blue water and white sand beach on a tropical island

Man living alone on island to leave after 32 years

After living alone on an island for over 30 years, 81-year-old Mauro Morandi is finally leaving. He has lived on the island of Budelli, off the coast of northern Sardinia, since 1989. After facing eviction several times, he’s decided for himself that it’s time to go. (1)

Man Living Alone On An Island Since 1989 Is Finally Leaving

For some of us, living alone on an island sounds like paradise; for others, an absolute nightmare. Mauro Morandi is part of the first group. A former phys ed. teacher, he found himself tiring of the daily life in Italy. He, along with some friends, thought that it was time to make a change. (1)


“I was quite fed up with a lot of things about our society: consumerism and the political situation in Italy,” he explained. “I decided to move to a desert island in Polynesia, away from all civilization. I wanted to start a new life close to nature.” (2)

He and his friends took a boat ride to La Maddalena, an island in the Italian archipelago. The original plan was to work there for just enough time to have enough cash to fund themselves the rest of the way. After his first time on Budelli, a smaller island not far from La Maddalena, he knew he couldn’t leave. (1)

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Image Credit: Mauro Morandi | Facebook

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Taking Up Where Someone Else Left Off

When he first visited Budelli, Morandi met the island’s caretaker. After chatting with him, he learned that he was preparing to retire soon. Morandi decided that this island was just as good as anything he would find in Polynesia and took over the post. For the last three decades, he has been living alone on the island. (1)


Cala Lio' con vista sugli Stramanari

Posted by Mauro Morandi on Monday, April 19, 2021

Now, when I say alone, I don’t mean in complete isolation. The small paradise, known for its pink sand beaches, sees its fair share of tourists in the summer months. He became famous on the island, the person that everyone visiting just had to meet. While the tourists love him, the government and other authorities haven’t always been on his side. (1)


The 2020 Eviction Attempt

Morandi has weathered several eviction attempts throughout the years; however, none drew quite as much attention as the most recent one in 2020. The La Maddalena National Park President Fabrizio Fonnesu attempted to evict him. He claimed that Morandi had made illegal alterations to his hut. (3)


Citizens started a petition on his behalf that gained over 70,000 signatures. The petition called on the Italian government to overrule Fonnesu and allow him to stay on the island. Recently, however, Morandi announced that he has decided to leave on his own accord. (3) For those worried about Morandi’s lifestyle, fear not. He is only moving to the nearby La Maddalena, so he will still have his fill of sun, sand, and saltwater. (1)


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  1. Man living alone on Italian island to leave after 32 years.” BBC. April 26.
  2. BBC
  3. Mauro, il custode di Budelli ancora sotto attacco da chi lo vuole cacciare.” Change
Julie Hambleton
Freelance Writer
Julie Hambleton has a BSc in Food and Nutrition from the Western University, Canada, is a former certified personal trainer and a competitive runner. Julie loves food, culture, and health, and enjoys sharing her knowledge to help others make positive changes and live healthier lives.