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Budelli Man who lived alone on island for 32 years to leave after eviction


Budelli Budelli island years on who 32 eviction to after leave alone … for Man lived

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Tue, 27 Apr 2021 00:00:00 +0100

Budelli 'Italy's Robinson Crusoe', Mauro Morandi, leaves the island of , where he's lived alone since getting into difficulty at sea in 1989

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NEWS… BUT NOT AS YOU KNOW IT

A man known as ‘Italy’s Robinson Crusoe’ who has lived alone on a Mediterranean island for more than 30 years has been driven off his idyllic paradise by authorities.

Mauro Morandi, 81, has been living a happy life of solitude for more than three decades on the small, pink-sanded island of Budelli, between Sardinia and Corsica.

His chance encounter with Budelli, a former second world war shelter, happened after his catamaran broke down during a voyage to the south Pacific in 1989.

When he discovered the island’s caretaker was about to retire, Mr Morandi, originally from Modena in Italy, decided to scrap his plans, sold his boat and assumed the role.

He became Budelli’s only resident and guardian, taking care of its fragile ecosystem and educating summer day-trippers.

After years of studying and nurturing every corner of Budelli, his freedom was compromised when a court ruled that the island belonged to La Maddalena Archipelago National Park in 2016 following a lengthy legal battle.

That same year park officials challenged Mr Morandi’s right to live on the island, sparking a petition garnering tens of thousands of signatures in support of the caretaker.

Mr Morandi vowed he would ‘never leave’ and hoped to die on the island but after months of eviction threats, he has ‘given up the fight’ against officials.

‘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,’ he was quoted as saying in The Guardian.

Park officials argued that Mr Morandi made construction changes to the building without the required permission.

Mr Morandi said he will soon move to a small apartment on the largest island of the archipelago, La Maddalena.

‘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,’ he said. ‘My life won’t change too much, I’ll still see the sea.’

Speaking about leaving his beloved Budelli in the hands of another after more than 32 years, he said: ‘I hope that someone can protect it as well as I have.’

Officials plan to turn Budelli into an environmental observatory but many have expressed anger at the decision to press ahead without the island’s dedicated caretaker.

Upset Facebook users said they could not imagine the island under anyone else’s watch after Mr Morandi announced the news on his page, where he regularly posts pictures and videos of Budelli’s lush flora and fauna and rose-coloured beaches.

Tourists are only permitted to visit the island for day trips via boat but have been banned from walking on the beach or swimming in the sea since the 1990s.

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Budelli

Tue, 27 Apr 2021 00:00:00 +0100

An 81-year-old man dubbed “Italy's Robinson Crusoe,” who has lived alone for over 30 years on a tiny Mediterranean island, says he will finally move after 

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An 81-year-old man dubbed “Italy’s Robinson Crusoe,” who has lived alone for over 30 years on a tiny Mediterranean island, says he will finally move after fighting eviction for years.

Mauro Morandi ended up on Budelli, an island in the Maddalena archipelago north of Sardinia, in 1989 when his catamaran broke down en route to the Pacific, the Guardian reported.

When he found out that Budelli’s caretaker planned to retire, he abandoned his journey, sold his boat and assumed the role — living in a former World War II shelter on the 0.62-square-mile slab of land.

But after three decades and several threats of eviction from La Maddalena national park authorities, who want to turn the island into a center for environmental education, Morandi said he is ready to pack up and leave.

“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,” he said, according to the Guardian.

Morandi, originally from Modena in central Italy, said he will move into an apartment on nearby La Maddalena, the largest island of the archipelago.

“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,” he said.

Morandi had guarded the island without trouble for years, clearing its paths, keeping its beaches clean and teaching visitors about its ecosystem.But his troubles began when the private company that owned the island went bankrupt.

Plans to sell it in 2013 to Michael Harte, a New Zealand businessman who wanted to keep Morandi on as caretaker, failed amid protests and an intervention by the Italian government.

In 2016, a judge ordered that the island be put back under the control of park authorities, who have banned tourists from walking on the pink beach.

Park authorities have also argued that Morandi made changes to the caretaker building without obtaining the required permit.

But the octogenarian’s supporters expressed their disappointment over his imminent departure.

“There are no words … the destruction of the paradise will begin,”  Carmelia Mangano wrote on his Facebook page.

Mirella Della Vecchia wrote: “I can’t imagine Budelli without Mauro’s protection … you must resist!”

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– April 27, 2021
Budelli Man who lived alone on island for 32 years to leave after eviction