He’s become known as Italy’s Robinson Crusoe after spending more than 30 years as the only resident of an idyllic island off the coast of Sardinia.
But Mauro Morandi is bidding farewell to his tiny hut on the Isle of Budelli after local authorities repeatedly threatened him with eviction.
The 81-year-old, who has been living on the island since 1989, announced his departure in a message on his Facebook page on Sunday.
“I’m going to leave,” he wrote, adding that he hoped “Budelli will be safeguarded as I have done for 32 years.” He also said he was “really p***ed off” about the situation.
The former teacher ended up on the stunning pink atoll while attempting to sail from Italy to Polynesia.
He’s previously told how he was instantly mesmerized by the place and decided to stay, taking over from the island’s former caretaker a short time after arriving.
However, the caretaker role became defunct when La Maddalena’s National Park took over ownership of Budelli in 2015.
Morandi has since spent years wrangling with officials, who say he has no legal right to be there now, and fighting against plans to restyle his home into an environmental observatory.
“I wouldn’t know where else to go live, certainly not back home in the north, nor what to do — this is my life. I don’t see myself playing cards or bowls.”
Morandi also admitted that he was worried about the future of the so fiercely protected place for 32 years.
“Just the other day, I chased away two tourists who were trespassing on the off-limits pink beach,” he said.
“I clean the rubbish off the sand and stop intruders from coming here to do mayhem at night. The truth is, I’m the only one who has so far taken care of Budelli, doing the surveillance task that the park authorities should do”.