Former physical education teacher from Modena, Mauro Morandi (now 81 years old) has lived all alone on the uninhabited island of Budelli in the La Maddalena archipelago for more than 30 years. He ended up there by accident: in 1989, together with his friends, Mauro was going to sail to Polynesia, but the catamaran broke down, and the 50-year-old amateur sailor was forced to land on the nearest land. There he met the caretaker, and it turned out that he was retiring in two days. Morandi took this as a sign and decided to take his place.
At first, he was paid a salary, but then the firm that owned the island ran into financial difficulties. Nevertheless, Mauro stayed on Budelli and never regretted it. He is not bored: in the summer he is responsible for receiving tourists, and in the winter he reads books.
The only aspect that upsets the hermit is that he depends on the delivery of food from the "mainland": the conditions of the island do not allow for the production of enough food. He has chickens, he prepares vegetables, but in limited quantities. It is too dry for tomatoes and there is no source of fresh water - Mauro collects it during the rare rains.
His connection with the outside world is satellite phone and the Internet, he maintains several accounts on social networks, sharing with subscribers the beauty of the island. At the same time, electricity is not supplied here - Morandi uses only solar panels. He also prides himself on not polluting the environment - even if he has plastic waste, he uses it as a part on the farm.
Despite being isolated from the outside world, Morandi follows the latest news and worries about his loved ones living in Italy. He himself feels very well and, according to him, has never even coughed in 30 years. Twice a year he travels to Modena for a medical examination, but the doctors do not find any health problems.
From time to time, the media write about him, but now, when the whole world has gone into self-isolation, journalists have asked a voluntary hermit to comment on the situation.
“People can't stay at home for two weeks? That's funny. I spend every winter at home, almost never going outside for months,”- Mauro Morandi.
He does not like comparisons with Robinson Crusoe: he ended up on the island against his will and wanted to leave it, while an Italian can move at any moment, but does not want to - harmony with nature attracts him more than society of people.
In his opinion, you should not be upset because of self-isolation - "this is a great opportunity to challenge yourself and get to know yourself." True, he doubts that many people will be able to take advantage of this chance: the majority, in his opinion, "are accustomed to being in a comfort zone and leading a stupid lifestyle."