Known for over 30 years as the Italian Robinson Crusoe, the old man of Budelli is to be evicted from his island paradise. The hermit-like caretaker Mauro Morandi first ran into trouble in 2016, after his New Zealand backer lost his appeal and the private island was returned to public hands.
However after a hard fought battle with le autorità, the old man of the island has finally been worn down.
At 81, Mauro Morandi has said he will swap his home-built home in Sardinia for an apartment on the mainland. Morandi first arrived on the private island of Budelli in 1989. Known as the "pink paradise" for its colourful sand beaches, and Mediterranean climate he was the sole inhabitant and caretaker.
Mornadi's main job as caretaker was to manage tourists, who were allowed on occasion to visit the rosy island's beaches and Sardinian ruins.
After a shipwreck and abandoned attempt to sail the south Pacific, Morandi learned that the caretaker was about to retire. He left his boat to take on the role as Budelli's guardian.
Living in a home-made hut, built around a Second World War shelter, he adapted to a castaway lifestyle.
Since the 1960s tourists and local hawkers had a habit of scooping sand from the picturesque pink beaches into glass jaws as souvenirs. However, in spite of the valuable sand and beautiful views the island was a tough sell. The owners had tried many times, unsuccessfully to sell the island for property development.
Finally, in 2013 New Zealand banker Michael Harte bought the island for around $4.8 million. Morandi was kept on by the banker as a caretaker. The Crusoe-like figure of Morandi and Harte struck up an unlikely friendship over time spent sailing in the south Pacific and their common interest in preserving the island as a reserve.
At the time Harte won praise in the Italian media as a "true environmentalist", and the Herald reported Harte's plans to transform the biodiversity observatory with an environmental-friendly resort by restyling the ruins.
Conservation status changes from "partially protected marine park" to "totally protected", halted Harte's development dreams. Eventually the island was bought by compulsory order.
The short lived Kiwi connection to the island would be ended by an intervention from the Italian government. In 2016 a Sardinian Judge ruled to return the beach to the public as a marine park.
This left Morandi adrift on the island without a sponsor. Officially appointed park rangers said they no longer needed a "castaway guard", he resisted being kicked out of his.
"It's my life, they need to send the police to drag me away in hand cuffs," he told news.com.au at the time. "I won't leave it not even once dead: I want my ashes to be thrown into the water."
This old man of the sea became a popular cause for Italians. The five year campaign dubbed the "battle for Budelli" gained the support of a petition with almost 13000 signatories.
"They want to evict me but I swear I'm not moving my ass from this island," was Mauro's defiant stand in 2016.
However, five years on and entering his eighth decade Italy's Robinson Crusoe has mellowed with time.
This weekend Morandi left the island for the last time.
"I have given up the fight," Morandi told reporters from the Guardian.
"After 32 years here, I feel very sad to leave. They told me they need to do work on my house and this time it seems to be for real."
News that Morandi had finally caved to pressure was met with disbelief.
While an island castaway, he had not been cast adrift from social media. He published a final testimony to his 20000 Facebook followers dubbed Laborit Elogio della fuga an "Eulogy for an escape".
"There are no words … the destruction of the paradise will begin," wrote Carmelia Mangano.
"I can't imagine Budelli without Mauro's protection" wrote Mirella Della Vecchia, "you must resist!"
Mauro "Da Budelli" Morandi spent his last day on the island on Sunday, departing with words of support for the new, "official" park rangers.
"I hope that someone can protect it as well as I have."