HomeInternationalMauro Morandi: What Italy's famous hermit did next

Mauro Morandi: What Italy’s famous hermit did next

(CNN) — For almost 33 years he lived a hermit life on a wonderful island within the Mediterranean, the place he was the only real inhabitant.

Mauro Morandi, generally known as Italy’s Robinson Crusoe after growing a loyal on-line following, was caretaker of the Sardinian island of Budelli, embracing silence, solitude, and the peacefulness of nature whereas dwelling in an outdated seashore stone hut.

There was no social buzz, no fancy meals, no buddies — his solely companions have been birds and cats. He slept on a cot and had few garments. Forsaking all comforts, he preached a monastic existence of self-reflection and meditation on Budelli’s pink seashore dotted with coral mud.

Then his blissful world got here to an finish.

After years of fighting marine park authorities that needed to evict him to show the isle into an environmental observatory, in May Morandi accepted his destiny. After posting a pithy message of resignation — “My balls are broken” (slang for “I’m fed up”) — he left.

Moving dwelling and beginning a brand new life might be powerful for anybody. Even extra so for an 82-year-old who has spent three many years dwelling a solitary existence on a paradise island. Is it attainable to maneuver on and readjust?

Says Morandi, the reply is an emphatic “yes!”

“It’s never really over,” Morandi tells CNN. “I’m the living proof that a second, new life is possible. You can always start all over again, even if you’re over 80, because there are other things you can experience, a totally different world.”

Proving his level, Morandi has apparently been thriving since transferring again to civilization on the inhabited island of La Maddalena, not too removed from Budelli.

“I’m happy and I have rediscovered the pleasure of living the good life and enjoying everyday comforts,” he says.

New dwelling

Morandi's new apartment in La Maddalena.

Morandi’s new condo in La Maddalena.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

Using his pension from his former life as a trainer, he is purchased himself an condo with all of the luxuries he lacked earlier than.

Morandi has been sharpening his abilities as a communicator. After years of solitude he is now keen to speak to individuals, change views and submit photographs and feedback on social networks to work together with the world. He’s additionally been writing his memoirs.

Morandi's new home comes with a fitted ktichen -- a luxury compared to his old hut.

Morandi’s new dwelling comes with a fitted ktichen — a luxurious in comparison with his outdated hut.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

“For a long time I have lived alone, and for too many years after I first landed on Budelli I didn’t feel like talking to anyone,” he says. “True, I cannot enjoy the island’s solitude anymore but my life now has taken a new turn, focused on communicating with others and being near other people.”

Morandi, initially from Modena in northern Italy, arrived at his former dwelling on Budelli in 1989 by chance whereas trying to sail from Italy to Polynesia. He fell in love with the atoll’s crystal-clear waters, coral sands and delightful sunsets — and have become its caretaker.

....And a kingsize bed.

….And a kingsize mattress.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

While encountering occasional island guests, he has largely lived alone. In current years his on-line presence, posting photos from Budelli, noticed him connecting with a digital group.

Now he has the true factor. His tiny whitewashed new dwelling, full with panoramic sea-view terrace, is in La Maddalena’s bustling vacationer city, albeit tucked away in a quieter location that ensures his privateness.

He says he misses the silence of Budelli. He’s not accustomed to the noise of vehicles, vans and “motorbikes with broken mufflers rolling by outside,” however all in all he likes his new environment which he finds fairly stress-free.

Rekindled romance

Morandi has been savoring fresh seafood dishes since leaving the island.

Morandi has been savoring contemporary seafood dishes since leaving the island.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

Perks embody a model new, totally geared up kitchen, a bed room with a kingsize mattress and — the best luxurious of all — a bathe. He additionally has cabinets stacked with books.

Another bonus of returning to civilization is the rekindling of an outdated flame. Morandi now shares his new abode with a former sweetheart from his youth.

And then there’s the meals.

Savoring once more scrumptious dishes he hasn’t had in many years has reminded him of the ‘”taste of life” and all he’d forsaken, he says, corresponding to indulging in wines and liqueurs with buddies after dinner.

But he is not stuffing himself with gelato, pizza or ham. He’s ravenous for one thing which was plentiful on Budelli but unattainable to eat: fish.

“I still keep leading a simple life, in the morning I go down to Cala Gavetta to buy fresh fish from the net. Finally, after so many years of abstinence, I can enjoy fish again. This might sound incredible, but I can’t have enough platefuls of fresh and crispy fried fish.

“On the island I had no boat so I could not fish, and the meals was scarce and restricted. I all the time needed to look ahead to individuals to carry me groceries from the mainland, and after they could not come, I needed to make do with what I had. Here, if I would like to purchase something I simply stroll into city.”

Mountains and meals

Morandi's ramshackle dwelling on Budelli.

Morandi’s ramshackle home on Budelli.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

Morandi admits living on Budelli had become tough, particularly during the last winter which brought colder than usual temperatures and gloomy conditions that meant his solar-powered fridge failed to keep food fresh, leaving him relying on canned food for months.

He still recalls the first time he ate fresh fish again when, during a post-Budelli trip to the Italian Alps, he was staying with a friend who owns a restaurant where he savored both the mountain landscape and the gourmet cuisine.

“It was magnificent, I found there was magnificence even there: the surroundings, the mountains, the meals. I had the very best linguine allo scoglio (flat spaghetti with seafood), and it was method cheaper than in La Maddalena. After all, the freshest fish in Italy is not present in Sardinia however is shipped to northern markets corresponding to Milan.”

Morandi toured the Italian Alps after leaving his island dwelling of 33 years.

Morandi toured the Italian Alps after leaving his island home of 33 years.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

Morandi documented his back-to-earth trip by posting photos of himself online eating grilled soles with potatoes and tomatoes, exploring Mont Blanc and visiting quaint mountain villages. He plans to return to the Alps at Christmas.

It’s a change of view from last year when, Morandi, talking to CNN, said he was ready to do all he could to stay on Budelli. “I would not know the place else to go stay, actually not again dwelling within the north, nor what to do, that is my life,” he said at the time.

Now he delights in his daily routines on La Maddalena.

“In the morning I’ve breakfast out on my terrace with barley espresso,” he says. “Then, as soon as I’ve loved my cigar, I am going for a stroll right down to the port alongside a tiny path connecting my home, or to the village the place I meet individuals and purchase groceries.

“I walk a lot, the doctor says that’s the best way to cure my aching leg, but often people give me a ride back home so I don’t need to carry heavy bags.”

A busy man

Morandi enjoys his new life in La Maddalena.

Morandi enjoys his new life in La Maddalena.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

Now totally vaccinated for Covid-19, and comfortable to put on a masks in public, he enjoys mingling with locals.

“I was amazed at how many are friendly, and I’m usually invited for coffee, lunch or dinner,” he says. “I was worried locals would not give me a warm welcome. I’m happy that not everyone hates me, just those who were jealous of the life I led on Budelli. Many are fond of me. They come up and congratulate me on my fight, they want to take pictures with me”.

Many individuals, particularly overseas, perceived him as a hero for dedicating his life to safeguarding the isle, whereas others claimed he was utilizing a “bon sauvage” romantic delusion to cover the truth that he was an unlawful occupant.

Morandi has been catching up with old friends.

Morandi has been catching up with outdated buddies.

Courtesy Mauro Morandi

Ownership of Budelli has modified a number of occasions over the previous few years. Since 2015, it is has been owned by La Maddalena’s National Park, rendering Morandi’s caretaker function out of date.

The authorities instructed CNN they have been merely upholding the regulation by “restoring the illegal structure” by which Morandi lived — a former second world struggle radio station. They mentioned he “had no title” to remain on the island given it was now not non-public.

Morandi’s battle to remain made international headlines, and even now he is gone, he is nonetheless within the highlight. He’s written a guide on his castaway island life, is planning a second one and says his story may quickly turn into the topic of a film.

So how does he see himself in a number of years, what’s his future going to be? Morandi says he is settling down for good in La Maddalena: “I’ll be right here. The most pristine sea and beach, Punta Tegge, are nearby and I can move around on buses if I need to.”

Lost silence

Would he return if park authorities modified their thoughts?

“I don’t long for it,” he says “However I might be willing to return as caretaker only if this time round I get paid to do my job. I won’t work for free again.”

Budelli is not utterly in his rear view. Morandi sometimes returns on day-trips to gather a number of private belongings he has left behind.

He nonetheless worries about the way forward for the island. As caretaker he repeatedly chased away vacationers trespassing on the off-limits pink seashore, cleaned garbage off the sand and stopped intruders from touchdown at evening.

For now, La Maddalena is his new world — one which he plans to find.

“I’ve been on that isle so long and this place was so close all the time, I realize just now that I don’t know it.”

So every day, when he walks round city, he takes footage of quiet, forgotten spots, maybe nonetheless trying to find that misplaced silence.

Top picture credit score: Courtesy Mauro Morandi



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