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Couple swayed from living 'off the grid' in Italian mountains

By Marilyn Malara
Couple swayed from living 'off the grid' in Italian mountains
View of the Fella Valley near Moggio Udinese, the area from which the couple were camping before officials convinced them to return to civilization before winter set in. Cropped Photo by Johann Jaritz/Wikimedia

MOGGIO UDINESE, Italy, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- An Italian couple willingly living off the grid in the remote mountains in northeast Italy have returned to civilization after surviving in the wild for over six months.

A 50-year-old man and his 24-year-old girlfriend began living off the natural surroundings in order to escape modern society. The Telegraph reports the woman gave birth after entering the remote mountainside and left their new daughter with relatives in order to maintain their alternative lifestyle.

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The two campers were discovered Monday huddled under an overhanging rock with just their sleeping bags and scant supplies. The Local reports the couple had been surviving off wild berries for several weeks.

"I've worked here for 35 years but I've never seen anything like it," a forest ranger told the outlet. As winter sets in, the ranger said, nighttime temperatures can dip below zero possibly endangering the couple. However, when found, the man and woman did not seem dangerously affected.

"They weren't hermits or primitive," the ranger told Local. "They were just two people who had decided upon a certain lifestyle. One which they had been living for some time."

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After being found and escorted down the mountain, the couple accepted food, water and medical attention. They intended to return to the wild before the mayor of a nearby town offered free temporary housing, Telegraph reports.

Afterward, they were reportedly given a ride to their hometown of Trieste, but are still planning to return to nature.

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