Mauro Morandi, Italian hermit

Mother Nature Network ofers an article about Mauro Morandi, age 79, who has spent the last 30 years alone on the deserted Italian island of Budelli near Sardinia. Morandi uses solar energy, makes furniture from driftwood, and shares photos of the natural beauty of the place on his Facebook account. He came to the island because “I was very angry with a society that does not take into consideration the individual, but only runs for power and money … We must try to see the beauty to the end, and then we will respect nature and perhaps this world will be saved.” Includes some of the photos.


Italian hermit fears eviction

A 77-year old hermit living alone on the Sardinian island of Budelli for the past 27 years is threatened with eviction. Mauro Morandi has maintained the island for many years, benefiting summer tourists, but the island is now in public hands and he fears eviction. A petition drive on his behalf using is being championed by supporters.

URL:; petition (in Italian):

Fausto Mottalini, Italian hermit

Brief interview with an Italian hermit, Fausto Mottalini, who lives in Sostila, an Italian Alps ghost village, where he is the only resident.

“Many people think I’m a crazy kind of hermit, living here all alone, with no one to talk to or spend the days with. But I love it, I’m the guardian of this place. It’s like living in a fairy tale — time is frozen.”


Julia Holloway: hermit’s active life

The newspaper Catholic Philly reports on Julia Bolton Holloway, 78, a Catholic, a Dante scholar with a doctorate in medieval studies, and a resident of Florence, Italy. She works as a groundskeeper in a cemetery — and assists Roma (gypsy) families in seeking social assistance and especially in offering them English language instuction. She calls herself an “urban hermit” who is “freelancing” the religious life in her contemplative solitude, while pursuing a busy life.

Holloway, who is a writer, carpenter, seamstress, cultural critic, religious website designer and great-grandmother, said the eremitical life enables her to focus on her many projects. One of those is lobbying local authorities and international courts to allow Roma families to work and retain custody of their children, who are often taken from them by Italian social services.

Holloway was particularly influenced by the medieval mystic Julian of Norwich, who combined an active life with reflective eremitism.

“The eremitical life is an excellent mode of life to be a writer, because what you do is you reduce all the false stimuli. There’s no television, you’re just not interested in consumerism,” she explained.

“With writing you transcend time. It’s a conversation you have listening to (Sts.) Augustine and Monica. … You arrive at that silence, which is the like the silence of a Quaker meeting, where the Spirit speaks,” she said.

Being a hermit is a liberating lifestyle, Holloway said.

“If you are doing it from the spiritual base, from the base of prayer and contemplation, somehow it takes off, it has its own energy,” she said, “it doesn’t come from me.”


Pope Celestine’s fate

Much of the interest in the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI was to compare and contrast his action to that of the only previous pope to resign, Celestine V.  The treatment of Celestine was largely overlooked by the popular media, and, doubtless, the faithful. (See Hermitary article:

A recent Discovery news item relates that, no, Celestine was not murdered. Reading the events surrounding the last years of Celestine’s life suggests that the cause of his death is not as relevant as this news source suggests, but remains of antiquarian interest.


Bevilacqua’s hermit photos in NYT

An exhibition in Corona, Italy, titled “Into the Silence” by the Italian photographer Carlo Bevilacqua is highlighted by the New York Times.

The NYT article is titled “Hermits of the Third Millennium” and includes a slideshow of 20 photos of hermits (some of whom have been included before in Hermitary’s Features section). About the subjects, article writer James Estrin notes:

Mr. Bevilacqua’s subjects live by themselves, separate from others, by choice. Some have had religious visions and pursue study or prayer. Others are spiritually inclined, but not religious in the classical sense. Then, there are those who just don’t like being among other people in modern society. But all live a life of intentional simplicity and isolation.

Re the photographer:

After spending so much time with hermits, Mr. Bevilacqua believes that greater emphasis on accumulating material wealth, along with the growth of the digital and virtual worlds of video games and social media, has brought mankind further from a quiet pursuit of a simple, reflective life.

He says that this series is like a mirror to the viewer.

“I worked all day long for years to pay for my house, and these people live on nothing, nothing,” he said. “Maybe they are right, and I didn’t really choose. Even if you are not a hermit, you can choose your life.”


Modern hermits in Italy

Brief Guardian article entitled “Laptops but no beards for new hermits” on the revival of eremitism in Italy and “on why Catholics are signing up to be hermits.”


In a brief somewwhat supercilious audio file entitled “The internet is OK but don’t muck around on YouTube” the writer expands on the topic.