Mauro Morandi: What did the famous Italian hermit do next

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(CNN)— For nearly 33 years, he lived in seclusion on a beautiful island in the Mediterranean, where he was the only resident.

Mauro Morandi is known as Robinson Crusoe of Italy after he has cultivated a loyal online follower. He is the caretaker of Budelli, Sardinia and lives in an old beach stone hut. In, embrace the silence, loneliness and the tranquility of nature.

No social buzz, no delicious food, no friends-his only companions are birds and cats. He sleeps in a crib with few clothes. He abandoned all comforts and preached a monastic existence of self-reflection and meditation on the pink beach dotted with coral dust in Budelli.

Then his happy world is over.

After years of fighting with Ocean Park authorities who wanted to expel him from turning the island into an environmental observatory, Morandi accepted his fate in May. After posting a brilliant resignation message-“My ball broke” (slang is “I’ve had enough”)-he left.

Moving and starting a new life is difficult for anyone. This is especially true for an 82-year-old man who has spent 30 years of solitary life on Paradise Island. Is it possible to move on and readjust?

Morandi said, the answer is yes, “Yes!”

“It will never really end,” Morandi told CNN. “I am a living proof of the possibility of a second new life. You can always start again, even if you are 80 years old, because you can experience other things, a completely different world.”

To prove his point, Morandi has clearly been flourishing since returning to civilized life on the inhabited La Maddalena Island not far from Budelli.

“I am so happy that I have rediscovered the joy of living a good life and enjoying everyday comfort,” he said.

New home

Morandi's new apartment in La Maddalena.

Morandi’s new apartment in La Maddalena.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

He used the pension of a former teacher to buy himself an apartment with all the luxury goods he lacked before.

Morandi has been honing his communication skills. After years of loneliness, he is now eager to talk to people, exchange opinions, and post photos and comments on social networks to interact with the world. He has also been writing memoirs.

Morandi's new home is equipped with a suitable kitchen-a luxury compared to his old cabin.

Morandi’s new home is equipped with a suitable kitchen-a luxury compared to his old cabin.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

“I have been living alone for a long time, and for many years after I boarded Budley for the first time, I didn’t want to talk to anyone,” he said. “Yes, I can no longer enjoy the loneliness on the island, but now my life has taken a new turn, focusing on communicating with and getting close to others.”

Morandi originally came from Modena in northern Italy and arrived in his Budley’s house in 1989 An accident while trying to sail from Italy to Polynesia. He fell in love with the crystal clear waters, coral sands and beautiful sunsets of the atoll-and became its caretaker.

.... There is also a king-size bed.

…. There is also a king-size bed.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

Although occasionally encounter tourists on the island, he lives by himself most of the time. In recent years, he posted pictures from Budelli on the Internet, allowing him to establish a connection with a virtual community.

Now he has the real thing. His whitewashed new home with a panoramic sea view terrace is located in the bustling tourist town of La Maddalena, although it is hidden in a quieter place to ensure his privacy.

He said he missed Budley’s silence. He is not used to the noise of cars, trucks and “motorcycles with broken mufflers rolling by”, but in short, he likes the new environment that he finds very relaxing.

Rekindle romance

After leaving the island, Morandi has been tasting fresh seafood dishes.

After leaving the island, Morandi has been tasting fresh seafood dishes.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

Benefits include a brand new, fully equipped kitchen, a bedroom with king-size bed and-the most luxurious-shower room. His bookshelves are also full of books.

Another benefit of returning to civilization is to rekindle old feelings. Morandi now shares his new home with his former lover when he was young.

Then there is food.

He said that tasting the delicacies he hadn’t eaten in decades reminded him of the “taste of life” and everything he gave up, such as indulging in wine and liqueur with friends after dinner.

But he will not eat ice cream, pizza or ham. He was thirsty for what Budley had abundant but could not eat: fish.

“I still live a simple life. In the morning I went to Cala Gavetta to buy fresh fish from the Internet. After so many years of abstinence, I can finally enjoy fish again. It sounds incredible, but I can’t do it.” No Enough fresh and crispy fried fish.

“There are no boats on the island, no fishing, and the food is scarce and limited. I always have to wait for people to bring me groceries from the mainland. Things, I just walked directly into the city.”

Mountain and food

Morandi's crumbling home in Budley.

Morandi’s crumbling home in Budley.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

Morandi admitted that living in Budley has become difficult, especially last winter, where the temperature was colder than usual and the environment was gloomy, which meant that his solar-powered refrigerator could not keep food fresh. Has been relying on canned food for months.

He still remembers the first time he ate fresh fish again. During his trip to the Italian Alps after Budelli, he lived with a friend and he opened a restaurant where he enjoyed both mountain views. , And tasted the food.

“It’s spectacular, I found that there are also beautiful scenery: scenery, mountains, food. I have the best linguine allo scoglio (seafood flat spaghetti), and it is much cheaper than La Maddalena. After all, the freshest fish in Italy is not sprinkled It was found in Dingdao, but shipped to northern markets such as Milan.”

After Morandi left his home on the island where he lived for 33 years, he visited the Italian Alps.

After Morandi left his home on the island where he lived for 33 years, he visited the Italian Alps.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

Morandi recorded his homecoming journey by posting photos of himself eating potatoes and tomato-baked soles, exploring Mont Blanc and visiting quaint mountain villages on the Internet. He plans to return to the Alps at Christmas.

Compared with last year, Morandi changed his views, when Morandi said in an interview with CNN that he was ready to do his best to stay with Budley. He said at the time: “I don’t know where else to live. Of course I can’t go back to my home in the north, and I don’t know what to do. This is my life.”

Now, he likes his daily life in La Maddalena.

“In the morning, I eat breakfast with barley coffee on the terrace,” he said. “Then, once I enjoy my cigar, I will walk along a path that connects my house to the port, or to the village where I meet people and buy groceries.

“I often walk, and the doctor said this is the best way to treat my sore legs, but people often drive me home, so I don’t need to carry a heavy bag.”

A busy person

Morandi enjoys his new life in La Maddalena.

Morandi enjoys his new life in La Maddalena.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

He is now fully vaccinated against Covid-19 and is happy to wear a mask in public. He likes to deal with locals.

“I am surprised how many people are friendly. I am usually invited to have coffee, lunch or dinner,” he said. “I am worried that the locals will not welcome me warmly. I am glad that not everyone hates me, but those who are jealous of my life in Budley. Many people like me. They come up to congratulate me for a fight, and they want to fight with me. group photo.”

Many people, especially people abroad, think that he is a hero who dedicated his life to defending the island, while others claim that he is using the “bon sauvage” romantic myth to cover up the fact that he is an illegal resident.

Morandi has been chasing old friends.

Morandi has been chasing old friends.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

Over the past few years, Budelli’s ownership has changed many times. Since 2015, it has been owned by La Maddalena National Park, which makes Morandi’s guardian role obsolete.

The authorities told CNN that they were only defending the law by “restoring the illegal building where Morandi lived,” a former World War II radio station. They said he “has no right” to stay on the island because it is no longer private.

Morandi’s stay-behind battle has made global headlines, and even now that he has left, he is still in the spotlight. He has written a book about his abandoned island life, is planning a second one, and said that his story may soon become the subject of a movie.

So how does he see himself in a few years, and what will his future look like? Morandi said he settled down forever in La Maddalena: “I’m here. The most pristine sea and beach, Punta Tagore, are nearby. If needed, I can take a bus to move around.”

Lose silence

If the park authorities change his mind, will he go back?

“I don’t desire it,” he said, “but if I get paid to complete my work this time, I might be willing to come back as a caretaker. I won’t work for free anymore.”

Budley is not entirely in his rear view. Morandi occasionally returns during a day trip to collect some of his personal belongings.

He is still worried about the future of the island. As an administrator, he often drives away tourists who break into the pink beach in the restricted area, cleans up the trash on the beach, and prevents intruders from landing at night.

Currently, La Maddalena is his new world—the world he plans to explore.

“I have stayed on that island for so long, this place has always been very close to me, and I now realize that I don’t know.”

So every day, when he walks around the town, he will take pictures of quiet, forgotten places, maybe still looking for the lost silence.

Top photo source: Courtesy of Mauro Morandi

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