After 32 Years, Island Hermit Is Leaving

Mauro Morandi has been living the good life on an Italian Island. After 32 years of being by himself, he has decided it is time to leave.

Morandi started living on the Isle of Budelli in a tiny hut in 1989. Now that he is 81 years old, he hopes that someone else takes over the caretaking role. The pink atoll offers stunning views, which led the former teacher to stay after landing there while trying to sail to Polynesia.

He took over for the previous caretaker not long after he landed there. Now that the island is part of La Maddalena’s National Park, the role has become defunct. Officials say that he has no legal right to live on the island, and has spent six years fighting the plans to turn his home into an observatory.

Tourists Are Already Trespassing on the Island

Morandi says that he has already had to chase people away from the off-limits pink-sand beach on the island. It is an unfortunate part of his duties, but he also enjoys it when people come to stay and learn from his experiences.

Before leaving, his duties included picking up the trash that came ashore. He stops intruders from creating mayhem on the island at night. His fear is that no one else will take up the surveillance work that keeps everything safe.

Over 70,000 people signed an online petition calling for Morandi to stay, but the national park’s president said that all illegal constructions in the park had to be managed. Since it is public land, there is no longer an ownership title available.

Romans used the island in the past, which sits just to the north of Sardinia. Today, the 1.6 square kilometers will continue to be used for conservation purposes. Construction is banned on the island, and access requires a permit.