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Guarding Budelli’s paradise for 30 years, now they want to chase him away

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12 December 2018
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mauro morandi

The property occupied by Morandi, former professor of physical education of Modena, who 30 years ago decided to leave the life of the city to retire to the island as a modern hermit, has passed from 2014, in the property of the Park, which has now decided to demolish the volumes deemed illegitimate by the City of La Maddalena and restore the old building to be used for site development activities.

In August 2017 he had already been “evicted”, but following the online petition that Morandi had launched, with 18,000 signatures collected, he had been “pardoned”. We obviously don’t want him to leave because over the years he has helped to save from vandals and rubbish the island of Budelli, the pearl of La Maddalena with its pink beach (without ever asking anyone for a euro). This beach is no longer accessible because in the past irresponsible tourists stole large quantities of sand.


The story of Mauro

Mauro Morandi, 79 years old, arrived on the island of Budelli in 1989 with a 16-metre catamaran. He had to make a short stop, a few hours, to get ready and then, in the footsteps of Moitessier, reach Polynesia. After almost 30 years he is still there, the only inhabitant of the island, to watch over and protect this paradise as guardian of Budelli. Mauro costs nothing, he lives off his baby pension as a physical education teacher.

He said some time ago: “The Park says that I can no longer stay because there are no safety conditions and because they obviously can not hire me as a caretaker. Is this the prize for my commitment to defend the beach? So far, who has taken care of my safety? Don’t let me die early, don’t leave me alone. Alone, I don’t ask anyone for anything anyway”.

His is a story of a missed navigator. “In the seventies I taught physical education in Modena. I held on for a few years, then there was the opportunity of the pension-lightning and I took it. I was a protester, an uncomfortable character”. Then, she opened a vintage clothing store with her partner. “It went well for several years. And the sea? “More like the mouth of the Po, which I’ve sailed far and wide for at least six years on a batana. As long as a friend advises me to read Richard Bach’s “The Jonathan Livingston Seagull” and I take off.

budelli isola

How he survive?

What does Mauro eat and how does he care? “I take care of myself with this aloe plant: I eat it and my life gets longer. Nettle, asparagus and chicory soups are my favourite dish. In winter I also have mushrooms, but if it doesn’t rain I can forget them. In spring I also prepare omelettes with seagull eggs. Until a few years ago I could go fishing, but now I no longer have a rubber dinghy and sea bass have become a rare privilege. I eat very little meat. There are actually eight inhabitants of the island: him, five cats and two chickens. Plus a few bats and a lot of mice. And the seagulls, who from dawn to dusk continuously watch the pink beach. He lives in a small house built during the Second World War, a sort of fortification. He reads books every day and does Tai Chi exercises in the morning.

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