Italy's Robinson Crusoe leaves desert island after 30 years

Italy’s ‘Robinson Crusoe’ who has lived alone on island for 30 years after shipwreck finally leaves

  • Mauro Morandi, 81, has been living on the isle of Budelli near Sardinia since 1989
  • His catamaran bound for the south Pacific washed up and he remained there 
  • Authorities have tried to evict him for five years and he has given up the fight

An 81-year-old man known as Italy’s Robinson Crusoe who has lived alone on an island for 32 years is finally moving after surrendering his eviction fight.

Since 1989, Mauro Morandi has been the sole inhabitant of the Isle of Budelli near Sardinia, after he decided to ditch his life as a PE teacher and become the island’s caretaker when he washed up on its iconic pink beach Spiaggia Rosa.

The island’s previous caretaker was on the verge of retirement when Morandi arrived so he abandoned his sailing plans, sold his boat and took over the role. 

Mauro Morandi has been living on the Isle of Budelli since 1989, when his catamaran engine failed and he washed up on its iconic pink beach Spiaggia Rosa

The hermit, also known as Mauro of Budelli, gained a large following online after sharing pictures of the picturesque island

More than 3,000 people signed a petition to keep Mauro da Budelli on the island, saying his pictures show the ‘beauty and the miracle of uncontaminated nature’

The island’s previous caretaker was on the verge of retirement when Morandi arrived so he abandoned his sailing plans, sold his boat and took over the role

He had been sailing to the south Pacific when his catamaran’s engine failed and he headed towards the picturesque island. 

But five years ago, the Italian government made the island part of a national park and they have been attempting to evict the hermit.

He has finally given up the fight will move into a small apartment on the nearby La Maddalena island, the largest in the archipelago, according to The Guardian.

Morandi’s current home is a former WWII shelter overlooking a bay and over three decades he has become acquainted with the island’s animals, trees and rocks.

He has finally given up the fight will move into a small apartment on the nearby La Maddalena island 

Mauro has lived as the sole inhabitant of Budelli since 1981, but authorities in Italy have been trying to have him removed since it became a national park in 2016

Mauro spends the winters editing and uploading photographs of the island, but can draw more than 1,000 tourists in the summer

La Maddalena’s national park authorities want to reclaim his home and turn the island into a hub for environmental education.

The authorities have also argued he has made changes to his building without the necessary permits. 

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.

‘I’ll be living in the outskirts of the main town, so 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.’ 

The Isle of Budelli rests in the Mediterranean Sea, between Corsica and Sardinia, near Italy 

La Maddalena’s national park authorities want to reclaim his home and turn the island into a hub for environmental education 

The hermit is originally from Modena in central Italy but has for years guarded Budelli, cleared its paths, swept its beaches and taught day-trippers about the environment.

Morandi, who has become popular online posting photos and videos from the desert island, has attracted thousands of signatures on petitions trying to keep him on the island. 

His role first came under threat when the private company that owned the island went bankrupt.

It was originally going to be sold to New Zealand businessman Michael Harte who pledged to keep on Morandi as the island’s careaker.

The hermit is originally from Modena in central Italy but has for years guarded Budelli, cleared its paths, swept its beaches and taught day-trippers about the environment 

The Isle of Budetti passed through the hands of a series of private owners before the Italian government made it part of La Maddalena Park in 2016

In the quiet winter months, he spends his time editing his pictures and uploading them onto his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages 

But the Italian government intervened and a Sardinian judge ruled in 2016 the island should be returned to the public. 

The park’s then president Giuseppe Bonanno warned Morandi’s age and the standard of his home raised ‘several legal problems’ with him remaining on the island, adding: ‘Morandi symbolizes a man, enchanted by the elements, who decides to devote his life to contemplation and custody.

‘No one ignores [his] role in representing the historical memory of the place … But it’s hard to find a contractual arrangement for a person in his position.’

In the quiet winter months, he spends his time editing his pictures and uploading them onto his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages.

‘The pictures represents my mood and state of mind,’ he told MailOnline in 2016.

But while the colder months can be lonely, he draws more than 1,300 tourists to the island in the summer.

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