Global society came to see him, his life changed in 3 months: From deserted island to 1 + 1

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The world recognized him as the “Italian Robinson Crusoe”. Mauro Morandi, 82, who fell in love with social media with his struggle not to leave the small island of Budelli, where he lived and cherished for 32 years, couldn’t take the pressure and gave up in April and left Budelli for an apartment in La Maddalena, the largest in the archipelago, announced that he was moving. But Morandi’s story did not end there. Here is the final act of a life story like a movie …

Let’s start with a summary for those who do not yet know the adventures of Morandi. Born in the city of Modena in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, Morandi was a sailor. He was a physical education teacher, but his real passion was the sea. His biggest dream in life was to live on an island.

At the end of the 80s, consumer society, political events, etc. As a result of urban life that has become uninhabitable, he decides to settle in the Polynesian islands. She packed her clothes, said goodbye to her family, and in 1989 she boarded her catamaran and set off for the South Pacific for the wonderful life she had always dreamed of.

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What changed his life happened during this trip: his catamaran malfunctioned and Morandi found himself stranded in the middle of the Mediterranean, off Sardinia.

The closest place to where the boat broke down was the archipelago of La Maddalena. First, after working here a bit and saving money, he thought about having his boat repaired and leaving. However, seeing a smaller island a little further away, he realized that he didn’t need to travel to Polynesia for the life he dreamed of.

The place he saw was tiny Budelli, famous for its pink sand beach, and by that time the island guardian was about to retire. When Morandi learned of this, he suddenly made the decision to stop traveling, sold his boat, took care of the island in place of the retired officer, and lived in a bunker in the Second World war on the island until a few months ago.


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In order to prevent the theft of the pink sands of Budelli beach, tourists were prohibited from spending time here and swimming in the sea in the 90s. However, daily visitors could descend to the island by boat and walk on the path behind the beach.

During his 32 years at Budelli, Morandi took care of the island, cared for and kept it clean, and, as a tour guide, he even provided information on the plants and animals of the island. island for day visitors. In this way, the famous hero of Daniel Defoe was identified with Robinson Crusoe and his fame spread by word of mouth.

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Among his most interesting guests were former Formula 1 boss Flavio Briatore and his then-girlfriend Naomi Campbell. The couple traveled to the island for dinner with Morandi, Morandi said she could offer her guests the most coffee. With that, Briatore and Campbell thanked them and left the island.

Italian Robinson's life changed in 3 months: From desert island to 1 + 1 ...

A photograph of the Campbell-Briatore couple before the Istanbul Grand Prix in 2009

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Morandi’s lights, refrigerator and internet connection were powered by a solar system he had built, while his food arrived by sea from the main island of La Maddalena. On the island, which had no visitors during the winter months, Morandi’s days were spent collecting firewood, reading, and sleeping.

In 2013, Morandi’s fate changed again. The private company that owns the island went bankrupt and put Budelli up for sale. First, New Zealand businessman Michael Harte submitted an offer to take the candidate. However, with the protests and the intervention of the Italian government, Harte was unable to secure the island and the case was transferred to justice. In 2016, management was transferred to La Maddalena National Park when the Sardinian court ruled that the island should become public property again.

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While the authorities decided to turn the island into an observation and environmental education park, it was decided that Morandi had made some modifications to the refuge in which he lived without obtaining the necessary permits and that he had to leave the island. After all, Morandi has seen the road again.


Morandi told The Guardian in July last year: “I’m so used to living in the middle of nature. I’m so used to living in the middle of nature. What am I going to do when I return to Modena. Play? Play cards and going to bars like other octogenarians? No more! The idea of ​​returning to a society that is abusive towards nature makes me very uncomfortable. “Nature needs to be loved and respected,” he said. he declared.

Morandi also said he last left Budelli in 2018, having traveled to Modena to visit his family and then returned to the island.

At that time, no notice had been given to evacuate the island, but those who wanted Morandi to stay on the island had already launched social media campaigns. Despite the signatures, shared messages and appeals, Morandi could no longer resist the pressure to evacuate La Maddalena National Park and announced that she would relocate.

In the interview he gave at that time, Morandi said that it was not possible for him to return to Modena and instead he would move to an apartment in La Maddalena, “I I will live outside the city. I will only go to the center for Apart from that, I will be alone again. My life will not change much, I will always see the sea. I can see “, he said declared.

Italian Robinson's life changed in 3 months: From desert island to 1 + 1 ...

La Maddalena


The Guardian newspaper tracked down Morandi three months after starting his new life in La Maddalena.

Morandi, who once called an entire island his home, now lives in a 1 + 1 apartment. While he lived for months without seeing anyone, today he is surrounded by neighbors, shops and illuminated signs. The old man who used to see the sea all day, no matter where he was, now considers himself lucky if he stands in the right place and can see a piece of sea from the space between the buildings of ‘opposite.

“I was so used to the silence. Now there is constant noise. Music, motorcycles, people. I’m so distracted I can’t even think,” Morandi told The Guardian.


Stating that he expects public interest in his life to wane in the last 3 months after leaving the island, Morandi said the opposite is happening and that he continues to receive messages from fans around the world. One of the most recent of these messages read: “Mauro, master of loneliness”.

Morandi also said reporters keep calling him for opinions, and those who want to turn his life into a book or movie script often knock on his door.

“I thought no one would want to talk to me after I left Budelli,” Morandi said. “On the contrary, you journalists follow me.”

When asked why curiosity towards him was so strong, Morandi replied, “It’s like people entrust me to do something they would never have dared to do.”

Italian Robinson's life changed in 3 months: From desert island to 1 + 1 ...

La Maddalena


Morandi also said that before leaving Budelli they had made an agreement with the national park authorities and was told that she could return as a warden once the work on the island was completed. It took the summer months to take action for the works, which were said to have started right after Morandi left.

Budelli is now protected by CCTV. Stating that he recently traveled to the island to collect some of his belongings, Morandi said: “It was a disaster.” “The beaches had been shaken up. I knew it would happen. After I left, there was no one left to train the tourists.”

However, looking back today, Morandi also said he thought it might be time to leave Budelli, saying:

“Last winter was very harsh. It rained a lot. It was very difficult to generate electricity because there was almost no sun. I lived on preserves for three months. I’m 82 and life there was quite a challenge. One leg was injured and walking was really difficult. If I fell from the rocks, no one could help me.


Morandi also said that she adopted a new hobby after leaving Budelli. The old man, who was having fun taking photos of the architecture of La Maddalena today, explained that he was trying to redeem himself from his three daughters living in Modena:

“I never regretted the choice I made, but I can’t say it was easy either. When I decided to live in Budelli, my daughters were adults and I thought they accepted My decision. It wasn’t long before I realized that wasn’t the case. One of my daughters didn’t speak to me for 4 years. We started talking again very recently. “

Morandi also said he would travel to Modena the day after an interview with the Guardian, adding: “The Budelli adventure is over.”

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