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Castaway who shunned society to live on an Italian island earns fans

A 79-year-old man who shunned society to live alone on an Italian island has earned a legion of social media fans after documenting his solitary life on social media.

Mauro Morandi has called the stunning Isle of Budelli, which lies between Corsica and Sardinia in Italy’s Maddalena archipelago, home since 1989.

He arrived when his catamaran’s crippled engine forced him towards the island’s shores, where he learned Budelli’s caretaker was retiring.

Disillusioned with modern society, Mr Morandi sold his catamaran, inherited the caretaker’s shack and never went back to his old life in mainland Italy.   

For 29 years, he’s lived alone near a rose-coloured sandy beach called La Spiaggia Rosa and woken up to beautiful sunrises.

Mauro Morandi (pictured) has called the stunning Isle of Budelli, which lies between Corsica and Sardinia, home since 1989

For 29 years, he's lived alone on a rose-coloured sandy beach called La Spiaggia Rosa and woken up to beautiful sunrises

For 29 years, he’s lived alone on a rose-coloured sandy beach called La Spiaggia Rosa and woken up to beautiful sunrises

He had been enjoying these incredible views by himself, but in recent years, he decided to share his life on social media.

Mr Morandi told MailOnline he started taking more pictures after he broke up with his partner two or three years ago.

They had been in a long-distance relationship, with his girlfriend visiting the island for only 15 days a year.

Now, in the quiet winter months, he spends his time editing his pictures and uploading them onto his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages.

‘The pictures represents my mood and state of mind,’ he told MailOnline.

But while the colder months can be lonely, he draws more than 1,300 tourists to the island in the summer.

He had been enjoying these incredible views by himself, but in recent years, he decided to share his life on social media

He had been enjoying these incredible views by himself, but in recent years, he decided to share his life on social media

Mr Morandi told MailOnline he started taking more pictures after he broke up with his partner two or three years ago

Mr Morandi told MailOnline he started taking more pictures after he broke up with his partner two or three years ago

In the winter months, he spends his time editing pictures and uploading them on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages

In the winter months, he spends his time editing pictures and uploading them on his Instagram, Facebook and Twitter pages

While the colder months can be lonely, he draws more than 1,300 tourists to the island with the rose-coloured beach in the summer

While the colder months can be lonely, he draws more than 1,300 tourists to the island with the rose-coloured beach in the summer

Mr Morandi said at first, he'd been standoffish with visitors but mellowed over the years and now gives tours

Mr Morandi said at first, he’d been standoffish with visitors but mellowed over the years and now gives tours

'I'm really happy because they want to know this crazy man that lives on the island by himself,' Mr Morandi said

‘I’m really happy because they want to know this crazy man that lives on the island by himself,’ Mr Morandi said

‘I’m really happy because they want to know this crazy man that lives on the island by himself,’ he added.

Mr Morandi said at first, he’d been standoffish with visitors but mellowed over the years and now gives tours.

He added that he lives on the island because he ‘respects nature’ and laughs at the question of ever returning to the mainland. 

‘If I had to go, maybe I would go to Sardinia and I would live by the sea but I wouldn’t go back to a big city… I wouldn’t make it,’ he said.

‘I don’t even have a car here to go and get food.’

He does, however, travel to Modena to see his two daughters a few times a year.

The 79-year-old lives on the La Spiaggia Rosa on the Isle of Budelli, which lies between Corsica and Sardinia in Italy's Maddalena archipelago

The 79-year-old lives on the La Spiaggia Rosa on the Isle of Budelli, which lies between Corsica and Sardinia in Italy’s Maddalena archipelago

Mr Morandi said he started taking more pictures after his relationship with his partner ended a few years ago

Mr Morandi said he started taking more pictures after his relationship with his partner ended a few years ago

He added that he lives on the island because he 'respects nature' and laughs at the question of ever returning to the mainland

He added that he lives on the island because he ‘respects nature’ and laughs at the question of ever returning to the mainland

'If I had to go, maybe I would go to Sardinia and I would live by the sea but I wouldn't go back to a big city¿ I wouldn't make it,' he said

‘If I had to go, maybe I would go to Sardinia and I would live by the sea but I wouldn’t go back to a big city… I wouldn’t make it,’ he said

But while Mr Morandi would like to remain on the island for the rest of his life, the decision is out of his hands.

In 2016, the government took over the island and made it part of La Maddalena National Park.  

Although that meant Mr Morandi had access to the Wi-Fi that was installed for visitors, it also meant his right to remain on the island was challenged.

A protest challenging the decision garnered more than 18,000 signatures – but he remains in limbo. 

Since 2016, Budelli has been a government-owned national park, rendering Morandi’s role obsolete.

‘The island has been acquired by the state and I am here until the new president of the park decides what to do with me,’ he told CNN. 

Mor Morandi starts his day early by waking up in time to take pictures of the sunrise then feeds his two cats (pictured)

Mor Morandi starts his day early by waking up in time to take pictures of the sunrise then feeds his two cats (pictured)

Mr Morandi is fiercely protective of La Spiagga Rosa, which has been cordoned off since the 1990s due to erosion from frequent tourism

Mr Morandi is fiercely protective of La Spiagga Rosa, which has been cordoned off since the 1990s due to erosion from frequent tourism

As well as pictures of sunrises and sunsets, Mr Morandi captures stormy skies over the island and the tide lapping over the sand

As well as pictures of sunrises and sunsets, Mr Morandi captures stormy skies over the island and the tide lapping over the sand

While Mr Morandi's would like to remain on the island for the rest of his lie, the decision may not be up to him

While Mr Morandi’s would like to remain on the island for the rest of his lie, the decision may not be up to him

Authorities made the island of Budelli part of La Maddalena National Park in 2016 and installed Wi-Fi for visitors 

Authorities made the island of Budelli part of La Maddalena National Park in 2016 and installed Wi-Fi for visitors 

While the government interference means Mr Morandi may have to leave, he's pleased he can now access the Internet

While the government interference means Mr Morandi may have to leave, he’s pleased he can now access the Internet

Mr Morandi has 5,000 Facebook friends and believes his images have been viewed by almost 600,000 people on Google Maps

Mr Morandi has 5,000 Facebook friends and believes his images have been viewed by almost 600,000 people on Google Maps

Two years ago, Mr Morandi's right to live on the island was challenged and a petition protesting this decision attracted more than 18,000 signatures

Two years ago, Mr Morandi’s right to live on the island was challenged and a petition protesting this decision attracted more than 18,000 signatures

These days, he remains in limbo and doesn't know when he may have to leave the island he has lived on for almost 30 years

These days, he remains in limbo and doesn’t know when he may have to leave the island he has lived on for almost 30 years

'The island has been acquired by the state and I am here until the new president of the park decides what to do with me,' he told CNN

‘The island has been acquired by the state and I am here until the new president of the park decides what to do with me,’ he told CNN

The Lumix camera that the 79-year-old uses to take the stunning images he shares with his followers on social media

The Lumix camera that the 79-year-old uses to take the stunning images he shares with his followers on social media

A book of Mr Morandi's photos from the island - which he stumbled across by chance in 1989 - is now available to buy

A book of Mr Morandi’s photos from the island – which he stumbled across by chance in 1989 – is now available to buy



Read more at DailyMail.co.uk