81-year-old Italian man living alone on an island for 32 years has been asked to leave

An Italian man living alone on island for more than 30 years has been asked to vacate after pressure from authorities.

Mauro Morandi, 81, moved to Budelli off northern Sardinia in 1989.

Last year, however, Mr Morandi said the owners of the island, which is famed for its pink beach, wanted him to relocate.

“I will leave hoping that in the future Budelli will be protected as I have protected it for 32 years,” he wrote on Facebook on Sunday.

The former physical education teacher decided to move to the deserted island because he was fed up with a lot of things about the society,  consumerism and the political situation.

Way back in the 80’s he and a number of friends landed on the Italian archipelago of La Maddalena where they planned to work and make money to fund the rest of their travels.

But after arriving on Budelli and meeting the island’s guardian who was about to retire, he decided to stay and has remained ever since, looking after the island and speaking to tourists.

Over the years he has faced a number of eviction threats. In 2020 the president of La Maddalena’s National Park, Fabrizio Fonnesu claimed Mr Morandi had carried out illegal alterations to his hut – a former radio station dating back to World War Two.

Early this year a petition called on the Italian government to allow him to stay gathered more than 70,000 signatures.

But on Sunday, Mr Morandi announced his decision to leave, telling the The Guardian newspaper that he would move to a small flat on the nearby island of La Maddalena: “My life won’t change too much, I’ll still see the sea.”