In the Mediterranean Sea lies an island paradise gleaming with glorious sand studded with various hues of rose. Known as “Spiaggia rosa” or pink beach, Budelli boasts of lush green vegetation, turquoise-colored waters, and purple rocks.
The magnificent sand owes its strawberry hues from microscopic fragments of corals and shells. This island, lustrous as it may be, is not without drama.
In the 1990s, tourists were banned from the beach due to the rampant pilferage of sand. From then on, only day tours have been allowed, and the island was put under environmental protection. Visitors could still come to the island, but they are forbidden from swimming or stepping onto the pink sand of the beachfront.
The island has been under several owners, the latest being the New Zealand tech executive, Michael Harte. However, in May of this year, a ruling was passed in Sardinia, stating that Budelli should no longer be under private ownership but instead should be given to La Maddalena National Park.
This ruling has raised major concerns. While the plan is to turn Budelli into a hub for environmental education, this move threatens to evict the island’s lone caretaker, Mario Morandi, who has been living there for 31 years.
Morandi has been actively protecting the island, clearing it of any rubbish, making clearings that serve as walkways, and feeding marine animals. He also undertakes to educate visitors about the island’s ecosystem.
Tugging on heartstrings and sentimentalities, an online petition has been making rounds on the internet in support of Morandi’s continued stay on the island and for him to be able to keep taking care of the protected pristine sand.
With all that has been happening and all the plans that are poised to happen on the island, it can really be said that Budelli’s pink sand is more precious than gold.