Former physical education teacher Mauro Morandi, who settled in the late 1980s on a desert island off the coast of Sardinia, said that he was forced to leave its territory by the decision of the local national park.
Morandi moved to a one-and-a-half-square-kilometer piece of land in 1989, occupying a World War II-era building that served as a radio station. In the following years, the island of Budelli became famous among tourists for the pink sand on the beach, and the hermit became the owner of a secluded corner.
The management of the National Park of the archipelago of La Maddalena, which includes Budelli, can now interrupt the 82-year-old Morandi’s stay on the island. It informed Morandi that it would rebuild his home, and therefore he should not stay in the protected area.
“But I haven’t spoken to the park director for a long time. I know that he had COVID and was out of work for two months because of it. Now I’m waiting to hear from him when the construction starts. I wouldn’t want to leave, but I was told I couldn’t stay when they start the repairs,” the man told the agency.
According to him, he does not lose hope for the opportunity to return to the island after these works to remain its keeper in the future. For life, he noted, he has enough teacher’s pension.
After learning about a new twist in the history of Morandi, local journalists talked to him about another reason to leave the island-he allegedly had romantic feelings with a certain woman from the southern region of Campania. In an interview, the hermit speaks about this modestly. “I would not want this to be spread about. This woman is cautious, but yes, such a story exists,” he said.
Morandi added that the park’s management does not yet know when it will start rebuilding. Nevertheless, he began looking for a rental home – a “small apartment” – on the central island of La Maddalena in the town of the same name.
He tells his story as follows: previously, an Italian-Swiss real estate company, which took him to work as a caretaker of the island, owned Budelli. The company owner went bankrupt, and the island went to auction, where the Italian state purchased it. After that, Budelli took over the local park management, which became the source of all the problems for Morandi.
According to Morandi, local media have repeatedly retold other circumstances: he discovered the island after the wreck of his catamaran. Tired of politics and consumer society, he decided to move to an uninhabited island in Polynesia but sailed to the Sardinian coast. The last attempt to evict the hermit is dated 2018. Then a petition with 20 thousand signatures was collected in his defense. “It’s not like I have a lot of stuff. I’ll leave some of it here and buy the other one in a new place. If anything, I’ll call my friends,” the Italian said. – I could stay here because not only do I drive uninvited tourists away from the island, but I also tell others about its beauty. Humanity is destroying the world, but I convey to people the idea that if nature ends, we will end.”