real.” Morandi is off to a new chapter in his fascinating life. 

Morandi also opened up to the news outlet about where he will be moving to, saying, “I’ll be living in the outskirts of the main town, so I will just go there for shopping and the rest of the time keep myself to myself. My life won’t change too much, I’ll still see the sea.” Hopefully, Morandi will be able to find peace and happiness in his new surroundings. 

Morandi expressed his one wish for the future of Budelli. He said, “I hope that someone can protect it as well as I have.” The island’s future is still up in the air. Only time will tell how the new situation will affect the island’s ecosystem, but one can only hope for the best.

According to another article released by The Guardian, Morandi spoke about his anxieties surrounding moving back to civilization. He said, “The thought of going back to live in a society that treats nature badly is very distressing. Nature needs to be loved and respected.” A love of nature has been at the center of Morandi’s world as he has been responsible for the wellbeing of Budelli for over three decades. 

"I will leave hoping that in the future Budelli will be protected as I have protected it for 32 years," Morandi wrote on Facebook according to BBC

In a video posted by Great Big Story on YouTube, Morandi can be seen giving an in-depth explanation of how he ended up as the caretaker of Budelli and what that means to him. He said, “I came here in 1989 and I turned into the guardian of the island. I didn’t want to meet anybody for many years. My choice was to live in direct contact with nature.” The isolation did not bother him as it made him feel more connected to his surroundings.

After building a gate to keep people away, Morandi started to reflect on his choice to keep people away. He said, "I realized that I was the only one enjoying this beauty. So, I felt very selfish." After this epiphany, visitors were allowed on the island for day trips, but still not permitted to stay overnight or walk on the famous pink sand.  

After the news of Morandi being forced to leave broke, several people took to his Facebook page to express sympathy and support. “There are no words … the destruction of the paradise will begin,” wrote Carmelia Mangano. Another commenter, Mirella Della Vecchia, said, “I can’t imagine Budelli without Mauro’s protection … you must resist!” The show of support for Morandi and the island of Budelli is inspiring. 

At the end of the video, Morandi left viewers with this message, “I love Budelli, and it is almost as if she loves me.” Surely if the island could talk it would thank Morandi for the service and love he has shown it for so many years.

Were you moved by the story of Morandi and the island of Budelli? Have you ever spent time in the Mediterranean sea? Let us know and don’t forget to send this on to your friends and family.

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